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Waterford Bennett brothers moving to Australia as father celebrates historic Wexford win

Pat Bennett steered Ferns St Aidan’s to a county title win as his sons Kieran and Shane are heading to Australia.

Pat Bennett celebrates after the game with Ian Byrne.
Pat Bennett celebrates after the game with Ian Byrne.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

WATERFORD NATIVE PAT Bennett masterminded a historic breakthrough in the Wexford club championship yesterday after a week where a high-profile inter-county managerial appointment dominated the hurling agenda.

Davy Fitzgerald’s second coming as Waterford hurling boss was confirmed last Thursday night, a role that Bennett is well acquainted with after working alongside Fitzgerald during that first spell from 2008-11.

His sons Kieran, Stephen and Shane were all Waterford senior members this year, the trio featuring in April’s league final win over Cork.

But Kieran and Shane will be unavailable for the 2023 season with their father revealing they plan to move to Australia shortly, when speaking to the Irish Independent after yesterday’s game, leaving 2020 All-Star forward Stephen to fly the family in the Waterford ranks.

shane-bennett-and-kieran-bennett-with-darragh-fitzgibbon-and-ciaran-joyce Shane Bennett and Kieran Bennett in action in last April's hurling league final. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Bennett was also part of Fitzgerald’s backroom team when he was manager of the Wexford senior hurlers, a spell that yielded Leinster senior hurling glory in 2019.

And yesterday he made his mark on his own in Wexford senior hurling circles, guiding Ferns St Aidan’s to their maiden first county senior title win.

“I’m just so, so satisfied for that group of players there because you don’t realise the effort these guys have put in,” Bennett told TG4′s GAA BEO after the game.

“For a club team, for these guys, the effort, the sacrifice, not going to weddings, not going to stags, everything. They’ve done this to win it today. It means so much for those supporters and those players.

“It’s unbelievable, it’s history made. I can’t speak highly (enough) about the whole backroom team, about the players. Everybody rowed in. They were unbelievable this year. It was all small margins, as it was in the end just a point.”

The success ends years of frustration for a Ferns team who had not contested a final since 2013 when they lost by two points to Oulart-the-Ballagh. They were defeated at the quarter-final stage last year by eventual champions Rapparees and in a 2019 semi-final by the ultimate winners St Martin’s.

Yesterday they turned the tables to fashion their 1-20 to 0-22 success.

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“I’m so delighted for Paul Morris,” said Bennett of the 2019 Leinster senior winner with Wexford.

“This guy has given everything to this club. Now he’s got his county medal. That’s all I’m happy about. 

“From day one they’re absolutely unbelievable. It’s a two hour trip down, I love coming to Ferns because they eat, breathe, sleep (hurling), the whole lot of them, the whole town. Like when I go to the chairman, he goes, ‘What do we need to win this?’

“The boys stood up this year. They believed themselves this year. You’ve got to get belief in them.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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