Game of hurling was the real winner
THE GAME of hurling was the real winner in Aughrim on Sunday, and it ain’t over yet.
A county final played with pride and passion and a fair level of skill.
If anyone was cheering louder than the rest at the end it had to be Leighton Glynn. He will be back in time for the replay.
Jonathan O’Neill’s line ball from near the 65 metre line had to be the best in its class that Aughrim regulars have witnessed but then most of the free-taking by both ‘Bosco’ and Don Hyland was exceptional.
The attendance was disappointing to say the least but the doubts about the game going ahead did not help.
The replay, which is fixed for Saturday, November 8, will give the stay at home fans a second chance to see what should be another cracker.
THE BILLY BYRNE CUP
The only team going home to celebrate on Sunday night was Arklow Rock Parnells. The once mighty ‘Rocks won the last of their six Senior Hurling Championships in 1985 and since then the honours have been thin enough on the ground. They have been working very hard this year and this was just reward for their efforts.
Bray Emmets were unlucky; the date caught them unprepared and they were a bit below strength but all the indications are that the good days are all ahead.
THE TONY FORRISTAL CUP
It was a nice to honour the Tony Forristal Cup winning team at halftime in the big game. Ths great U-14 team was led by the captain Diarmuid Masterson while the rest of the panel was – Pierce Sweeney, Cian O’Byrne, Jim Doyle, Enda Molloy, Luke Moloney, Muiris Flynn, Cathal O Dulachain (Bray Emmets); Stephen Murphy, John Walsh, Daniel Nolan, Wayne Kinsella, Ciarán Mulhall (Carnew); Jamie Byrne, Emmet Byrne, Aaron Nugent, Conor Linnane, James Manley, Daniel Staunton (Glenealy); Paul Murray, Eoin Coogan (Michael Dwyers); Kevin Kyrne, James Smullen (Eire Og); Eoin Keddy (Kilcoole), and Peter Quigley (Avondale).
The mentors were – MA O’Neill, James Doran, Chris Masterson, Nigel Manley and Michael Neary.
THE JUBILEE TEAM
Avondale were the team marching proudly marching behind the band to receive the Arklow Bay Hotel trophies from the County Chairman Andy O’Brien at Aughrim on Sunday. A great team, led by a remarkable man Seán O’Brien won the last of Avondale’s 14 Senior Championships in 1983
Just to jog the memories we will give you the team – Jimmy Kelly; Joe Fox, Tom Lyng, Jimmy O’Shaughnessy; Victor O’Shaughnessy, Seán O’Brien (Capt), John Joe Doyle; Paddy Sheehan, Owen Doyle; Pat Jordan, Dessie Heffernan, Christy Moran; Micky Jordan, Liam McGraynor, Seamus Busher. Subs. – Larry Kinsella; Billy Byrne, Pat Doyle RIP; Mick Kelly, PJ O’Dea, Pat Hogan, Tommy Butler.
And for the record they beat Kilcoole in the final – 3-11 to 1-9.
And before we close the books on Aughrim on Sunday one man we must mention is the sponsor of that Jubilee event Brian Brennan of Brennan Hotels. Brian puts in a huge amount of time, work and money into the promotion of Gaelic games in Wicklow. This remarkable man does not forget young or old. He sponsors the Juveniles in both clubs in Arklow; the Minor and U-21 county football teams and the Jubilee presentations in both codes. He is truly one of Wicklow’s greatest supporters.
BRIAN AND SAM ARE COMING
We heard on the grapevine that a certain Tyrone veterinary surgeon who answers to the name of Brian will be dropping in to see his friend Jack Boothman in Blessington on Tuesday the 11th. It just happened that this fellow, Brian, when he is not tending to the welfare of the cattle and sheep in his native county gets himself involved in an ancient brand of football now quite popular in that particular area. He has recently found himself a new friend by the name of Sam and he will be bringing him along to meet the good people of Blessington and West Wicklow.
Now this ‘Sam’ chap is a bit fussy about the company he keeps so meeting up with him is by appointment only. For more information ring the man himself Jack Boothman.
PASCHAL DEERING RIP
The death of Paschal Deering last week was deeply mourned throughout Wicklow and far beyond.
While Paschal was a man of many parts, involved in the political, business and sporting life of his commu- nity and county nowhere was his passing more deeply mourned than within the Gaelic Athletic Association.
While he was a follower of all sport and was deeply involved in rugby and golf it was in Gaelic Football that he made his mark and that game remained his greatest love right up to the end. Even on his good days throughout his recent illness he was a regular attender at Mick O’Dwyer’s training sessions in Aughrim and other venues.
One of his fondest memories was his involvement in the Dublin Wicklow-mens Cup – now the oldest trophy still played for in the county. That cup was first played for in 1950 and Dunlavin and Newtown met in the final. On that day in Ashford a young stripling, just turned 16, his mop of red hair blowing in the breeze caught the eye of everyone, friend and foe. While Newtown won the match the Dunlavin midfielder gave such a display that the organiser of the competition, the late Joe Dunne of Newtown took the then unusual step of naming him ‘man of the match’ and presented him with the match ball.
That match was also the first Wicklow final ever filmed in full and by some unusual circumstances Paschal became the owner of that film in recent years, and on rare occasions showed it for his friends and former team members.
