Throughout all of the 70’s and 80’s, Anthony Cosgrave was an ever-present member of the Ballygarrett Hurling team.
As a cornerback for the club, he was a player with an indomitable spirit, courage, and determination. He had mastered the art of reading dangerous situations when danger threatened his territory. He had the ability to block and hound his opponents as they tried to get in a hit at the goals. He was fearless, flawless and forceful when dealing with opposing forwards.
Anthony epitomised all that is splendour and constructive in the line of defensive play. He commanded his cornerback position with authority and made few mistakes that might have resulted in a score for the opposition.
He was born in 1947 and was educated at Ballygarrett N.S..
His Boyhood Hero was – Nickey Rackard R.I.P.. Two of the best goalie’s he has seen in Hurling were – Pat Nolan (Oylegate) and Damien Fitzhenry.
In Football, he selects – Martin Furlong (Offaly) and John Cooper (Wexford) – as being brilliant.
He first played Junior Hurling with Ballygarrett in 1969 and he last played with the club 20 years later in 1990.
One of his finest games playing for his club was vs Ballyfad in the Gorey District Junior Hurling Championship.
At cornerback, he had a regal hour clearing ball after ball with a classical performance.
Difficult opponents he encountered when playing were – Tom O’Sullivan (Buffers Alley), “Rackard” Allen (Gorey), Pat Fox (Askamore) and Donal Hayden (Ballyfad).
The Ballygarrett Hurlers that stood out in Anthony’s opinion were – Joe Boardman, Matty Cardiff, Larry Doyle, and Matt O’Leary.
The four greatest Hurlers he has ever seen were – Henry Shefflin, D.J. Carey, Joe Canning, and Eddie Keher.
In the last 40 years in Wexford, outstanding Hurlers were – Tony Doran, George O’Connor (St. Martin’s), Mick Jacob Snr., Dan Quigley (Rathnure) and Martin Quigley (Rathnure). Prior to that, he selects – Phil Wilson (Ballyhogue), Joe Foley (Ballyhogue) and Tom Neville – were brilliant for Club and County.
The greatest Hurler he has ever seen was – Henry Shefflin (Kilkenny), and the greatest footballer he has ever seen was – Colm Cooper (Kerry).
The two best dual players he has seen outside of Wexford were – Jimmy Barry Murphy (Cork) and Ray Cummins (Cork).
In Wexford, tops were – George O’Connor (St. Martin’s), Redmond Barry and Phil Wilson (Ballyhogue).
The greatest game of Hurling he has ever seen was in the 1993 Leinster Senior Hurling Final in a drawn game between – Wexford 1.17 vs Kilkenny 2.14.
The three best full-backs he has seen in Hurling were – Nick O’Donnell R.I.P. (Wexford), Pat Hartigan (Limerick) and Brian Lohan (Clare).
The three best Midfielders he has seen were – John Fenton (Cork), Liam “Chunky” O’Brien (Kilkenny) and Adrian Fenlon (Wexford).
The three best full forwards he has ever seen were – Tony Doran (Wexford), Ray Cummins (Cork) and Seamus Callanan (Tipperary).
His brother – Ned Cosgrave – was also a member of the Ballygarrett Hurling Club. His daughters – Ciara and Aine – played Camogie with Wexford.
Anthony was a committee member with Ballygarrett for several years and also a chairman and a selector for a number of years.
Of the present-day Hurlers, he is very impressed with – Seamus Callanan (Tipperary), T.J. Reid (Kilkenny), Paul Murphy (Kilkenny), Austin Gleeson (Waterford), Tadhg de Burca (Waterford), Joe Canning (Galway), Tony Kelly (Clare), Conor McGrath (Clare) and John Conlon (Clare).
One of Ballygarrett’s finest Hurlers was – Mick Redmond R.I.P..