Bray knock holders out of championship
Emmets shock Baltinglass in Senior football quarter-final
THE BIG shock in the quarter-finals of Wicklow’s Senior football championship was the defeat of defending champions Baltinglass in sensational fashion at Aughrim at the weekend.
Baltinglass, who won their first Senior championship in over a decade in 2007, were one of the strongly fancied sides to put backto-back titles together in 2008.
For over half Saturday’s match they looked to be on track to reach the semi- finals but after the change over victors Bray Emmets grew stronger and stronger, grew in confidence and swagger, clinching their feisty 0-10 to 0-9 win with a point from a free by John Kinch deep in injury-time after the sides had been deadlocked at 0-9 each for over ten minutes.
Bray Emmets, whose assault on the Baltinglass goal was almost relentless in the last quarter, have gained a lot of new admirers as a result of this somewhat unexpected win and they will now be the choice of many aficionados to take the Miley Cup to the north of the county this year.
However, there are three other semi-finalists who would strongly dispute that assertion, not least their semi- final opponents St. Patrick’s, who staked a strong claim to annexing their third Senior crown in five years with their 1-14 to 2-9 victory over game Blessington.
A heartening omen for the Wicklow town team, who won titles in 2004 and 2006, is the return to top form of Paul Earls, who accounted for 1-7 of their total with a brilliant performance from the full-forward position.
Kiltegan won their way to the semi-finals with a narrow 2-10 to 1-10 victory over neighbours Stratford in an all west derby quarterfinal, and they will now meet Rathnew who were 1-12 to 0-9 winners over Newtown in the last of the quarter-finals.
Kiltegan beat Rathnew on their way to the final of 2006 but at the moment they do not seem to be playing with the same flair as two years ago and that fact alone just might tip the balance towards the men from the Thatched Village on this occasion.
Rory Nolan of Baltinglass tries to shake off the attentions of Bray's Jonathan Kinch during their Senior football championship quarter-final.