Ty­rone’s win brings hope to other coun­ties

Bray People - - Sport -

ALL-IRE­LAND fi­nal day is al­ways some­thing spe­cial in the G.A.A. year. In the old days it was the last big oc­ca­sion of the year.

The dark days of win­ter were set­ting in and there was noth­ing much else to look for­ward to so it was very im­por­tant that we get a good fi­nal to send every­one home with some­thing to re­mem­ber and talk­ing points to fill the long win­ter night by the fire side.

It was also the only day of the year when Gaels from ev­ery county in Ire­land and from ever unit of the As­so­ci­a­tion from over­seas would come to­gether in large num­bers un­der the one roof to wit­ness the show­piece of the year.

Times may have changed. Few coun­ties now get their fi­nals played be­fore the end of Septem­ber and then we have the very pop­u­lar club cham­pi­onships. So al­though we may be al­most into Oc­to­ber there is still a lot of action to come.

Any­way the two fi­nals on Sun­day was ev­ery bit as good as the pun­dits were pre­dict­ing. A great Mi­nor fi­nal to whet the ap­petite for the big one. This one had most things you ex­pect from a fi­nal – a rapid ex­change of scores from the start, never more than a point or two in it, the re­sult in doubt right up to the fi­nal min­utes.

Then we had Dar­ragh Ó Sé to give a demon­stra­tion, lest we had for­got­ten, of what the old style catch and kick game was like and Brian Dooher to or­gras­trate the new all-action game so pop­u­lar in Ul­ster.

Out­side of Kerry the re­sult was well re­cieved and must have brought hope to a num­ber of other coun­ties. Down, who beat Ty­rone in the first round of cham­pi­onship must we won­der­ing where they went wrong.

How­ever, the county that should get the great­est boost of all must surely be Wex­ford. They put it up to Ty­rone in the semi-fi­nal just as much as Kerry did in the fi­nal. They will be tar­get­ing at least a Le­in­ster Cham­pi­onship next year.


Next big one up for the home fans is the Se­nior Foot­ball Cham­pi­onship fi­nal be­tween St. Pa­trick’s and Kil­te­gan. The sides have met twice be­fore in fi­nals – 1986 when Seán O’Toole steered Kil­te­gan to victory over the hot favourites of the day and again in 2006 when Gail Dunne up­set the form book by tak­ing the Mi­ley Cup back to Wick­low town.

Now two for­mer pupils of Gail, Casey O’Brien and Gavin Wynne are the men who shoul­der the heavy re­spon­si­bil­ity on man­ager­ship. In­ci­den­tally Gavin was best man at Gail’s wed­ding while Casey was the grooms­man.

Both man­agers ex­pect to be pick­ing from full strength pan­els and have lit­tle or no in­jury wor­ries.

Mean­while, the sup­port­ers of the teams are (lit­er­ally) pin­ning their colours to the mast. The St. Pa­trick’s fans are paint­ing Wick­low town blue and white. The flags, buntings and ban­ners are ev­ery­where. The old County Town was never looking bet­ter and to put the ic­ing on the cake the book­ies have them favourites to take the ti­tle at 4/6

In Kil­te­gan they have an even greater splash of colour. The rea­son why they have four colours in their flag is sim­ple. The of­fi­cial name of the club is St. Te­gan’s and is a com­bi­na­tion of two small vil­lages, Rath­dan­gan and Kil­te­gan

The green and gold is the old colours of Rath­dan­gan, so proudly car­ried to victory in County Cham­pi­onship fi­nals in 1930 and again in 1936.

The red and white are the first colours of the new Kil­te­gan club founded by Brian Gra­ham and Peter Whe­lan in 1964.


A hec­tic fin­ish to the League sec­tion of the In­ter­me­di­ate Foot­ball cham­pi­onship.

With just one round of matches to go three of the four qual­i­fy­ing places were filled but who would get that last place ?

Four of the six teams in­volved in the last three matches – Aughrim, Dunlavin, Eire Og and Kil­bride were still in the run­ning. In the end for­tune favoured Seán Do­herty’s side from Grey­stones and they just slipped in un­der the wire on score dif­fer­ence.

