Ju­ve­nile struc­tures bear­ing fruit for Bray

Bray People - - Sport - with Peter Keogh

THE FALL of the cham­pi­ons Balt­in­glass was the big talk­ing point of the week­end. The Slaneysiders were piped by a sin­gle point by Bray Em­mets af­ter a great bat­tle in the sec­ond match at Aughrim on Satur­day but be­ing re­al­is­tic how big a shock was this?

The Bray club have been build­ing up steadily for some years now and have been there or there­abouts for some time. They have one of the best Ju­ve­nile struc­tures in the county and have won ev­ery un­der­age cham­pi­onship in the book up to now.

That in­cludes the Mi­nor grade. The man who did more than any­one else to de­throne the cham­pi­ons was Jonathan Kinch and many, among them Balt­in­glass sup­port­ers, will re­mem­ber the same Mr. Kinch do­ing the very same in a Mi­nor fi­nal some years ago.

Bray Em­mets have put in solid foun­da­tions and are build­ing for the fu­ture. They have many great work­ers be­hind their teams in all grades and both codes. This may, or may not be their year but a Se­nior Cham­pi­onship in on its way to the Dar­gle side – in one or other code, or pos­si­ble both - and sooner rather than later.

That was the only one we got wrong last week. The favourites in the other three quar­ter-fi­nals all obliged, even though all three – St. Pa­trick’s, Rath­new and Kil­te­gan strug­gled at times and all made their sup­port­ers sweat well into the fi­nal min­utes. Bless­ing­ton, New­town and Strar­ford gave their sup­port­ers plenty to cheer about and all can look for­ward to bet­ter times ahead.


Did you know that Bray Em­mets were Le­in­ster cham­pi­ons in their time, and I am not talk­ing about the All-Ire­land winning team of 1902 who were rep­re­sent­ing Dublin.

This was much ear­lier than that, pos­si­bly around 1887 or ‘88. I did not know that ei­ther un­til I called to see an old friend Joe Deer­ing last week. Joe is the last sur­viv­ing mem­ber of the All-Ire­land winning team of 1936 and the great­est ‘mem­ory man’ I ever met. He al­ways has a gem of in­for­ma­tion to share with his vis­i­tors and I have never found one of them to be in­cor­rect yet.

The story had some­thing to do with a fi­nal to be played in Dublin but their op­po­nents Kilkenny, a power in foot­ball at the time and the first Le­in­ster cham­pi­ons, did not show up and the Bray men, rep­re­sent­ing Wick­low were awarded the ti­tle. Ac­cord­ing to Joe they cel­e­brated for a week but were then told that there was to be a re­fix­ture which they lost.

So it does ap­pear that the Bray Club may have been Le­in­ster cham­pi­ons – for a week. Any­one with more in­for­ma­tion on that?

And good luck to the great Joe who is now in his 95th year and still one of the great­est.


Com­mis­er­a­tion’s to the Wick­low ladies foot­ball team on los­ing out to a strong Lon­don side in the All-Ire­land Ju­nior semi-fi­nal on Satur­day but wasn’t it great to see a Wick­low team get so far.

That great ladies foot­ball man Do­minic Leach was very dis­ap­pointed but life goes on and asked me to re­mind you all that the Ladies Foot­ball Board have their BIG day in the home cham­pi­onships on Sun­day in Aughrim.

The fi­nal of the JFC be­tween Balt­in­glass and Eire Og from Grey­stones kicks off the day at 12.noon with the Se­nior fi­nal be­tween Ark­low Geraldines and Round­wood at 3 o’clock.

Ladies foot­ball has cer­tainly come a long since a night in the Lit­tle Moon in Cool­boy in 1987 when Cathal Friel, Kath­leen O’Neill, Liz Byrne/ Tim­mins and a few more set up the first County Board with only three clubs, Cool­boy, Coolkenno and Kil­te­gan af­fil­i­ated.


Con­grat­u­la­tions to Michael Neary and his great U-14 hurl­ing team who for the sec­ond year in a row won out their divi­sion at the For­ristal School of Hurl­ing in Water­ford at the week­end.


Con­grat­u­la­tions also to man­ager Michael Byrne and his U-16 hurlers who brought home some sil­ver­ware from the All-Ire­land B Hurl­ing fi­nals , held in West­meath on Satur­day. Leighton Glynn Hon­oured Leighton Glynn was called up last week for a trial for the Ire­land team to play in the Com­pro­mise Rules against Aus­tre­lia. The tri­als were held in Lu­can and from what we were told Leighton did very well.

