Brian Malone eyeing 150 appearances

Malone eyeing a special 150 on Saturday

by Ronan Fagan

Brian Malone reaches a staggering 150 competitive appearances with the Wexford senior footballers on Saturday when they take on Laois in the Leinster championship opener at Innovate Wexford Park (6.30p.m.).
Having debuted in the summer of 2006 – when starting All-Ireland Qualifiers against Monaghan and Fermanagh – the Shelmaliers’ man has missed only 9 of Wexford’s 158 competitive outings during the intervening years.
And he now lies just shy of Colm Morris (160) and David Murphy (157) in terms of appearances by the modern generation of Wexford footballers.
The closest to Brian in the ‘still active’ members are Ben Brosnan (114) and Daithí Waters (89), while Ciarán Lyng, who unfortunately seems to have signed-off from Wexford duty, stands on 114 games during which outings the St. Martin’s gem contributed 17-320.
Brian has fired a meagre 0-21 (0-5 in championship) in comparison.
But, of course, Brian’s brief under six different Wexford managers has been centred around protection rather than attacking adventure, although his immense versatility means that he additionally serves as a valued link player.
His leadership qualities have even been harnessed by the County Board in recent years as they recruited Brian as a mentor to underage players.
That is a role which he was well suited to owing to his duties as a popular teacher in St. Peter’s College, Wexford, where his sporting intelligence shone through last year when he helped guide the St. Peter’s senior footballers to Leinster ‘A’ championship glory and the All-Ireland final.
Brian is an undoubted fan favourite, and it is extremely difficult to recall a moment when he disappointed for Wexford.
In truth, he never has.
It is such tremendous consistency which has established this player as a mainstay of the Wexford team and a target of various Wexford senior hurling managers over the years.
His ongoing involvement with the footballers is particularly crucial during a period of considerable transition for the footballers from the invigorating highs of having contested the All-Ireland semi-final in 2008, Leinster finals of 2008 and 2011, and league finals of 2004 (Division 1), 2008 (winning Division 3) and 2017 (Division 4).
Now the torch is slowly but surely been handed to the next generation, with no fewer than 19 players having been handed their National League debuts this year, among them Brian’s younger brother Glen.
While the footballers first year back in Division 3 started with six losses, finishing on the high of a closing-round win over the division’s eventual outright champions Armagh is something which Brian recently confirmed to Liam Spratt on South East Radio has certainly benefited the younger players in terms of them appreciating that success can be attained through a sustained effort.
New manager Paul McLoughlin, a former Kildare star, together with selectors Mark Roche (Kilmore) and Monaghan native Gordon Ward have lots of experience outside of Brian to aid the changeover.
Together with Ben Brosnan and Daithí Waters’ combined 203 appearances, the likes of Conor Carty (59), Tiarnan Rossiter (53), Michael Furlong (50), Jim Rossiter, John Tubritt and Eoghan Nolan (all 33), together with Naomhan Rossiter (29), Paul Curtis (27), Donal Shanley and Syl Byrne (22) all have a strong number of appearances under their belts.
And those players have a combined 125 championship outings to their credit too.
Brian’s championship outings total 43 to-date, and his 44th arrives on Saturday when Wexford GAA will be celebrating another set of footballers who shared Malone’s ambition as the heroes of 1913-1918 established Wexford as the historic first-ever All-Ireland senior football four-in-a-row winners between 1915 to 1918.
Wexford will be sporting the jersey from that glory-laden era when they go into combat with newly-crowned Division 4 champions Laois, and Brian Malone can be backed to repay the privilege of wearing that special jersey with another contribution of high quality as he closes in on the stratospheric appearance records of Colm Morris and David Murphy.

Wexford Football Team

Wexford Senior Football Team announced to Face Longford In Sunday’s Roinn 3 Rd 4 clash in the Allianz Football League, Sunday 25th Feb, Glennon Brothers Park throw in 2:30pm.

Best of luck to our Shel’s men part of the Wexford football panel tomorrow, Brian Malone, Glen Malone, Craig McCabe and Eoghan Nolan.

Senior Football out of Championship

Shelmalier senior footballers were unlucky when they exited the championship by the narrowest of margins, score Shelmaliers 0-13 Glynn/Barntown 0-14.

Playing with the wind the Shelmaliers took an early lead when Derek Walsh kicked over a free in the 5th minute. Further scores from Brian Malone and Derek Walsh saw the Shelmaliers lead by 0-6 to 0-3 at half time. Glynn/Barntown came more into the game on the resumption they trailed by a single point 0-9 to 0-8 after 15 minutes. The Glynn strong play resulted with them leading by 0-14 to 0-9 with only 5 minutes remaining, however, a late rally by the Shelmalier men just came up short by a single point on full time.

