All-Ireland Gold June 3, 2009Posted by Rambling Man in Sports.
Tags: 1996, all ireland championship, all ireland gold, hurling, tg4, wexford gaa
I had the pleasure recently – whilst channel hopping – to churf * across TG4‘s excellent series, All-Ireland Gold. The programme features entertaining and special GAA matches from the last 25 years or so.
On this particular programme, my own county – Wexford (for I am but a blow in to blaa land) were playing Offaly in the Leinster Final of 1996. Looking back, it was the match that started “it all” … Wexford not only beat Offaly in that game (who were reigning champions) but went on to win their first All-Ireland in God knows how long.
I was at the match in question – I must’ve been about 17 – but its great to be able to look back at a match like this and see it on TV. You get to see so much more than I did when I was there. All I remember is running onto the pitch at full-time and being swallied (‘swallowed’ said the Wexford way) by the crowd … I also remember Tom Dempsey getting an outrageous point over his shoulder without even looking at the posts – we were so scared to believe that this day, for once, we wouldn’t be returning to Slaneyside brokenhearted. And so the TV program brought it all back …
What a team we had in those days – you would find it hard to leave most of the 1996 team out of any modern team … and they went hell-for-leather at Offaly that day as if their lives depended on it. I haven’t seen a Wexford team harry the opposition like it since which in its own way is disappointing.
The great O’Connor brothers, Adrian Fenlon beating lads out the gate, the mad Larry O’Gorman putting his head where others wouldn’t put their hurleys … the list goes on … Larry Murphy at half forward banging over the scores, Liam Dunne and the man mountain Ger Cushe … nobody in Wexford can forget Martin Storey or Tom Dempsey or any of the others … the commentators calling Eamonn Scallon Scallion … great days. Liam Griffin dancing along the sidelines … what a feckin team we had !
So thanks TG4 for this series – it’s highly entertaining, especially if your only memories of the matches were from being at them … I hope they show the semi-final (against Galway) and the final (against Limerick) soon.
Loch Garman abú !
* churf – to channel surf