In­ter­me­di­ate fi­nal places up for grabs

PREVIEW A LOOK AHEAD TO THE LO­CAL G.A.A. ACTION

Bray People - - Sport - Peter KEOGH

MICK HA­GAN has a hec­tic pro­gramme of matches for the last week­end in Septem­ber.

Top of a good bill are the two semi-fi­nals of the In­ter­me­di­ate foot­ball cham­pi­onships, to be played at Aughrim on Sun­day.

An­nacurra, the only team to fin­ish on full points, take on Eire Og in the first match and straight away it should be said the this one is wide open.

An­nacurra have a hard work­ing de­fence built around county star Alan Byrne; the re­turn of an­other for­mer county player Ciarán Shan­non has bol­stered up their mid­field while the have scor­ing for­wards in Clive Ho­ran, Frank Clune, Partick Moules and Alan Ho­ran. Their trainer is Paddy Mol­loy.

Eire Og have so far promised more than they de­liv­ered and just scraped through on a nar­row score dif­fer­ence.

How­ever, they have a lot of tal­ented play­ers on their books at the mo­ment. They signed up a top class de­fender - Alan Costello who won the club cham­pi­onship with St. Vin­cent’s last year. James Leonard and Daniel English form a good enough mid­field pair­ing but they will do well to get an even break in that area

Up front new county ‘find’ Dar­ren Hay­den will be their big hope but the ever re­li­able Johnny Barry is likely to be their top scorer

They are trained by for­mer Dublin All-Ire­land winning cap­tain Seán Do­herty, surely one of the best Wick­low born play­ers to cap­tain an All-Ire­land winning team

I have a hunch that Eire Og could spring a sur­prise.

Carnew take on Ballymanus in the sec­ond match and no prizes for guess­ing who the favourites for this one will be.

From the start of the year man­ager Robert Doyle has Carnew fly­ing. They are play­ing in Divi­sion 1 of the SFL and by now have beaten most Se­nior teams in the county.

They dropped only one point in the cham­pi­onship and that was to Dunlavin but then bounced right back with a good win over Kil­bride.

Most peo­ple still con­sider Ballymanus most un­lucky to lose to Strat­ford on a re­play in last year’s fi­nal. How­ever in­jury and re­tire­ments hit them hard this year and they strug­gled in the early stages.

How­ever, af­ter los­ing to An­nacurra in their first match they came back strongly to beat Bray Em­mets, Knockananna, and Val­ley­mount be­fore knock­ing out fan­cied Avon­dale in ther fi­nal match. Their trainer is Paudie Byrne.

They have good young tal­ent in county player Seánie O’Neill, county Mi­nors Mark Kenny and Kevin Byrne, the Sta­ple­ton broth­ers and vet­eran de­fender Lorcan Byrne.

Carnew are pow­ered by the Do­ran broth­ers, the Collins broth­ers, the O’Sul­li­vans, vet­eran Don Hy­land and two great young play­ers in Seánie Kin­sella and Brian Os­borne. The re­turn of Gra­ham Keogh af­ter in­jury has boosted their chances

They must get the vote to make the fi­nal.

ROAD­STONE JAFC

The two semi-fi­nals of the Ju­nior A foot­ball cham­pi­onship are listed for Ark­low on Sun­day.

The first match is be­tween New­cas­tle and Rath­new. With New­cas­tle trained by for­mer Rath­new star Trevor Doyle this one is more than just a lo­cal derby.

New­cas­tle have been knock­ing at the door for a while and have pulled to­gether a very use­ful team. From Ciarán Doyle at full-back, Niall Yoe­man, Adam Mer­ry­man and William Sut­ton at mid­field, county Mi­nor Rob­bie O’Gara, John Paul Kelly and Paddy Ka­vanagh they have strength in ev­ery line.

Rath­new may have stripped this team a lit­tle to bol­ster the Se­nior side but they still have a strong side. For­mer Se­nior stars De­clan Byrne, Mark Cof­fey and Don Doyle bring a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence to the team

Form in this one says New­cas­tle; tra­di­tion points to a Rath­new win. I go for New­cas­tle but it will be tight and noone can rule out Rath­new in any grade.

Kil­te­gan take on Bal­li­na­cor in the sec­ond semi-fi­nal. The Glen­malure side, trained by Kevin Byrne, have an abun­dance of good young play­ers and are more than due a break through.

They took some time to set­tle this year but when they got go­ing they turned in some high class per­for­mances and many of their sup­port­ers be­lieve that the best is still to come.

Paddy Byrne, Chris Kennedy, Calum Row­den, Ger Byrne and James Byrne have all been on Wick­low Mi­nor teams and are very promis­ing play­ers. The Dowl­ing broth­ers and Paul Cullen bring the class while Tony Byrne, Colin Byrne and De­clan Green adds in the ex­pe­ri­ence.

Kil­te­gan have had an amaz­ing run in the cham­pi­onship and are at this stage the only un­beaten team out of the twelve. They have a very tight de­fence built around John Byrne and De­nis Hayes; a good mid­field in Blaine Har­mon and Adrian Keogh but they lack scor­ing for­wards and of­ten have to de­pend on Keith Fur­long to see them thtrough. Man­ager Ciarán O’Toole won’t hear of de­feat.

That edge in abil­ity to take scores in the end could be the dif­fer­ence be­tween the sides and see Bal­li­na­cor could go

through.

PHILLIP DOYLE JBFC

The first semi-fi­nal of the Ju­nior B foot­ball cham­pi­onship be­tween An Tochar and Ti­na­hely takes place at Ark­low on Satur­day.

Both sides are laced with play­ers of great ex­pe­ri­ence. An Tochar have a num­ber of the team that won them their first Se­nior cham­pi­onship back in 1995 and may just about pull through

NDI JCFC

A num­ber of games, most of them just un­pre­dictable in the Ju­nior C foot­ball cham­pi­onship Avoca, trained by Ed­die Leonard should beat Rath­new’s third team at Ark­low.

In a dou­ble-header at Balt­in­glass, Strat­ford take on Shil­le­lagh and Kil­bride take on Ti­na­hely’s third team

WHIT­TLE FC

Carnew and Hol­ly­wood meet in the semi-fi­nal of Divi­sion 4 of the SFL at Balt­in­glass on Satur­day evening.

DOO­LEY POYN­TON SHC

The Glenealy v. Bray Em­mets match in the SHC first ap­peared in a fix­ture list as far back as the of May but has not yet been played.

Mick Ha­gan is hav­ing an­other go at get­ting it played at Avon­dale on Sun­day even where Glenealy will win with some­thing to spare.

Wayne Doyle of St. Pat’s is chased by Bray’s Seán Pren­der­gast dur­ing the Mi­nor foot­ball cham­pi­onship semi-fi­nal.

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