Con­grats also to Hugh Kenny who has been named as one of Seán Boy- lan’s se­lec­tors for the se­ries. Val­ley­mount he­roes re­mem­bered The Val­ley­mount G.A.A. Club will hon­our one of their great teams of the past at a func­tion in the club­house on Satur­day night.

The Lakesiders won the In­ter­me­di­ate Foot­ball Cham­pi­onship thirty years ago in 1978 and quite a num­ber of them would have went on to play in Val­ley­mount’s last ap­pear­ance in a Se­nior fi­nal in 1984 when they lost to Ti­na­hely.


Mary Napier, well known to any­one who has tried to con­tact her fa­ther Jackie on G.A.A. mat­ters was con­ferred with her Bach­e­lor of So­cial Sci­ence at UCD in Belfield on Mon­day. Proud par­ents Jackie and Josie and brother Martin were present to savour the big oc­ca­sion.


Con­grat­u­la­tions (that is the IN word this week) to the Wick­low camogie team who reached the fi­nal of the spe­cial All-Ire­land Ju­nior Cham­pi­onship on Satur­day.

Kath­leen McAil­ster’s girls beat Mon­aghan and Ca­van but were in the fi­nal beaten by the home county Ty­rone (sure you couldn’t beat that crowd in a game in darts at present). The team was short of the four girls – Geral­dine Nor­ton, Ann Marie Do­ran, Mary Whe­lan and Cathrinia McK­eon – who were on duty with the foot­ball team in the All-Ire­land semi-fi­nal.


The death of Fr. Seán Cassidy on Wed­nes­day last brought back mem­o­ries of the great days of Kil­bride foot- ball in the ‘60s. Fr. Cassidy was the fourth CC in the Lake­side vil­lage to play a ma­jor role in the G.A.A.

Like his pre­de­ces­sors Fr. O’Reilly, Fr. Joe Collins and Fr. McGilly­cuddy he was Chair­man of the club and, and like Fr. Collins a prom­i­nent player.

He was at cen­tre half back when they beat Balt­in­glass in a low scor­ing fi­nal in 1968 to bring home the Mi­ley Cup for a sec­ond time.

They beat New­town, An­nacurra and Ark­low Geraldines along the way and it was a New­town player Gerry Sin­nott that summed up Fr. Seán as a foot­baller best of all. Gerry, bet­ter known as the ‘block’ and fa­mous for his long frees with the toe of the boot said if you tries to play the rough stuff with Fr. Seán he would take your life and if you did not play it rough you would not get a kick at the ball.

Fr. Seán was a na­tive of Meath but spent most of his Priest­hood min­is­ter­ing in the dio­cese of Dublin but was brought back to his na­tive Kil­main­ham Wood for burial.

Our sym­pa­thy to his fam­ily and friends.


Our sym­pa­thy also to the fam­ily of Robert Byrne from Hack­et­stown who died last week. Robert played for the Glen club and was cap­tain of the team that won the Hen­nessy Cup in cen­te­nary year, 1984.

Robert be­came well known later as an um­pire in Aughrim and other venues through­out the county and con­tin­ued his ser­vice to the G.A.A. up to the time of his fi­nal ill­ness. May he rest in peace.


We are now in the knock­out stages of what many be­lieve is our best ever Mi­nor foot­ball cham­pi­onship.

For starters 20 teams took part and that surely must be the largest num­ber ever. Fer­gal Og from Bray were field­ing a Mi­nor team for the first time, giv­ing us a sec­ond team from our largest town. AGB were back af­ter an ab­sence of some years which is also good for the game. The Ark­low club had their last good team back in 1999 when play­ers like JP Con­nolly and Danny Dempsey were se­lected on an Ire­land team for the Aussie Rules. That team were un­lucky to lose out to Bray Em­mets with an un­der­strength team while the Bray side went on to win the cham­pi­onship.

The few re­main­ing games in the league sec­tion were played last week and even at that late stage we got some sur­prises, such as St. Pat’s win over the hold­ers Bless­ing­ton – the only de­feat for the cham­pi­ons.

How­ever, the re­sults changes noth­ing and Ed­die Leonard was able to play the first quar­ter-fi­nal in the A Cham­pi­onship be­tween Luke O’Tooles and St Ni­cholas on Fri­day night.

