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"It's huge for us" - Diarmuid Lyng sums up what Leinster glory means to Wexford people

Raf Diallo
Raf Diallo

09:35 1 Jul 2019


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It's been a long wait but Wexford's drought is over as Davy Fitzgerald guided them to Leinster Championship glory.

It ends a 15-year wait for provincial hurling glory as they overcame Brian Cody's Kilkenny at Croke Park.

Diarmuid 'Gizzy' Lyng was part of the 2004 panel that won Leinster. He joined us to look back at this weekend's triumph and what it means.

But he began by touching on the sense of sporting starvation and the confluence of emotions.

"It's a big one. It's very hard as a former player to articulate it. When I think what it means, I'd probably think back to when I was younger, when I was going to Croke Park as a young fella," he told us.

"When I was seeing my father engrossed in the emotion of it, when I was seeing adults around me breaking down crying because 'DJ Carey took 14 steps and finished us off again in the last minute of the game'.

Hope and Smile

"And to be starved of victory in those years for a young fellas so intensely taken with the whole thing. To bring that up to '96 and the whirlwind experience that was and to literally see the bonfires on the road that people had spoken about for years but we had never seen. And then right up to 2004 to be lucky enough to be coming up on the bus after beating Offaly and just going back to that. Thinking about coming into Gorey.

"Davy [Fitzgerald] said it, the gift of being able to give people hope and smile, it's a huge thing. It's no bigger in Wexford than anywhere else I think other than the fact that we don't get to celebrate as often. What's rare is more wonderful at times because you don't get bored by the celebration of it. It's huge for us, it's huge for us and it's huge for the young fella in all of us. As a player, I tasted it very, very early on and didn't taste anything that even came close to it for a long time.

"So to look back as a former player, it's a little bit clouded. I probably look back at what it was like as a 14-year-old or 15-year-old, the magic of what that was in terms of what the possibilities of what my life was because of it. It's so significant."

Belief

Belief has been a key component for Davy Fitz as Lyng pointed out.

"He was trying to find the source of where there was a lack of belief as opposed to how to instil belief in them."

And he also feels belief, Fitzgerald's tactical nous and muscle memory have all blended to boost Wexford.

"Whatever Davy says from here on out, [the players] are just going to be with him," said Lyng.

He also cast ahead to what awaits Wexford in the remainder of the Championship.

"They've got the potential," he said.

"But I still would feel Tipperary are ahead of us. Probably because of the calibre of their forwards, more than anything else. Who's way ahead at the moment? I suppose Limerick definitely look like they're ahead of the pack. But Wexford can dare to believe much more than we ever could before. The possibility of an All-Ireland hurling final for Wexford people, players and this team..."

Jamesie O'Connor also joined Lyng to review the provincial finals and you can watch that above.

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Brian Cody Davy Fitzgerald Diarmuid Lyng Hurling Jamesie O'connor Kilkenny Limerick Off The Ball Tipperary Wexford

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