Most dis­ap­pointed team had to be Dunlavin who were the ones with des­tiny in their own hands but let it slip when they lost to Aughrim. Un­luck­i­est team had to be Aughrim who won their match but did not get enough scores on the board to take them to the top of the chart.

Kil­bride re­ally could have no com­plaints. They needed to beat Carnew well to be in the run­ning and that was never on. They leaked goals at one end and missed chances, in­clud­ing frees at the other. Fer­gal Donoghue gam­bled on a new de­fen­sive set up with Diar­muid Haugh­ian at cen­tre half back and it did not work and the Lif­feysiders are now left to con­test the rel­e­ga­tion play-offs.

The semi-fi­nal pair­ings are Carnew v. Ballymanus and An­nacurra v. Eire Og and both will be played at Aughrim on Sun­day.


Con­grat­u­la­tions to Cu­mann na mBun­scol on the launch of their Fix­tures and In­for­ma­tion Book­let for 08/09.

Seventy pages chock full of all the re­sults over the past year and all the ac­tiv­i­ties planed for the sea­son ahead

An­other fine pub­li­ca­tion with action pic­tures on al­most ev­ery page and well up to the stan­dard of award win­ners of re­cent years. This one will cer­tainly be there or there­abouts again this year

Well done to hy­per ac­tive PRO Ciarán Byrne who had Wick­low up with the best in Le­in­ster in this im­por­tant field.


Fol­low­ing a meet­ing in Dunlavin last week Tommy Bren­nan and Gemma Han­lon have re­leased de­tails of their planned pro­gramme of events for schools in West Wick­low in the com­ing months.

In com­mon with the gen­eral trend they have gone away from Leagues or com­pet­i­tive games and are in­stead or­gan­is­ing a se­ries of one day non­com­pet­i­tive events where the em­pha­sis will be on par­tic­i­pa­tion, en­joy­ment and skill de­vel­op­ment..

In the hurl­ing and foot­ball events it its ex­pected to have 10-a-side teams but this is sub­ject to change based on the num­bers that at­tend on the day.

Schools will be di­vided into two cat­e­gories - those with over 100 stu­dents and those with un­der that num­ber

The action will start in Wed­nes­day, Oc­to­ber 1 with Boys Foot­ball.

Venue 1 (over 100) Bless­ing­ton. Of­fi­cer in charge – Pat Sheri­dan; Venue 2 (Un­der 100) – Strat­ford - Mary O’Ke­effe.

Wed­nes­day, Oc­to­ber 8, Girls Foot­ball - Venue 1 - Dunlavin - Tommy Bren­nan; Venue 2 - Lacken - Caro­line Finn

Tues­day Oc­to­ber 14 – Cross Coun­try – Venue 1 Val­ley­mount Ged Doyle.

Wed­nes­day, Oc­to­ber 22 - Hurl­ing - Venue - Dunlavin Michael Mo­ran.

Wed­nes­day Novem­ber 12 - Boys Bas­ket Ball – Venue – Dunlavin Tommy Bren­nan.

Wed­nes­day, Novem­ber 19 - Girls Bas­ket­ball – Venue – Donard Gemma Han­lon.


The death of Eu­gene Doyle of Dunlavin caused wide­spread grief in Wick­low and ad­join­ing coun­ties.

While he was bet­ter known in re­cent years as a pop­u­lar auc­tion­eer with the fam­ily firm of JP and M. Doyle he was equally well known in his youth as a mem­ber of the great Donard club of his time

Eu­gene was the youngest of eight broth­ers from Bal­ly­money, all of whom were ac­tive mem­bers of the Donard GAA Club

The one re­main­ing mem­ber of the broth­ers in Ned, the man who cap­tained Donard to the last of their six Se­nior Foot­ball Cham­pi­onships in 1957

We ex­tend our sym­pa­thy to his be­reaved fam­ily.


Our sym­pa­thy also to well known-ref­eree Pat Kelle­her of Ark­low on the tragic death of his brother in a farm ac­ci­dent in Cork at the week­end.


This we are re­turn­ing to the sub­ject of the group team again. The rea­son is that over a sum­mer months at­tend­ing Ju­nior foot­ball matches I have been ap­proached on a num­ber of oc­ca­sions by some fol­low­ers of foot­ball in Wick­low who would point out a good dis­play by a par­tic­u­lar player and say ‘why is he not get­ting a trial for the county team?’.