Paschal was the centre-forward on the Wicklow team that played Meath in Croke Park on what was to become known as the day of the long count. Wicklow were leading at the end of the hour and deep into injury-time but the referee, Bill Delaney of Laois, another of the football immortals, played an extra nine minutes. That great Meath team won in the end and to rub salt into Wicklow wounds went on to take their second All-Ireland title.
Paschal had many more great days on the playing fields but his football career with Wicklow was cut somewhat short by the fact that he emigrated, first to England and later Australia.
During his stay down under he had the unusual distinction of refereeing a match between a touring Kerry team and an Aussie Rules team. No compromise rules in those but his son Mark, in his brilliant tribute to his father from the altar in Dunlavin told us that Paschal probably made up the rules as he went along.
The great Mick O’Dwyer was playing in that match and the occasion was recalled recently when Paschal presented Micko with the oval match ball in memory of that day.
Paschal met and married the love of his life Una Mahon of Valleymount and that may have accounted for the fact that he played for the Lakeside club for a time.
On his return from Australia Paschal took over as trainer of the Dunlavin Senior team and brought them to a County Final in 1972.
A huge crowd turned out at his removal to the local church in Dunlavin on Thursday night and again at his funeral on Friday. Officers of Wicklow County Board and of the Dunlavin Club, current and former club and county players joined forces to form a guard of honour on both days and marched with the cortege to the cemetery.
Among the many former playing colleagues we spotted at the funeral were that great goalie Andy Phillips marking in the guard of honour. Their also was a man who played against him in that first final – Jimmy Hatton from Kilcoole and his brother Danny; the Clarke brothers from Kilbride, Peter and Tommy; Jim Coates, who played for Donard, Dunlavin and Moorfield, Frank O’Neill from Stratford.
To his wife Una, his son and daughter, his brothers, sisters and extended family we extend our sympathy.
Without any shadow of doubt Wicklow footballers followers had their greatest morning in a long time when they watched the Compromise Rules match between Ireland and Australia. Standing tallest of all amongst mighty men was our own Leighton Glynn. On every station you turned to, on TV or radio the big talk was about the little Wicklow man who had stormed into the game from the moment he set foot on the pitch.
From the time his selection was announced a lot of people, inside and outside the county were saying that Seán Boylan and Hugh Kenny were taking a big gamble.
It was a gamble that paid off. One thing about Leighton is that every game he is playing, be it hurling, football or now Compromise Rules he bubbles over with confidence – and that was the most striking thing that came across to the viewers on Friday.
They are certainly walking tall in Rathnew, but they are not the only ones. Mick O’Dwyer, Arthur French, Kevin O’Brien and all his colleagues on the county team were also over the moon and all saw this as another great boost for Wicklow football.
Andy O’Brien, Martin Coleman and the people who were behind appoint- ing Leighton as Wicklow’s Ambassador, and employed him as a fulltime coach in both hurling and football can not feel fully justified in their choice.
Leighton becomes only the third Wicklow man to wear the green jersey of Ireland and follows in the proud footsteps of Kevin O’Brien and Pat O’Byrne. Well done Leighton.
(Before the calls start to flood in from Donard, yes we do remember when Gerry O’Reilly was selected on an ‘Ireland’ team but that was in different times and different circumstances and there was no tour involved).
THE RAILWAY CUP
St. Bridget’s in Kiltoom in Co Roscommon was our venue on Saturday. The occasion was the semi-finals of the inter-provincials between Connaght and Leinster
And the reason was that Wicklow had two players back on a Leinster panel.
John Paul Dalton and Dara O hAannaidh are the latest of what is still a relative smal group of Wicklow players to be honoured to wear the green jersey of Leinster.
Neither lads made the starting fifteen but the small group of Wicklow supporters got something to cheer about when ‘Jacko’ was brought on at the end of the first quarter.
However, there will be no crock of gold at the end of this rainbow. Leinster lost the match and will not be figuring in the final.
However, having two players honoured in this way is another boost for Wicklow football and another spin-off from the ‘Micko’ era.
Well done to our county camogie champions Donard/Glen who came out winners of the annual ‘seven-aside’ tournament run in Clane, Co Kildare..
In their first match they beat Cloughbawn of Wexford – 2-3 to 2-2; with Sile Walshe, Claire Whelan and Karen Walshe sharing in the scoring.
Lucan Sarsfields were next up and the Wicklow girls won this one by 1-3 to 0-2. Great dual player Geraldine Norton was another to get on the scoresheet in this match.
Excellent goalkeeping by Lyndsey Walshe was a feature of their next win over Na Fianna from Meath by 23 to 1-1 while Lindsey Quinlan and Sinéad Whyte starred in defence.
In the semi-final they played the best runner-up from the three groups which was Cloughbawn and won again by 4-1 to 2-1.
In the final the Wicklow champioins came up against famed Westmeath club Loughlin Gaels who were the reigning champions
Amanda Butler and Andrea Kealy starred in defence and Lindsey Quinlan made one match winning clearance off the goal-line. The final score was 2-1 to 0-4.
The captain Karen Walshe was presented with the Shield while each girl got a lovely trophy.
The panel – Lyndsey Walshe, Andrea Kealy, Lindsey Quinlan, Sinéad Whyte, Karen Walshe, Amanda Butler, Claire Whelan, Geraldine Norton and Sile Whelan.
Carnew's Emmet O'Sullivan and Glenealy's Anthony Driver compete for the ball during the Senior hurling final.