Hurlers fac­ing tough test on trip to Lon­don

Bray People - - SPORT -

NA­TIONAL HURL­ING LEAGUE - WICK­LOW V. LON­DON

Casey O'Brien faces his stiffest task to date in the hurl­ing league when he takes his team to Ruis­lip to play what we be­lieve is a very strong Lon­don side boosted by a re­cent in­flux of im­mi­grants ar­riv­ing from a num­ber of the strong hurl­ing coun­ties, writesPeterKeogh.

It is ru­moured that they have at least one Tip­per­ary un­der-21 player and a cou­ple of un­der-21's from Cork. We do know that their top scorer is a Wex­ford man called Martin Finn.

Any­way what will worry Casey more than the op­po­si­tion is the fact that he could be short of two or three key play­ers on the day.

His strong cen­tre half back Liam Kennedy picked up what looked a bad enough leg in­jury in the match against Meath just a week ago and has to be ex­tremely doubt­ful. Top scorer Andy O'Brien is also very doubt­ful.

He pulled a ham­string in the match against Kil­dare and while he tested it out against Meath, he lasted less than ten min­utes.

How­ever, on the credit side Eoin O'Neill has made good progress in his bid to get fit again and he may be able to take some part in this match.

Other than that the con­fi­dence level is high in the camp af­ter good wins over two of our great ri­vals, Kil­dare and Meath, with the dis­play against Meath in par­tic­u­lar, which was in their own Pairc Tail­teann, be­ing par­tic­u­larly good.

Vet­er­ans like Jonathan O'Neill, Don Hy­land and Ge­of­frey Ber­ming­ham are play­ing bet­ter than ever and they are now get­ting great back up from young play­ers like Ea­mon Kearns, Thomas Doyle, Billy Cud­dihy and Leon Browne.

There is also a pos­si­bil­ity that duel star Stephen Kelly will be avail­able for this match and that would be a great boost to the side.

Leighton Glynn has also promised the man­ager that he will throw in his lot with the hurlers when­ever the chance presents it­self.

Graham Keogh is an­other player that ap­pears to have got a new lease of life.

A bad in­jury at work took him out of the game for a long time, in fact it was feared at that time that it would end his sport­ing ca­reer.

But Graham is made of stern stuff and fought back but it is only now that he is re­ally only com­ing back into his own and in the match against Kil­dare in par­tic­u­lar we saw the Graham Keogh that we knew in his early days.

His flankers, Jim Con­nors and Willy Collins, are also play­ing well and form quite a good full-back line. Ro­nan Keddy, Ray Nolan and goal-grab­ber Enan Glynn are oth­ers play­ing well this year.

If Casey can field a full strength team, then he will be in with a great chance of bag­ging an­other valu­able brace of points in his bid for league hon­ours.

MI­NOR FOOT­BALL LEAGUE - WICK­LOW V. KILKENNY

Hugh Kenny gets his sea­son off to a start when he trav­els to Muckalee on Fri­day night to play Kilkenny in the first round of the Mi­nor Foot­ball League.

On pa­per that may look an easy task but Wick­low know to their cost that a Kilkenny Mi­nor team at this time of the year may be no push over.

Hugh and his se­lec­tors have pre­pared the team well and are quite hopeful of hav­ing a good run in both league and cham­pi­onship this year.

His team will be back­boned by play­ers from the Vo­ca­tional Schools side that reached the Le­in­ster fi­nal and will in­clude Pádraig Geoghegan, who was very im­pres­sive in that fi­nal against Meath, Jimmy Kelly, John Man­ley, Stephen Olo­han, Jamie Snell and Theo Smith to men­tion just a few.

The full panel at the mo­ment has 32 play­ers but Hugh tells us that that will have to be cut back to 26 to com­ply with the guide­lines.

At the mo­ment that panel reads: Gavin Burke (Kil­macanogue); Andy Cor­ri­gan (Hol­ly­wood); Dar­ren Gam­mell (Kil­coole); Padraig Geoghegan (Avon­dale); Shane Ho­gan (Ti­na­hely); Daniel Keane (Eire Og); Jimmy Kelly (Dunlavin); John Man­ley (Rath­new); Stephen Mur­phy (An­nacurra); Aongus O Bri­ain (Avon­dale); Justin O’Brien (Eire Og); Colin Smullen (St. Pa­trick’s); Bren­dan McCrea (Carnew); Theo Smith (Rath­new); Mark Keogh (Kil­bride); Ro­nan Byrne (Kil­te­gan); Conor McKenna (An Tochar); Adam Conway (Bray Em­mets); Pa­trick Crowley (An Tochar); Mark Mur­phy (A.G.B.); Steve Olo­han (Laragh); Jamie Snell (Rath­new); Matt Man­nix (Kil­coole); Andrew Howard (Dunlavin); Jamie Mi­ley (Val­ley­mount); Niall Cros­bie (Eire Og); Nicky Sweeney (Bray Em­mets); Philip Mur­phy (Rath­new); Dean McGarr (Bless­ing­ton); Gary Car­roll (Dunlavin); Hugh Dou­glas (Bray Em­mets); Pierce Sweeney (Bray Em­mets).

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