A fair enough ques­tion but the truth is that in re­cent years, in the days of Hugh Kenny and even more so since Mick O’Dwyer has come to Wick­low quite a num­ber of play­ers from Ju­nior and In­ter­me­di­ate clubs have been of­fered tri­als.

A num­ber of them took up the chal­lenge and we did have some suc­cess­ful ones, notably Alan Byrne of An­nacurra, Billy Nor­man and Dar­ren Hay­den of Eire Og, and Seánie O’Neill and Paddy Byrne of Ballymanus.

A num­ber of oth­ers like Pat Phibbs of Lacken, Stephen King of En­niskerry, Brian Flynn of Val­ley­mount and Mark Kelly, Pa­trick Dono­hue and Ciarán Jones of Kil­bride all got tri­als un­der Mick O’Dwyer. Kevin O’Brien also of­fered a num­ber of Ju­nior play­ers a chance to join his county Ju­nior team, but with only lim­ited suc­cess.

Re­ally when you think about it what you are ask­ing a lot of a player to take two gi­ant steps at the same time – come up from Ju­nior the Se­nior foot­ball and from club to county foot­ball at the same time.

That is where the Kerry sys­tem of the Group, District, or Divi­sional teams comes in.

I know it has been tried many times be­fore in Wick­low, but without suc­cess.

Back in the for­ties and early fifties the four dis­tricts played each other an­nu­ally in a sort of tour­na­ment which was quite pop­u­lar and prob­a­bly helped in field­ing good Ju­nior teams, which Wick­low did have quite of­ten then.

When the last ma­jor re-vamp of the Se­nior cham­pi­onship was un­der­taken some years back four group teams were pulled in to re­place four Se­nior teams that were phased out. With the ex­cep­tion of a de­cent ef­fort put in by Liam McGraynor in the East District it sim­ply did not work.

The main rea­son was that the clubs sim­ply did not buy into the sys­tem – or if they did they were not pre­pared to put in the ef­fort and the man­power to make it a suc­cess.

The sys­tem, as planned at the time had two great ad­van­tages – first it of­fered EV­ERY player in the county, re­gard­less of what club he came from the op­por­tu­nity to play Se­nior foot­ball – pro­vided he could prove that he had what it takes.

The sec­ond ad­van­tage was that it would be a good train­ing and re­cruit­ment ground for our county teams, be they Se­nior or Ju­nior.

Is the fact that it has failed in the past a good enough rea­son for not try­ing it again?.

It sim­ply has to be worth an­other try. This time per­haps the young play­ers could do some­thing to help them­selves.

If you are a mem­ber of a small Ju­nior club and you would love to wear the Blue and Gold of Wick­low, while at the same re­main­ing loyal to your own club this could be your chance.

Make your views known within your club and en­cour­age them to do some­thing to give you Se­nior foot­ball through this method. The train­ing and ex­pe­ri­ence you will gain will also ben­e­fit your own club as well.

It would be a bet­ter way than just get­ting a trial for Micko’s panel and then find­ing out that the dou­ble step was more than you could han­dle at the one time.


Balt­in­glass were one of the big name teams com­pet­ing in the All-Ire­land ‘Sev­ens’ in Kil­macud on Satur­day.

They lost their first match to Tuam Stars from Gal­way by a two-point mar­gin but then bounced back to beat Castle­blaney Faughs of Mon­aghan by twelve points.

In the de­cid­ing match in the group they lost by a sin­gle point to Long­ford side Al­ley­lara

Ac­cord­ing the Club Chair­man Con Mur­phy they had a great day out and en­joyed the ex­pe­ri­ence.

Kil­bride took part in the Ju­nior sec­tion at the St. Judes Club. Club Sec­re­tary Diar­muid Haugh­ian told me the lads were to­tally wrecked af­ter a hard match against Carnew in the Cham­pi­onship on Fri­day night and were un­able to lift their game. A team from Achill Is­land won their group.

Ty­rone man­ager Mickey Harte lifts the Sam Maguire Cup.

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