All roads lead to Aughrim for county fi­nal day

Bray People - - Sport -

ALL ROADS lead to Aughrim on Sun­day for the show­piece of the foot­ball year.

East meets West in what prom­ises to be a great bat­tle. The mighty men from the cap­i­tal town takes on a lit­tle club perched at the gate­way to the West with a rep­u­ta­tion sec­ond to none.

Both are there strictly on merit af­ter com­ing the hard road through a test­ing League sec­tion and then through the knock­out stages. On pa­per, or any other way you care to look at it lit­tle sep­a­rates the sides.

At the end of the day the Mi­ley Cup will have found a new home – but will it be back on the shores of the Ir­ish Sea, or a lit­tle grey home in the West?

We can only wait and see. The only thing that can stop the party go­ing ahead is a draw, and that is one re­sult that fix­tures boss Mick O’Ha­gan won’t want to hap­pen

It prom­ises to be a great day at the old County Grounds. Grounds su­per­vi­sor Vic­tor O’Shaugh­nessy has the pitch looking its mag­nif­i­cent best this year. We will have the usual side shows, the pa­rade led by a Pipe Band, the he­roes of an­other gen­er­a­tion will be suitably re­mem­bered and hon­oured on the day, and Hugh Kenny will be or­gan­is­ing four un­der-10 min­i­matches dur­ing the in­ter­val of the Se­nior match.

The teams tak­ing part will be St Pa­tricks, Kil­te­gan, Bless­ing­ton, Bray Em­mets, Knockananna, Laragh, Cool­boy and Avoca

My only re­gret, and there are many more like me is that for se­cu­rity rea­sons (or so they tell us) the kids will no longer be al­lowed to march be­hind the band.

JOHN WALL MFC

The fi­nal of the Mi­nor Foot­ball Cham­pi­onship has to make the per­fect cur­tain-raiser.

Again this was a pair­ing that was never in real doubt. From the day they clashed in a first round match at Bless­ing­ton it was hard to see any­one touch­ing ei­ther team for class.

Bless­ing­ton are the hold­ers and for that rea­son alone may start slight favourites but on the field of play lit­tle sep­a­rates two fine sides. Both have height and strength in all the key po­si­tions – some­thing new in Wick­low foot­ball. They have skill and scor­ing power and pro­vided they get the right con­di­tions are ca­pa­ble of pro­duc­ing a real cracker.

Early com­ers to the County Grounds should be well re­warded.

THE JU­BILEE TEAM

Sun­day should be a great day for the Bless­ing­ton club. In ad­di­tion to their Mi­nors their Cham­pi­onship winning Se­nior team of 1983 will be re­ceiv­ing the Ju­bilee Awards. Many of that team that shocked a highly rated Balt­in­glass team in the fi­nal are still house­hold names in the county. The great Pat O’Toole who cap­tained the team from mid­field was mak­ing his own bit of his- tory. Six years ear­lier he was also the cap­tain when his na­tive Dunlavin beat St. Pa­trick’s in the fi­nal - and that has not hap­pened too of­ten

Then there was the Sar­gent broth­ers, Shay at full-back and Paddy; the Hen­nessy broth­ers Der­mot at mid­field and Ro­nan; big Pat Quinn, not quite the force he once was but still a mighty prob­lem for any de­fence at full-for­ward; there was Bob Booth­man, Martin and Ciarán Shan­non, Kevin Han­lon - all great foot­ballers.

The team that lined out that day was – John Fin­negan; Patsy Donoghue, Shay Sar­gent, Paddy Quinn; Pat (Leeky) Len­non, Martin Sar­gent, Bob Booth­man; Der­mot Hen­nessy, Pat O’Toole (Capt); Tom­mie Hen­nessy, Paddy Sar­gent, Kevin Han­lon; Ciarán Shan­non, Pat Quinn, Ro­nan Hen­nessy. The subs were Martin Sar­gent, Ray O’Don­nell, Peter Daly, a not so well known brother to Fergus Daly; Tom Hen­nessy, Barry Fin­negan, Andy Do­ran, Glen Walsh, the present Man­ager/Trainer of the Lacken team, Pat Bro­phy and Martin Hen­nessy. The Bless­ing­ton Club will hon­our that team at a ban­quet in the Ar­den­ode Ho­tel on Satur­day night.

AVON­DALE CEL­E­BRATE

The Se­nior hurl­ing cham­pi­ons of 1983 Avon­dale will be hon­oured on the day of the county hurl­ing fi­nal but the club had their own spe­cial func­tion to cel­e­brate that great victory on Satur­day.

