WHILE MICK O'Dwyer did not get the win he was hoping for in Brewster Park on Sunday, he was more than happy to see his depleted team of 13 fight back to get a draw in the end.
It means that Wicklow have now reached the half way stage in the League still unbeaten and have dropped only two points along the way.
That leaves them in a nice position to push on for League glory or promotion or both.
The second half will be even tougher with matches against pace-setters like Longford and the Connacht champions Roscommon still to come.
However, we have three of our last four matches at home and our only away match is against Kilkenny and that is not too far away.
So it would appear that promotion is ours to win or lose at this stage.
Micko was very happy with the form displayed by two of his injured players, James Stafford and Ciarán Hyland on Sunday, while Patrick McWalter continues to make progress and joined the action late in the day.
In fact it was his experience and cool head that saved the game in the closing minutes.
It was a case of having the right man in the right place as Wicklow put on the pressure for that equalising point. For anybody wondering about the Mayo man Austin O'Malley, that is supposed to be joining Micko's panel, the up to date news is that his transfer request came before Leinster Council on Saturday evening in Longford and his transfer from St. Vincent's in Dublin to St Patrick's in Wicklow Town was sanctioned.
However, no contact between the Mayo man and Mick O'Dwyer has been made so far.
With the hurlers
Casey O'Brien's men had a weekend off and got a well earned rest but they will have to make up for it next week when they have their stiffest task to date.
They travel to Ruislip to take on what is regarded as a very strong London team with a number of experienced and talented players on board.
It looks at this stage as if the team could be short of key players like centre half back Liam Kennedy who picked up a bad enough ‘dead leg’ injury in the match against Meath in Pairc Tailteann and one of their top scorers Andy O'Brien who is still recovering from a hamstring injury picked up against Kildare in Arklow.
Both have been getting treatment over the past week and Casey is keeping his fingers crossed that he may at least get some game time from one or the other or preferably both.
To have any chance of getting a result in Ruislip, Casey needs to be at or close to full strength.
Our sincere good wishes goes to great young Wicklow footballer John McGrath who is ill in hospital at the moment.
He played in Wicklow's match against London in Aughrim on Sunday week but only days later was diagnosed with a serious illness.
By the Thursday of last week his treatment had started and we all hope and pray that that will be successful. He was sorely missed in Enniskillen on Sunday and in fact the whole team were in a state of shock after hearing the news.
Let’s hope that John will make a speedy recovery and be ready to join his team mates in many more battles on the football field.
Where are they now?
The men in the picture were of course the great Annacurra team of 1931 and straight away we will give you the names as we got them from the first GAA history of Wicklow, compiled by County Chairman of the day C.M. Byrne and Wicklow People Journalist P.J. Noonan and published in 1935.
Front: l to r - Owen Doyle, John Moules, John Doyle, Kevin Mulhall (mascot), Wm Devereux, Maurice Fitzgerald, Jim Mulhall.
2nd row - Jer Kehoe (Sec), Ter Carty, Ml Doyle, James Miley, Peter Lawlor, Tom O'Brien.
Back row - Ml Byrne, Patrick Kennedy, Ml Carty (Capt), Rev Fr Kavanagh C.C., Sydney Breen, Rev Fr Carty C.C. (President), Ger Kennedy, Michael O'Reilly.
Sheila Connolly, my neighbour from Hacketstown was first in with a correct answer, and why shouldn't she? It turned out that Peter Lawlor was her uncle.
Of course Peter's son Michael became famous as a Kilmac and Wicklow footballer in the '60's but even more so as a politician.
Sheila was also the first to name the mascot who she says was Kevin Mulhall, a nephew of the goalkeeper.
I met a Knockananna man who told me that the final that year was played in O'Keefe's field in the Back Bawns in Knockananna.
Pat Mitchell came in with even more information. He gave us the score which was Annacurra 2-2; Hollywood 11.
However, Pat also added that an objection followed, a replay was ordered and that was not played until June of the following year in Baltinglass, most likely Ward's Bog, when Annacurra again won by 0-4 to 1-0.
While there is no mention of a re-fixture in the old history book, it must be correct because the latter is the score listed in the records section of the 'Leathers Echo'.
Actually a former Wicklow Captain Noel Carty from Ashford who also named the team correctly confessed to getting the facts from the same book.
Ann Byrne from Annacurra was the first to name the full team and told me that her uncle Jim Mulhall was the goalkeeper on the team.
Of course Ann's son Alan is a star defender on Micko's team. Kevin Stapleton was also in with the answer and the full Annacurra team and also mentioned that Jim Mulhall was Alan Byrne's granduncle.
Tom Gregan from Coolboy and Ned Doyle, Annacurra also supplied us with correct answers.
In our build-up to this picture last week we said that not too many will ring to tell us they remember seeing that team playing.
However, one man who actually played in that final of 1931, Joe Deering of Hollywood, passed away less than a year ago and his memory of all things to do with football, including that final, was perfect right up to the end.
Matt Byrne - from gateman to National President
Yes, Matt Byrne, footballer, handballer, hurler and administrator extraordinaire was the man pictured in last week's paper.
