Ciaran Lyng on how St Martin's ended Oulart the Ballagh's Wexford dominance

The Wexford senior star took time out to chat to Joe after county final glory

BY Raf Diallo 21:00 Monday 23 October 2017, 21:00 23 Oct 2017

General view of a sliothar ©INPHO/Andrew Paton

There was something of a changing of the guard in the Wexford senior hurling championship on Sunday.

For so long, Oulart the Ballagh have been the dominant force over the past two decades, winning the county title 11 times since the turn of the Millennium.

But Sunday saw St Martin's GAA defeat them them 2-16 to 1-9 in the county final at Wexford Park.

Wexford's 31 year old senior star Ciaran Lyng played a crucial role as he contributed 1-2 to the St Martin's cause and he joined Joe to talk about bridging a nine year gap since their last senior title. 

Oulart were favourites but a group encounter foreshadowed the St Martin's victory to come.  

"We played one another in the group stages earlier in the year and we just came out on top in Enniscorthy so we kind of had confidence going in but they were the favourites," he said.

"It's always good going into the county final with the underdog tag as well. It's a different kind of pressure I think."

St Martin's is located between Rosslare and Wexford Town and the club has also been home to his brother Diarmuid 'Gizzy' Lyng among other talented inter-county hurlers.

"It's been the maturity of the younger lads to be honest," said Lyng of what spurred the 2017 success.

"The management team that came in three years ago started us on this journey. We sat down at the very start and they asked us 'what do ye want to do?' That's probably the perfect starting point. 'There's no point in us telling ye what we want to do' and the resounding answer was 'we would love to win both' and I'm aware that probably seems a bit arrogant to people on the outside but I think it's a great attitude to have from the youngsters as well that they want to win everything they enter."

And although they won by 10 points, Lyng admitted victory wasn't as clear cut.

"It was very tight. You know these county finals when you're four or five points up and all of a sudden all these points go in all over the place. It was a very tightly contested match.

"Just with all the experience Oulart have, they were so much sharper than us at the beginning. We were dropping balls and fumbling and slipping and just trying to do too much nearly. They were getting their own way but a bit of quick thinking from Rory [O'Connor], we worked a little short free and it just came off and we got a goal off it and I think we scored five points to one then after that."  

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