The other quar­ter-fi­nal be­tween St. Pa­trick’s and St. Kevin’s will be played at Round­wood on Fri­day evening.

Michael Dwyers beat Ash­ford in their last game go top of Group 1 of Divi­sion 2 on score dif­fer­ence but they lost out to St. Kevin’s for the quar­ter-fi­nal spot in the A cham­pi­onship be­cause Bord na nOg favour the ‘head to head’ sys­tem of tie- breaker and St. Kevin’s had beaten the ‘Dwyers in the first game.

Balt­in­glass, who fin­ished level on points with Luke O’Tooles in Divi­sion 1 also lost out on a quar­ter-fi­nal spot for the same rea­son.

All of them are still in the run­ning to take some sil­ver­ware at the end of the day – be it the B Cham­pi­onship or the A or B Shield – so plenty still to play for.

The old straight knock­out com­pe­ti­tions, which some peo­ple still pre­fer, had its mer­its but it should be re­mem­bered that half of the teams in the county went out in the first round and got only one match for the year while the most any­one could hope for was two or three.

St. Pa­trick’s 3-10, Bless­ing­ton 1-13: The big shock in the A Cham­pi­onship was the de­feat of the cham­pi­ons Bless­ing­ton by St. Pa­trick’s at Dun­bur Park on Wed­nes­day

While Bless­ing­ton were short of their top for­ward Dean Siney there was no signs of a big sur­prise at half­time when the west men led by 1-9 to 1-6 – the goal scored by Robert Pen­der. Cathal Doyle had got the St. Pat’s goal.

How­ever, when Evan Dunne and sub Wayne Doyle poached more goals the Wick­low town side were in the driv­ing seat.

The end re­sult changes noth­ing but it does give St. Pat’s a great boost go­ing in to a quar­ter-fi­nal against St. Kevin’s.

St. Pa­trick’s: Seán O’Brien; Colm Smullen (0-1), Lorcan Smullen, Alan Kelly; De­nis Hig­gins, Seán Duffy, Shane Dunne; Niall Earls (0-3), C. Mur­phy; Evan Dunne (1-1), Thomas Kelly (0-5), Cathal Doyle (1-0); Dean Healy, Eoin Wolfe, Da­nial McDe­vitt.

Bless­ing­ton: Conor O’Brien; Niall Keogh, Paul McLough­lin, Dean Mul­vey; Eoin Cripps, Ro­nan Doyle 0-4; James Nolan; Seán Byrne (0-1), Cur­tice Ger­aghey; Garry Car­roll, Alan Kelly (0-3). Troy Farn­cis, Kevin Han­lon, Ed­die Boylan 0-4; Robert Pen­der 1-0. Sub. - Own Devlin (0-1).

Michael Dwyers 2-12, Ash­ford 1-7: Michael Dwyers fin­ished the league sec­tion in Divi­sion 2 of the MFC with this win over Ash­ford in a game played at Clon­more.

Dwyers led by 2-7 to 1-3 at half­time, both goals scored by man of the match Kevin Byrne. The win sees the Car­low bor­der side edge out St. Kevin’s to take the top of the ta­ble spot in the ta­ble on score dif­fer­ence. Man of the match was Kevin Byrne who scored 2-3.

Michael Dwyers: M. Car­roll; K. Cor­ri­gan, J. O’Brien, N. Moore; C. O’Con­nor, M. Keane, J. Ke­hoe; M. Kenny (02), M. Mangan; C. Fitzger­ald, K. Byrne (2-3), S. Far­rell (0-5); C. Humphries (02), E. Mur­phy (0-1), D. O’Brien.

Ash­ford: Wil­lie Hen­don/Phillips; Broin O’Don­nell, James O’Shea, Martin Doyle; Billy Clarkin­son, Dara Rooney, Seán Doyle; John Jekin­son (1-0), Mick Tay­lor; Tim Nairne, Joey Doyle, Dean Mooney (0-7), Brian Shan­non, Dean An­der­son, Niall Byrne. Subs. – Dara O’Don­nell and Da­nial Ka­vanagh.


Our get well wishes this week goes to young Coolkenno foot­baller Shane Byrne who re­ceived a bro­ken jaw in an ac­ci­den­tal cash in the Ju­nior C match in Balt­in­glass on Sun­day.

Rory Nolan of Balt­in­glass comes un­der pres­sure from Bray's Jonathan Kinch.

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