BRAY EM­METS

Bray People - - Sport -

SE­NIORS FAIL AT SEMI­FI­NAL STAGE

Bray Em­mets 1-6 St. Pat’s 1-13: A large crowd from Bray trav­elled to Aughrim to sup­port the Se­nior foot­ball team as they took on St. Pa­trick’s (Wick­low) in the semi-fi­nal of the Wick­low SFC.

Un­for­tu­nately Bray got off to a slow start and were quickly pun­ished for some un­forced er­rors by frees by county star Paul Earls. In wet and mis­er­able con­di­tions, Bray may have shown some nerves as hes­i­tancy and han­dling er­rors al­lowed St. Pat’s to mop up the spillages and build at­tacks through their danger­ous mid­field and half-for­ward line into a full­for­ward line with lots of space to play with. Two frees by Johnny Kinch were the only re­ward from early for­ays into the Pat’s half. Bray were rocked by an early in­jury to stal­wart Brian O’Ke­effe who had to leave the field. The mis­ery con­tin­ued as St. Pat’s led by 0-10 to 0-02.

The sec­ond-half saw a dif­fer­ent Bray team emerge. More com­pet­i­tive and de­fen­sively tighter Bray took the game to St. Pat’s. Tack­ing on a cou­ple of points, Bray built a bit of mo­men­tum. In­deed if luck went their way, ad­van­tage would have been played as Thomas Walsh found him­self clear through on goal. In­stead the ref­eree blew his whis­tle for an ear­lier St. Pat’s in­dis­cre­tion lead­ing to dis­gust (not for the first time) from the large Bray sup­port. The in­tense pres­sure paid off how­ever and Bray were re­warded with a goal scored by a brave div­ing fist from Paddy Moyni­han. This brought the mar­gin down to three points with ten min­utes to go and a come­back looked to be on the cards. Again, Thomas Walsh found him­self through on goal and only a finger­tip save from Robert Hollingsworth saw the shot re­bound from the cross­bar. This proved to be a decisive save as al­most im­me­di­ately St. Pat’s scored an im­pres­sive goal to end the game as a con­test and led to heart­break for Bray.

Team: John Walsh, Paul Barry, Oisin O hAn­naidh, Alan Corr; Bre­an­dan O hAn­naidh, Dara O hAn­naidh, Luke Ben­son; Thomas Walsh, Stephen Fox; Ray Lambe, Niall Gaffney, Niall McGraynor; Paddy Moyni­han, Brian O’Ke­effe, Johnathan Kinch Subs: Mikey Browne, Tony Den­ver, Ro­nan O’Brien, John O’Ke­effe, Paul Cun­ning­ham

BRAVE DIS­PLAY BY IN­TER­ME­DI­ATES

Bray 1-6 An­nacurra 0-11: Bray trav­elled in hopes of an In­ter­me­di­ate foot­ball semi-fi­nal to Round­wood on Fri­day. De­spite be­ing without some of their star play­ers (Des Kelly, Mau­rice Doyle and Adam Ben­son) Bray showed all the fight­ing spirit we have come to ex­pect from this team as they had a chance to level the game in the sec­ond-half. Led by Seán O’Neill and with a typ­i­cal dis­play by Paul Cun­ning­ham, Bray scored a great goal through Gearoid O Murchu to scare the 2007 county fi­nal­ists. How­ever, one missed op­por­tu­nity proved costly as An­nacurra man­aged to pounce and score a fi­nal point that proved the in­sur­ance point. Great credit must go to the man­age­ment team who have built a great team spirit in this team.

BRAY U-13 HURLERS PROVE COM­PET­I­TIVE HOSTS

While there were many Se­nior in­ter-county stars com­pet­ing on the main kick­ing pitch, there was no short­age of un­der­age stars com­pet­ing in the Le­in­ster U-13 hurl­ing com­pe­ti­tion.

Bray Em­mets U-13 hurlers cer­tainly demon­strated heart, determination and no short­age of skill as they host- ed the Le­in­ster Feile Hurl­ing com­pe­ti­tion at Old Conna.

