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Tony Doran of Wexford: One Of The All Time Great Full Forwards
Wexford produced legendary full forward Nicky Rackard in the late 1940s and he thrived in the 50s decade. The 70s decade produced two more famous full forwards who became legends in their own playing careers and their style of attack was very diverse. Ray Cummins of Cork fame had many admirers for his catching and distribution, but it was Tony Doran in his prime who fetched and ran at opponents and blazed for goal, in an almost unstoppable flow of energy.
In a glittering career, the Buffers Alley hurler did not always get the inter county silverware he so thoroughly deserved, but his fame is spread all over Ireland. In 1968 Wexford won the All Ireland senior hurling title and lining out in the No. 11, shirt was twenty two year old Tony Doran. His direct opponent was one of the all time greats of centre backs, Mick Roche of Tipperary fame.
The critics predicted that the balance of play from this duel, could ultimately decide this 1968 final. In the first twenty minutes Tony Doran was almost blown away, but a shrewd move just before half time to full forward, enabled the Buffers Alley man to bury two clinical goals that changed the pattern of the final. From eight points down at the break, Wexford carved out a historic victory by 5 - 8 to 3 - 12. Sadly Tony Doran would never again climb the Hogan Stand steps on All Ireland final day to embrace the Liam McCarthy Cup in the winners enclosure.
An All Star award and Texaco Hurler Of The Year in 1976, were just recognition and two National League medals in 1967/68 and 1972/73, completed his inter county collection of major silverware. Hurling fans rejoiced in 1989 when his club, Buffers Alley, won the All Ireland Club final, with forty three year old Tony leading from the front. This victory is recorded by the legendary Wexfordman, as the greatest highlight and achievement of his illustrious career.