No man, they say, is a prophet in his own land and true enough Matt, despite his record of service in Wicklow and beyond, had to await immortality until Leinster Council honoured him by calling their main football competition outside of the Championship after him.
The advent of the O'Byrne Competition each year brings a host of enquiries about the man it is named after. It was an honour well deserved.
What brought up the subject at this point in time is the fact that a Waterford man, Humphrey Kelleher is writing a book on the Cups and Trophies of the GAA and their background.
When that book comes out I believe you will find that Matt Byrne's record of service will not be out of place beside that of others like Sam Maguire, Liam McCarthy, Bob O'Keeffe or any of the rest
Matt Byrne was a native of Baltinglass, Co. Wicklow and was deeply involved in GAA activities at many levels all of his long life.
He became the first Secretary of the Maurice Davins GAA Club in Baltinglass in 1886 and was probably the youngest delegate at the first Wicklow Convention held in the town hall Wicklow in 1886. He played football, was an excellent handballer and also played hurling.
He was County Registrar for over 40 years and Wicklow's representative on Central Council and Leinster Council for many years.
Matt was not just an office holder but a dedicated worker at ground level and one of the jobs he was involved in for Leinster Council was gate man and checker.
He was known to collect men like Tom Whelan, Rathdangan, a brother of the late Peter Whelan, Tommy Doyle, Tuckmill, known as ' Tom of the Lough' and others from different parts of Wick- low on a Sunday morning and bring them to venues at different locations in Leinster to work as gatemen.
He was generally the main checker and was often entrusted with the job of securing the takings before leaving for home.
He was very highly regarded by the Council and when they were setting up new competitions to supplement the Championship and to raise funds for the players' injury fund in the early 1950's, they named the Football Cup in his honour.
Matt, a National School teacher, was also President of the Irish Handball Council.
That is just a brief and far from complete glimpse of a great Wicklow man who very definitely left footprints in the sands of time.
This week's picture should - we hope - at least slow down the punters. We can tell you that it is not a championship winning team but in past years there were other things to play for besides the championship.
Have a shot at naming the team or some of the players in it.
Answers as usual to email@example.com or 087-6907589.
Noel Staunton R.I.P.
The death of Noel Staunton after a two year fight against illness shocked Gaeldom in Wicklow.
Noel was a great GAA man and was involved in hurling, football and camogie for most of his life.
After his wife Ann and family his great love in life was hurling. His collection of hurling championship medals takes some beating.
He won Minor in 1964; Junior in 1971 and Senior in 75 with his native Glenealy.
After marrying Ann and moving to live in West Wicklow he completed his 'grand slam' by winning the Intermediate Championship with Kiltegan in 1981.
He was top scorer for the club with 714 that year.
In a strange twist of fortune he won his first hurling championship in the U14 grade, beating St Tegan's (Kiltegan) in the final in 1958 and his last while playing for Kiltegan 23 years later. Noel got all, or nearly all, his scores from play.
He was a great goal grabber and apart from the seven he scored for Kiltegan, he scored 3-1 in his first Minor final in '63 but lost to Carnew in the final. In the Minor final of '64 he was also top scorer with two goals against St Kevin’s.
He played football for Stratford and trained the team to win the IFC in 1983 and so collected his football medal. Later he threw in his lot with Donard Camogie Club and trained the girls to win every championship from U-12 up to Senior.
Noel also wore the Wicklow jersey at Minor and Senior level and won a NHL medal in the 81/82 season
A guard of honour at Davidstown Church on Wednesday night was provided by many of the players he had trained or played alongside, mostly from Donard/Glen Camogie Club and Stratford footballers.
Noel was laid to rest in lovely Leitrim in the heart of the Glen Imaal, surely a cemetery in the most beautiful surrounds in Ireland.
The lofty Wicklow mountains for a back drop and looking down on the ruins of what was Leitrim Castle.
Our sympathy to his wife Ann, son Kevin, daughters Carmel and Carol, mother, brothers, sister and extended family.
Molly Byrne R.I.P.
The death of Molly Byrne at the weekend removed the last link with the great Byrne family of teachers and GAA administrators from Rathcoyle.
Molly was a sister of the former President of the GAA Hugh Byrne and two of Wicklow's All-Ireland winning team of 1936, Mick and Paddy Byrne.
Molly had a long and active life and enjoyed good health right up to the end. Her remains were removed to Killamoate Church on Saturday and burial took place in Tynaclash Cemetery, Kiltegan on Sunday.
Our sympathy to her many nieces, nephews and extended family.
May they Rest in Peace.
Coiste na nOg fixtures
Just as they did a year ago games development officer Hugh Kenny and his team have put together proposals for the framework for a fixtures programme and will be unveiling it at a meeting of the Board this week.
Last year's programme, while it was accepted with aplomb at Convention, was overturned at the first meeting of the clubs.
We all know that it is next to impossible to put together a fixtures plan that will please everybody but a lot of thought and planning has gone into this by experienced people.
We must make a bigger effort to give this one a try and make it work for the overall good of the games in the county.
Can you name this team and the players in it?