Run in par­al­lel with the MBNA Kick Fada, a large crowd milled around ex­pec­tantly won­der­ing how Bray would cope in a group con­tain­ing Mount Sion (Water­ford), Drum­cullen (Of­faly) and Naas (Kil­dare).

First up was Naas who pro­vided lively op­po­si­tion. Bray over­came a slow start to lift the tempo and pull off a blis­ter­ing sec­ond-half per­for­mance to win this game.

Mount Sion were next up and al­though tra­di­tion favoured the fa­mous Water­ford team, the lo­cal lads didn’t read the script and tore in to the vis­i­tors from the throw-in. A hugely com­pet­i­tive dis­play saw Bray come nar­rowly on top. Drum­cullen was the last test in this group. A test passed with fly­ing colours. The Bray hurlers were en­joy­ing the day as they had the op­por­tu­nity to test their skills against new op­po­si­tion. With three wins out of three, Bray qual­i­fied to play Port­laoise who were win­ners of the sec­ond group. This group was also played at Old Conna. This group com­prised Naomh Eanna (Wex­ford), O’Dono­van Rossa (Antrim), Port Laoise (Laois), Thomas­town (Kilkenny).

Port­laoise proved to be de­serv­ing win­ners as a firsthalf per­for­mance put in­tense pres­sure on the young Bray team. How­ever, credit must go to the en­tire panel for the fight­ing spirit they dis­played in the sec­ond­half.

Thanks to all who con­trib­uted in or­gan­is­ing a very well run U-13 Feile Com­pe­ti­tion.

MBNA KICK FADA HURL­ING SKILLS COM­PE­TI­TION

One of the at­trac­tions at the Kick Fada was the Hurl­ing Skills Com­pe­ti­tion. This event was de­signed by Kilkenny leg­end John Hen­der­son. It pit­ted the hurlers head to head on the skill board and then free -ak­ing. How ironic that it came down a Kilkenny-Water­ford fi­nal as Michael Don­nelly from Thomas­town in Kilkenny took on Mark Flan­na­gan from Mount Sion in Water­ford. His­tory re­peated it­self as Kilkenny won through, with an im­pres­sive Michael Don­nelly point­ing all ten frees in the fi­nal. Michael re­ceived his medal from RTE Leg­end Mícheál Ó Muirc­heartaigh.

ACADEMY MBNA KICK FADA

This event was a very ex­cit­ing one for the chil­dren. The Un­der-7s com­ing down to a three way kick off. Well done to the fi­nal­ists Rory Lambe, David Maloney and Gavin O’Shea. There will be a lot of prac­tic­ing for next year. In the Un­der-8s we had a clear win­ner with Dar­ragh Rochford re­tain­ing his ti­tle from last year.

ACADEMY

This Satur­day, Septem­ber 20, nor­mal prac­tice re­sumes with train­ing from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. We will con­tinue en­rolling for the next two weeks so for all new play­ers come on down and give it a go. sage it con­veys (viz.) a facile win for the Grey­stones girls. Ask any of the Éire Óg sup­port­ers who com­plained of dry mouths and pal­pi­tat­ing hearts as they willed the hands of the ref­eree’s watch to ig­nore the struc­tures of Green­wich and speed up on their jour­ney to the their full-time align­ment. Fur­ther it should be pointed out that in ladies foot­ball score dif­fer­ences of this mag­ni­tude oc­cur fre­quently in games and that they do not nec­es­sar­ily carry the same im­pli­ca­tions of fore­gone con­clu­sions as they might in the men’s game. In ladies foot­ball the goal-point re­la­tion­ship is more akin to that in hurl­ing and a big lead can be wiped out quickly. Balt­in­glass for­wards were well ca­pa­ble of do­ing just that if their team was al­lowed to be in the as­cen­dant for even a short pe­riod - the last ten min­utes of the first-half at­test to this.

As one searches for the ap­pro­pri­ate words with which to de­pict the match - the joy it oc­ca­sioned, the at­mos­phere of sport­ing bonne fem­mie and bon hom­mie (one can­not ac­cuse th­ese note of even a soup­con of po­lit­i­cal in­cor­rect­ness) it en­gen­dered and the après match fes­tiv­i­ties - phrases from the lyrics ‘There is no busi­ness like show busi­ness’, kept ob­trud­ing into one’s con­scious­ness e.g. ‘ev­ery­thing about it was ap­peal­ing, where else would you have got that happy feel­ing?’ etc.

