U-14 hurlers re­tain Tony For­ristal ti­tle

GAELIC GAMES WICK­LOW WIN DIVI­SION 3 CROWN

Bray People - - Sport -

WICK­LOW’S U-14 hurlers trav­elled to Water­ford on Satur­day, Au­gust 30, to com­pete in the Tony For­ristal in­ter­county com­pe­ti­tion.

All Wick­low’s matches were played in the County Grounds in Walsh Park. They played in Divi­sion 3 hav­ing won this com­pe­ti­tion last year with a very strong squad and in this re­gard the cur­rent squad were un­der pres­sure to re­tain the crown again this year.

This squad com­menced train­ing in March this year and made huge sac­ri­fices and com­mit­ments and as the year went on they gelled and played in a united and very spir­ited man­ner.

In the divi­sion were Ty­rone, Ar­magh and Mayo (Mayo hurl­ing on a crest of a wave af­ter their great run in this year’s Christy Ring com­pe­ti­tion where they beat Wick­low’s Se­nior team on the way to the semi­fi­nal).

In this type of com­pe­ti­tion it is very im­por­tant that the team wins their first match and Wick­low were very well fo­cused and pre­pared for their first match against Ty­rone which they won by 2- 11 to 1-1.

The sec­ond match against Mayo was very com­pet­i­tive against a very strong Mayo side. Again Wick­low started very well lead­ing at half­time 2-4 to 0-2, af­ter play­ing with the wind.

How­ever, Mayo came back very strong in the sec­ond-half but Wick­low’s well or­gan­ised de­fence made it very dif­fi­cult for Mayo to get the scores they needed. Jamie Byrne in goal kept a clean sheet. Wick­low only scored one point in the sec­ond-half while pleas­ingly hold­ing Mayo to just one point with a full-time score of 2-5 to 0-3.

In the third game against Ar­magh, Wick­low used the full panel and all the play­ers per­formed to a very high stan­dard and ended up con­vinc­ing win­ners with a score of 5-11 to 1-3.

Play­ers to shine in this game in­cluded Kevin Byrne, Eoin Keddy, Eoin Coogan, Paul Mur­ray, Stephen Mur­phy, Ciaran Mul­hall, Daniel Staunton, Muiris O’Flionn, Gavin Weir, James Man­ley and Peter Quigley.

Fi­nals in the three di­vi­sions were played in Walsh Park on Sun­day, Au­gust 31. Both Wick­low and Mayo qual­i­fied for the Divi­sion 3 fi­nal. Pierce Sweeney who played mag­nif­i­cently in mid­field in the three matches on Satur­day un­for­tu­nately was not avail­able for Sun­day’s fi­nal.

His place in mid­field in the fi­nal was taken by the ever im­prov­ing and hard­work­ing Peter Quigley to part­ner James Smullen.

Both played re­ally well to­gether with James Smullen gave an ex­hi­bi­tion of mid­field play through­out the game, work­ing tire­lessly to cover his back line and link­ing up ef­fec­tively with the for­ward line.

The half-back line of Aaron Nu­gent, Enda Mol­loy and Diar­muid Master­son per­formed res­o­lutely through­out the game prompt­ing the for­ward line and con­sid­er­ably lim­it­ing the Mayo for­wards’ scor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Any at­tacks that broke the half-back line were met by an ex­tremely de­pend­able full- back line of Luke Moloney, Conor Lin­nane and Cathal O Du­lachain with Jamie Byrne again per­form­ing re­ally well in goal.

All the for­wards played very well as a unit get­ting some great scores. The half-for­ward line of Em­met Byrne, Jim Doyle and Wayne Kin­sella worked re­ally hard. Jim in par­tic­u­lar gave his best per­for­mance of the com­pe­ti­tion scor­ing 1-2 and com­pletely dom­i­nat­ing the Mayo cen­tre­half back. This per­for­mance earned Jim the man of the match award.

The full-for­ward line of Kevin Byrne, Daniel Nolan and Cian O’Byrne all played their part in Wick­low’s fan­tas­tic per­for­mance. Kevin, who won his place on the team fol­low­ing a great per­for­mance against Ar­magh in the group stages scor­ing 2-2, went on to score the cru­cial first goal in the fi­nal.

The scores on the day were Cian O Byrne 0-1, Jim Doyle 1-2, Em­met Byrne 0-3, Kevin Byrne 1-1 and when young Daniel Staunton came on he got a fine goal.

Wick­low won the fi­nal 3-7 to 2-2 con­ced­ing a very late goal. Due to Wick­low’s dom­i­nance in the sec­ond-half, it was great that they were able to give all the subs a run in the fi­nal.

On be­half of the Man­age­ment team sin­cere thanks to all who helped in the prepa­ra­tion of this squad in­clud­ing Wick­low County Board, the Wick­low clubs for the use of their fa­cil­i­ties es­pe­cially Avon­dale, Carnew, Kil­coole, Bray Em­mets and Glenealy. To all the par­ents who sup­ported their chil­dren in their quest for suc- cess. Hope­fully with every­one’s sup­port this suc­cess will be the first of many that th­ese young hurlers will achieve.

The full Wick­low Tony For­ristal panel was: Pierce Sweeney, Cian O’Byrne, Jim Doyle, Enda Mol­loy, Luke Moloney, Muiris O’Floinn, Diar­muid Master­son (capt.), Cathal O Du­lachain ( all Bray Em­mets) Stephen Mur­phy, John Walsh, Daniel Nolan , Wayne Kin­sella, Ciarán Mull­hall ( all Carnew Em­mets), Jamie Byrne, Em­met Byrne, Aaron Nu­gent, Conor Lin­nane, James Man­ley, Daniel Staunton (all Glenealy), Eoin Keddy (Kil­coole), Paul Mur­ray, Eoin Coogan (Michael Dwyers), Peter Quigley (Avon­dale), Kevin Byrne and James Smullen (Eire Og). All the lads per­formed ex­cep­tion­ally well and rep­re­sented their county with pride, hon­our and dis­tinc­tion. Well done lads.

Men­tors: Chris Master­son (Bray Em­mets); Michael An­thony O’Neill (Glenealy); Nigel Man­ley (Glenealy); James Do­ran (Carnew) and Michael Neary (Hurl­ing De­vel­op­ment Ad­min­is­tra­tor).

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