Senior Footballers draw

Shelmalier senior footballers completed the final match in the league stage of the championship on Sat last when they met Adamstown in Bellefield.

With the result having no bearing on the final placings the game turned out to be an end to end encounter with the side’s level 1-9 to 0-12. Playing against a strong breeze the Shelmaliers got the first score when Glen Malone pointed in the 3rd minute. Adamstown took a two point lead before corner forward Derek Walsh pointed from close range. A series of scoring by the Shelmaliers saw Derek Walsh, Aidan Murphy, Adam Whitmore and Simon Donohoe saw the Shelmaliers lead by two points 0-8 to 0-6 at half time. Derek Walsh got his 4th point on the resumption with Adamstown slowly getting into the match there was only two points between the sides as the game entered the final quarter. Derek Walsh extended the lead in the 20th minute with Adamstown hitting back with the only goal of the game in the 22nd minute to level the sides 1-8 to 0-11. The last ten minutes was a hectic affair with many scoring chances for both sides, but both teams only succeeding to add an additional point.

Senior Footballers account for Fethard

Shelmalier senior footballers returned to winning ways with a comprehensive 1-10 to 0-8 victory over Fethard played in New Ross on Saturday evening.

The Shelmaliers started slowly with Fethard playing with the assistance of the wind controlled the early part of the game, however, a storming run up field by Simon Donohoe resulted in the Shelmaliers first score. The Shelmaliers came more into the game as it progressed but they were guilty of a number of wides. Arnie Murphy scored his team’s second point when been put through by Stephen Banville and a great run by Glen Malone deep into the Fethard half saw Colin Cleary fire to the roof of the Fethard net and the same player added two further points shortly afterwards, giving the Shelmaliers the lead which they never surrendered for the rest of the game. After an early second half comeback by Fethard the Shelmaliers took control of the game as the half progressed. Second half points from James Gordon, Barry O Connor, Derek Walsh and Graham Staples saw the Shelmalier comfortably through and qualification for the quarter final of the competition.
Gorey lead by county hurling star Conor McDonald were too strong for the Shelmaliers side in the second round of the under 21 hurling championship played in Gorey on Tuesday night last. A good second half recovery by the black and amber side resulted in a final score line of Shelmaliers 2-9 Gorey 3-12. Despite great efforts by the Shelmalier backs Gorey took the early initiative leading by 1-3 before Conor Hearne fired over his side’s first point in the 11th minute. The Shelmalier forwards had a number of scoring opportunities cleared before Liam Rockett got his sides second point in the 18th minute and Simon Donohoe added another point shortly afterwards. The Shelmaliers preformed much better on the restart with points from Shane Neville Conor Hearne and Jody Donohoe point and a great Liam Rockett goal. A Kyle Roche goal in the 25th minute of the second half ensured an exciting closing few minutes, however, Gorey held out to win on a final score line of 3-12 to 2-9. Many of the same players returned to Gorey the following night (Wed) when the Shelmalier minor hurlers took in the Gorey in the minor championship and after an exciting contest the home team won by the narrowest of margins 3-11 to 3-10.  This was a game that the Shelmaliers dominated in the first half lead by 3-7 to 2-6 at half time with Niall Hearne and Conor Hearne getting the goals for the visitors. Gorey came into the game on the resumption, however, great defending by goalie Adam Howlin and backs Aaron O Neill and Mark Power kept the Gorey forwards at bay for long periods. Conor Hearne got his second goal and a total of 1-8 in total however, the black and amber side couldn’t prevent a narrow defeat.

Co. Duty Senior Football V Fermanagh

The Shelmalier club was well represented on the Wexford senior football team that took on Fermanagh in the first round qualifiers in Wexford Park on Saturday last.

The team was captained by Brian Malone from wing back and he was joined by Simon Donohoe at corner back that also scored a great goal and Eoghan Nolan at wing forward. Unfortunately the northern side was victories at the final whistle.

Senior Football Co. Duty in Croke Park

There was heartbreak for the Wexford senior footballers who were narrowly beaten by Kildare on Saturday last in Croke Park.

The Shelmalier club was well represented on the team with Simon Donohoe, Eoghan Nolan and Brian Malone all giving outstanding performances in the county colours. Brian also had the honour of leading out the team as captain and he certainly lead by example covering every part of the park during the match. However, Brian had to leave the field injured before the final whistle and everybody in the club would like to wish him a speedy recovery.