Ja­cobs Well in Rath­drum was packed as the club hosted a great re-union where the mem­bers of a great team came to­gether, some of them for the first time in years.

That team brought a 14th ti­tle to the club, a to­tal that was only sur­passed in re­cent times by Carnew.

Guests at the func­tion in­cluded Andy and Ann O’Brien, Michael Mur­phy and Jackie Napier who was given the hon­our of in­tro­duc­ing the team.

Seán O’Brien was the cap­tain of the team while Dessie Hef­fer­nan, of Kilkenny fame was at cen­tre-for­ward. Other prom­i­nent names on the team were the O’Shaugh­nessy broth­ers, Jimmy and Vic­tor; the Doyle broth­ers, Owen, JJ and Pat, Pat and Micky Jor­dan, Liam McGraynor and Christy Mo­ran.

The team lined out as fol­lows: Jimmy Kelly; Joe Fox, Ton Lyng, Jimmy O’Shaugh­nessy; Vic­tor O’Shaugh­nessy, Seán O’Brien, John Joe Doyle; Paddy Shee­han, Owen Doyle; Pat Jor­dan, Dessie Hef­fer­nan, Christy Mo­ran; Mickey Jor­dan, Liam McGraynor and Sea­mus Busher. Subs. – Larry Kin­sella, Pat Doyle, Billy Byrne; Mick Kelly, PJ O’Dea, Pat Ho­gan and Tommy Busher.

MICK HA­GAN, THE CEL­E­BRA­TIONS – AND THE TIE

The ref­eree on that Septem­ber day in ’83 was Mick Ha­gan and the story goes that he went cel­e­brat­ing with both teams af­ter the match and was not heard of for a week.

They were hard times – or so they said. I was County Chair­man at the time and when Johnny Kelly was down in Aughrim the week be­fore the match to take pic­tures for the pro­gramme he took sep­a­rate shots of Ha­gan, the ref­eree and my­self - both wear­ing the same tie – some­thing that did not go un­no­ticed later.

The story they put out was that we had to pass the hat around but only got the price of one tie so we had to share it.

MICK MANGAN RIP

The death of Mick Mangan at his res­i­dence in Bray sad­dened his many friends through Wick­low.

Kerry born Mick came to live in Bray in 1945 and im­me­di­ately threw in his lot with the Bray Em­mets GAA Club. He played foot­ball, and even at one stage a bit of hurl­ing but it was as a Club Of­fi­cer that he be­come bet­ter known

He held many posts in the club, in­clud­ing Trea­surer and Chair­man and was Pres­i­dent up to the time of his death. At one stage in the lean times he was played, along with his three sons in a Ju­nior Hurl­ing Cham­pi­onship match.

He was also a fairly good hand­baller and won a few county ti­tles at the sport.

Mick was a char­ac­ter larger than life and his friend of many years Jackie Napier can tell many sto­ries about his ex­ploits, on and off the play­ing fields.

He saw good days with Bray Em­mets but he also bat­tled through the lean years and no-one was more pleased when the old club bat­tled back to re­claim its right­ful place amongst the top clubs in the county.

Mick died as he had lived – watch­ing a foot­ball match but sadly it was a tape of the All-Ire­land fi­nal where Ty­rone had beaten his beloved Kerry.

Dur­ing his re­cent ill­ness he was very proud to be vis­ited by fel­low Kerry man Mick O’Dwyer.

Mick was waked at home in his own house, sur­rounded by fam­ily and friends, with the fa­mous Bray Em­mets ban­ner of which he was so proud above his bed. His com­rades, old and new pro­vided a Guard of Hon­our at his fu­neral and car­ried the ban­ner. His cof­fin was car­ried by fam­ily and club mem­bers all the way from his home to St. Fer­gal’s Church while all ac­tiv­i­ties in the club at the week­end were can­celled as a mark of re­spect. To his sons Tony, Tom and Terry, his daugh­ter Eileen and his ex­tended fam­ily we ten­der our Sym­pa­thy.

JIM COL­LARD RIP

Our sym­pa­thy also to the Col­lard fam­ily of Rath­new on the death of their fa­ther Jim.