A ‘pet’ day, lá idir dhá shíon (a day be­tween two weathers) the rare sight - dur­ing this sea­son chrono­log­i­cally la­belled sum­mer - of bare-armed spec­ta­tors soak­ing up the sun, the rich green of the man­i­cured sward, the stir­ring mu­sic of the multi-na­tional pipe band (an ideal set­ting for a spec­ta­cle of sport­ing en­deav­our). All credit to the girls of both teams for hav­ing pro­vided same with flair and vigour.

A scene need­ing only for its com­ple­tion a spec­ta­cle of sport­ing en­deav­our. All credit to the girls of both teams for hav­ing pro­vided same with flair and vigour.

Balt­in­glass reg­is­tered the open­ing score but there­after for about 17 min­utes the ball scarcely left their half of the field. Éire Óg built up a 1-5 to 0-1 lead and a facile win seemed in prospect. But as Shake­speare warned ‘they that are mighty have many blasts to shake them; when they fall they dash them­selves to pieces’. And so it hap­pened. A rein­vig­o­ra­tion of the Balt­in­glass ef­fort, a few han­dling er­rors on the part of Éire Óg and a sud­den loss of con­fi­dence had our ladies floun­der­ing and a point in ar­rears at the half-time whis­tle. One does not know whether it was as the re­sult of the words of their sports’ psy­chol­o­gist or the in­crease in the vol­ume of vo­cal sup­port from the lately ar­rived, prac­tice­match de­layed, in­ter­me­di­ates which caused the turn­around but a dif­fer­ent Éire Óg ex­ited the dress­ing rooms af­ter the respite. They took the game to Balt­in­glass from the off and soon had them reel­ing with goals from Les­lie-Ann Long and Caoil­fhionn Deeney. Yet victory was not as­sumed; Balt­in­glass were down but not out and only ster­ling work from the backs and some fine goal-keep­ing from Ruth McEl­roy pre­vented them from get­ting those spirit-rais­ing scores. Victory was as­sured by two bril­liant goals, a solo ef­fort from player of the match Siob­hán O’Rior­dan and a vi­tal tou­chon by Les­lie-Ann of a ‘re­dun­dant’ net­wards-head­ing hand­pro­pelled ball from Caoil­fhionn Deeney.

The sec­ond pe­riod was an ex­em­plar of the dic­tum ‘at­tack is the best form of de­fence’. Our for­wards’ hunger for scores al­lowed the Balto de­fence few op­por­tu­ni­ties for those long pres­sure- re­liev­ing clear­ances. The cen­tral trio of Lorna and Becca Fus­cia­rdi and Ni­amh Kelly, even though ver­ti­cally chal­lenged in re­la­tion to their op­po­site num­bers, through their in­tel­li­gent read­ing of the game and a never-say-die per­sis­tence formed an al­most im­pen­e­tra­ble bar­rier to the trans­fer of ball be­tween the Balt­in­glass backs and for­wards. One of the Éire Óg backs sum­marised their cham­pi­onship odyssey thus: ‘The backs brought us to the fi­nal and the for­wards de­liv­ered on the day’.

JU­NIOR HURL­ING

In this, their first year of ex­is­tence, our Ju­nior hurlers have qual­i­fied for the last four in the cham­pi­onship by virtue of a 3-11 to 0-9 victory over Aughrim in Grey­stones. Well done lads! Aughrim had some fine hurlers and seemed to be com­pet­ing well with the lo­cals through­out the first half. So one was more than sur­prised at the in­ter­val score - 2-8 to 0-2 in Éire Óg’s favour. But then, one was reck­on­ing without the scor­ing econ­omy of Paul Sut­ton: half a chance and a raised flag is the out­come. His lan­guidly ex­e­cuted skills be­lie his lethal­ness in front of goals; his last goal in the ac­cu­racy of his tim­ing and in the beauty of his de­liv­ery would be at home in the most vaunted of sport­ing are­nas. Young Mark Do­ran was very ef­fec­tive and showed a skill and brav­ery way be­yond his years. Micheal Walsh at cen­tre-back, an­other mi­nor, com­peted very well and en­hanced his per­for­mance with 0-7 from frees. One was struck by the ab­sence of some prom­i­nent names from the team-sheet and won­dered was this re­flec­tive of an a la carte com­mit­ment or were there more sub­stan­tial rea­sons. The team was re­splen­dent in its new jer­seys. A sin­cere ‘Go raibh maith agat’ to Don­n­cha Ó Cróinín of Traslan who is the gen­er­ous spon­sor.

