Hurl­ing takes cen­tre stage

Bray People - - Bray Sport -

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.

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