Hurling takes centre stage
NO REST for the wicked, or anyone foolish enough to try playing both hurling and football at the same level
Just seven days after finishing a hectic schedule on the football fields Kiltegan has to take on the champions Glenealy in the semi-final of the Senior Hurling Championship on Sunday.
The holders Glenealy will start favourites, that much goes without saying When they are at full strength they have more striking power than the rest of the teams put together. Jonathan O’Neill is still one of the best hurlers in the county and can beat any team on his own. The Glynn brothers, Leighton and Enan, Thomas Doyle, Alan Driver, the O’Neills and Trevor McGrath are all hurlers well above average.
Kiltegan will be no push over. They are on a high and even if they have got in no hurling training in months they could give a good account of themselves.
John Keogh, Jeffrey Bermingham, the Furlong brothers, Ray Kelly and Rory Finn are fine players but they will definitely be short on hurling practice.
The Manager Gavin Wynne is confident that his side will do well. ‘At least they will be fit and if we get the breaks anything could happen.‘
Michael Neary has Glenealy fully fired up and well prepared to defend their title. hurling is a game you can’t play from memory so the vote must go to Glenealy to advance to the final.
BILLY BYRNE CUP
Avondale and Bray Emmets meet in the semi-final of the Billy Byrne Cup as part of a double bill at Arklow on Sunday
This is really the losers group in the Senior Hurling Championship and is a competition worth winning.
Avondale, the traditional home of Hurling in Wicklow have been trying hard in the face of adversary this year and will certainly give this one their best shot. They have good hurlers in Shane McGrath, the Olohan brothers, Seamus O’Shaughnessy, Bernard Byrne, Paul Gahan and Shane Byrne.
Bray are an up and coming young team. They won the Minor Championship again this year and if they can keep the supply of young players coming through it can be only a matter of time before they make the senior break through.
With the experience of Eamon Furlong, Liam Kenny, Ronan O’Brien and Adrian Shanahan to back up the youth they must be fancied to win this one.
PHILLIP DOYLE JBFC FINAL
The big one on the football front is the final of the Junior ‘B’ Football Championship which is part on a double header at Arklow on Saturday
This one is wide open. It could come down to the experienced old heads on the An Tochar side against the young legs on the Newtown side.
Not that Newtown are lacking in experience either. Their full forward ‘Tich’ Healy was their top scorer in the semi-final last week, scoring 0-5 against a strong St Pats defence. Des Waters at midfield and Anto Duffy up front are other very experienced players
Experience carried Kiltegan to victory over younger teams in the Junior ‘A’ Championship this year and we are going for An Tochar, strictly on the score of experience.
NDI JCFC SEMI-FINALS
Kiltegan will be bidding to reach yet another final when their third team take on Kilbride in the semi-final of the ‘C’ Championship at Baltinglass on Friday Night.
Kiltegan have a nice blend of youth and experience on this team. Young players like Ray Kelly, James O’Brien and Colm O’Connor will be backed up by Brian Byrne, the Boland brothers and the ever green Nigal Byrne
Kilbride are going mostly for the youth and have very strong players in Seán Byrne and Niall Keogh, two of the great Blessington minor team; David Reddy, Stephen Ruis/Flynn, and Patrick Byrne are others to watch out for.
In the second semi-final Rathnew’s third team take on Stratford under lights on Saturday night.
Both clubs have manages to save a lot of talent for this grade and the winners of take beating in the final.
Rathnew were very impressive in their win over Avoca last week. while Stratford also have a nice blend of youth and experience. It will be close but Rathnew’s strength in depth may shade it.
PAT REID JHC
The Junior Hurling Championship is moving towards the concluding stages. Newcastle and Eire Óg meet in the second semi-final of the ‘A’ Championship in the second half of the double header at Aughrim on Sunday.
It is rare to see county players involved at this level but their will be quite a few on duty in this match.Newcastle will have the former St Patrick’s players like O’Briens and Connor’s while on the Eire Óg team will by Stephen (Chester) Kelly, if he survives the Shinty match against Scotland on Saturday, and Billy Cuddihy. The winners will take on Fergal Óg in the final. A hurling match not to be missed.
A double header in the B grade at Greystones on Saturday – Bray Emmets v Avondale and Kilmac/Enniskerry v v Glenealy.
Dunlavin and Arklow Rocks meet at Avondale on Sunday.
Matches also in the relegation play-offs
Terry Murphy of Newtown goes for a score during the Junior ‘B’ Football Championship semi-final replay against St. Patrick’s in Roundwood on Saturday.