COMGHAIRD­EACHAS

Con­grat­u­la­tions to David O’Neill who will tie the knot with Stephanie Nix this week­end in Bos­ton. David played with the club at un­der­age and, they tell me, that he keeps him­self au fait with club af­fairs through the web­site. A pro­pos, be­cause prob­lems to the site, some of the club info ap­pears on www.my­lo­cal­news.ie (last week the ‘my’ was not in­cluded in the ad­dress). Saol fada sona ag David and Stephanie and bean­nacht Dé or­thu. pitch that I know of that will stand the test of time and el­e­ments as well. And then there is that other nat­u­ral re­source, our mem­bers, who once again did a ster­ling job in show­cas­ing the club. From car park­ing at­ten­dants to um­pires there was no short­age of help­ing hands, while Ciaran Martin cer­tainly de­serves a spe­cial men­tion for the ca­ter­ing.

On the field, the ‘co-op’ showed that they can hurl as well as play foot­ball, multi-task­ing if you will. That is of course our Un­der-13 hurlers who did a great job rep­re­sent­ing them­selves, and the coach­ing that has been put into them over the last few years. Two wins out of four was a good re­turn on a day when the gen­eral skill lev­els from the eight teams on show was of a very high stan­dard. Der­mot O’Brien, Shane Mol­loy, Eoin Keddy, Lee Dut­ton and Eoin O’Brien are all part of a rich vein of tal­ent that spans around three age groups and needs to be nur­tured for the fu­ture.

The club would like to ex­tend its sym­pa­thies to the Fo­ley fam­ily fol­low­ing the re­cent death of Dick Fo­ley of the Main Street. Dick was a cor­ner­for­ward on the 1954 Se­nior Cham­pi­onship winning team.

There wasn’t much action on the camogie fields this week - the only team out were the Un­der 12 Bs who played a most en­joy­able game against vis­i­tors Bal­li­na­cor. Victory went to Bal­li­na­cor on this oc­ca­sion.

The Un­der-16s have com­pleted their pro­gramme of games for 2008 - League, Cham­pi­onship and Shield. Well done to them. They are al­ready looking for­ward to the 2009 sea­son when all this year’s play­ers will be el­i­gi­ble for this grade again. Knockananna have con­ceded the League fix­ture to our Un­der-14s which leaves them with one re­main­ing League fix­ture against Aughrim next Mon­day. Their Shield starts at the end of the month. The Un­der-12A and B teams have also com­pleted their League and Cham­pi­onship sched­ules and their Shield will start to­wards the end of the month.

Sun­day was the All-Ire­land Fi­nal and we or­gan­ised our An­nual out­ing to Croke Park. In spite of the rain - where would we be without it? - over 50 mem­bers watched Cork re­gain the ti­tle and O’Duffy Cup in an ex­cit­ing game v. Gal­way. Thanks to all the adults who trav­elled and made the op­por­tu­nity avail­able to the play­ers. A great day was had by all as we wit­nessed an­other piece of his­tory as Kilkenny added the Un­der-21 Hurl­ing to their col­lec­tion and be­come the first win­ners of all four All-Ire­land Hurl­ing ti­tles in the same sea­son.

Its back to school for ev­ery­body and coach­ing re­sumes in St Brigid’s GNS this week.

Dur­ing our trip to Croke Park, we were de­lighted to meet some of the Un­der-14s from Mon­aghan and Ca­van and their men­tors with whom we spent last Week-end in Castle­blaney as we con­tinue to fi­nalise their re­turn visit to Kil­coole in the near fu­ture.

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