Jim was a good foot­baller in his day and was a cor­ner-for­ward on the first Wick­low team to reach a Le­in­ster Mi­nor foot­ball fi­nal in 1952 in the com­pany of other well known play­ers like Jimmy Hat­ton of Kil­coole, Peter Tim­mins, Balt­in­glass; Dan Harte of Ark­low Geraldines; Ge­orge De­laney, Kil­cole, Jim Hig­gins, Dunlavin and Tom Cooney, Glenealy.

He played in two county fi­nals for Rath­new, in 1953 and ’59 but they lost both to a pow­er­ful St. Pa’ts team of the day. His son Vin­cent won five SFC medals with Rath­new. Also to the Byrne Fam­ily of Rath­new on the death of their Mother. All Rath­new matches were can­celled at the week­end as a mark of re­spect to both fam­i­lies.

GET WELL

Our ‘get well’ wishes this week to Pat Doyle of Carnew who is fight­ing a long term ill­ness.

Pat, bet­ter known to every­one as ‘Horse’ was one of the great dual play­ers on the 1970s. He was the youngest mem­ber of the Carnew team that brought off the big dou­ble, some­thing that has not been achieved since, in 1973.

He played for club and county at all lev­els and was a big hand­ful for any de­fence.

That dou­ble in ’73 gave Pat his only Se­nior foot­ball cham­pi­onship medal but he was part of a Carnew team that won seven Se­nior hurl­ing cham­pi­onships be­tween ’ 73 and 1981.

He also won back to back Mi­nor foot­ball ti­tles in 1970 and ’71 and must have a record col­lec­tion of Mi­nor hurl­ing cham­pi­onships, at least a five in a row won be­tween 1967 and ’71.

Along with three broth­ers, Seán, Pat and Matt he back­boned many a Carnew and Wick­low team in a long play­ing ca­reer.

We hope to see Pat out and about again very soon.

SCOR NA NOG

County Scor Sec­re­tary John Tim­mins is on the warpath early this year – no doubt in a bid to whip up a bit more in­ter­est in our Scor and Scor na nOg com­pe­ti­tions.

Scor is the so­cial side of the GAA ac­tiv­i­ties and has few equals when it comes to en­ter­tain­ment dur­ing the long win­ter nights.

It is run on the same prin­ci­ple as the All-Ire­land Club Cham­pi­onships, start­ing with a bat­tle in each county the for the county ti­tles and go­ing on through the pro­vin­cial cham­pi­onships and right up to All-Ire­land level.

For the ones that do go all the way and win an All-Ire­land ti­tle the medal you get is ex­actly the same as the ones that Brian Dooher, Seán Ka­vanagh, ‘Cha’ Fitz­patrick or Henry Sh­ef­flin brought home.

There are eight sec­tions – Ceile and Set Danc­ing, In­stru­men­tal Mu­sic, Bal­lad Group, Solo Singing, Recita­tion, Ques­tion Time and Nov­elty Act. A club can en­ter teams in all or any sec­tion and un­der the new rules a club with only one act are still en­ti­tled to take part.

While Wick­low are still wait­ing for their first Se­nior All-Ire­land in ei­ther hurl­ing or foot­ball some of our clubs, notably Carnew and Ballymanus have All-Ire­land Scor medals locked away in their trea­sure chest.

John Tim­mins has his Scor na nOg fi­nals date set for Novem­ber 21 in the Brock­agh Cen­tre in Laragh and he is hop­ing that by giv­ing good ad­vance no­tice he will at­tract a big­ger en­try than last year

Ev­ery club has some­one that can sing a song or do a recita­tion; the more dif­fi­cult ones are Danc­ing or Nov­elty Act where you need a team.

SPE­CIAL CONGRESS

To add to the work­load on Andy O’Brien and his of­fi­cials they have to at­tend the Spe­cial Congress on Satur­day. Top of the agenda will be the de­bate on the re­port from the Hurl­ing De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee and the pro­pos­als for a to­tal re­vamp of the hurl­ing cham­pi­onships.

From re­ports we are hear­ing there will be big op­po­si­tion to the plan to bring Gal­way and Antrim into the Le­in­ster Cham­pi­onship, while at the same time ex­clud­ing teams like West­meath and Car­low.

Gal­way are op­posed to the idea, or at least split on the is­sue. Dublin have come out against it as well – in fact most coun­ties that have had their own de­bate ap­pear to be lin­ing up to join the NO camp. Nickey Bren­nan could have a fight on his hands.

Ted Kennedy of Carnew clears his lines as Bren­dan Doyle of Ballymanus at­tempts to make a block dur­ing the In­ter­me­di­ate foot­ball semi-fi­nal.

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