Wicklow players in action for Ireland
GAELIC GAMES SHINTY-HURLING INTERNATIONALS
WICKLOW WERE well represented at the Hurling/Shinty internationals, held this year in Nowlan Park in Kilkenny.
Jeffrey Bermingham was receiving his fifth cap for Ireland, which is a record for a Wicklow player and may also be a national record.
He played a great game at corner-back and late in the day when Ireland were putting in a rally in a bid to save the day the Kiltegan ‘flyer’ was even up taking shots at goal.
Also on the panel was newcomer Stephen Kelly from Eire Og Greystones. ‘Chester’ was originally selected at No. 12 but in a late reshuffle he lost out on that spot to Seán Og O’Halpin. However, he did come in during the second-half and did quite well.
Ireland lost the game by a single point – 1-10 to 1-9 even after having more of the play. The main reason was that while Ireland got just the normal one point for sending over a free, line ball or ‘65 the Scotland team got two points. They of course play all ground striking and take their free shots in the same way.
Ireland led for most of the first-half but three fouls by the backs late on were punished with six points to put the visitors ahead by 0-8 to 0-7 at the break.
In recent years the Ireland team has been selected from Tier 2 or 3 counties but this time three players from the All-Ireland champions Kilkenny, Tommy Walsh, Eddie Brennan and Derek Lyng along with Cork’s Sean Og O’Halpi- en were added.
In all there were ten counties represented on the Senior team – Wicklow, Down, Meath, Sligo, Carlow, Armagh, Leitrim, Westmeath, Kilkenny and Cork.
The Ireland U-21 team won their match by 1-10 to 1-0. This match was played in Durrow in Laois and Wicklow again had two players on the panel. Ronal Keddy of Kilcoole was handed the No. 6 jersey and had a very good match on a dominant Ireland team. Eoin Mason of Bray Emmets was selected at No. 10 but did not start. However, he came on for the second-half, made his presence felt and scored one very good point
That team was drawn from 14 counties and was captained by John Rogers of Carlow – the Christy Ring Cup winners
that made up that panel were Wicklow, Down, Laois, Derry, Meath, Westmeath, Monaghan, Mayo, Antrim, Cavan, Kildare, Sligo, Carlow and Cork.
If Ireland were unlucky to lose the Senior match then it was nothing to the heart -break suffered by our camogie girls. They really played their hearts out, led for most of the way and were still two points clear at the end of the hour. Then two minutes into added time Scotland got a goal to win by 2-3 to 2-2.
The three Wicklow girls on the team from start to finish all played well. They were Leanne Liffley from Annacurra; Pamela Maher from Glenealy and Sinéad Byrne from Knockananna.
This team was drawn from only five counties – Wicklow, Monaghan, Tyrone, Cavan, and Mayo,
To put the icing on the cake from a Wicklow point of view two of the four teams that played in the mini-matches during the day at Nowlan Park were from the Garden County – Annacurra and Knockananna.
Annacurra team: Kayle Thompson; Sarah O’Neill; Sarah Liffley, Emily O’Reilly, Jamie O’Neill, Ellen Green, Marie O’Loughlin, Lola Cassedy, Eva Murray and Ann Marie Doyle.
Knockananna: Katie Faye, Anna Hedderman, Katie Gorman, Rachel Byrne, Aine O’Keeffe, Lorna Mallick, Ciara Byrne; Ciara Stokes, Lauvren Doyle; Emear Rose Kealy, Sarah Tallon, Ma Murphy, Yvonne Gilbert.
The other two teams playing in the minimatches were Laois and Carlow selections.
Wicklow members of the Ireland camogie-shinty team (from left): Sinead Byrne, Pamela Maher, Leanne Lifely.
Stephen Kelly and Jeffrey Bermingham.