A GOOD sport­ing New Year to all read­ers of the Cor­ner but in par­tic­u­lar to Harry and Casey, both have a hard road ahead.

Where are they now?

No re­sponse to last week's pic­ture; we are putting that down to Christ­mas times as we move on to an­other topic.

While re­search­ing that story about that Wicklow hurl­ing team trained by Mick O'Brien one fact to emerge was that 1991 was quite a good year on the GAA front in Wicklow. That hurl­ing team was one of the best and left a record be­hind to prove it. We were also do­ing well in foot­ball with both Se­nior and U-21 teams prov­ing very com­pet­i­tive.

'Twenty-one years is a mighty long time' or so the song says - but not it would ap­pear to some of the hardy hurlers on that team. To start with we have the goal­keeper Joey Driver, still go­ing strong and the man that cap­tained Gle­nealy to vic­tory in this year's SHC fi­nal.

The top scorer that year was Don Hyland, and he is still Carnew's ace marks­man.

Then there is Michael An­thony O'Neill, still guard­ing the edge of the square for Gle­nealy; Gerry Mur­ray, plug­ging away for Kil­coole and this year with Cor­bett Gaels in the Se­nior cham­pi­onship, Danny Cur­ran, Ju­nior hurler of the year in 2012 - where did those 21 years go?

Apart from the hurlers 1991 was one of our bet­ter years and this could be as good a time as any to look back over the highs and lows of a good year:

High­lights of the year - 1991

Or what it was like in the 'Garden' 21 years ago?

The Wicklow foot­ballers gave what has to be the great­est dis­play in the SFC ever in Croke Park when they held mighty Meath to a draw in a sec­ond round game.

That was the year that Meath and Dublin played four times be­fore the Roy­als came out on top. Wicklow looked on a hid­ing to noth­ing when they had to take on the bat­tle hard­ened win­ners but it did not turn out that way.

Wicklow got stuck in from the start and when Billy Kenny pointed a 45 they were in the lead.

Meath had a mighty full for­ward line and when goalie John Walsh man­aged to palm out a blis­ter­ing shot from Colm O'Rourke, Brian Stafford was on hand to bury the re­bound and the Roy­als were on their way - or so it seemed.

Pat Baker and Ash­ley O'Sul­li­van did the spade work be­fore Kevin O'Brien had a good point and the Wicklow fight back was on. Fer­gus Daly and Pat O'Byrne were dom­i­nant at mid­field and when Co­nan Daye added an­other point and the sides were level - 1-2 to 0-5.

A wor­ried Sean Boy­lan sent in Gerry McEn­tee to bol­ster his mid­field and a point by Stafford left Meath lead­ing - 1-3 to 0-5 at half time.

With time run­ning out Wicklow were back in the lead - 0-10 to 1-6 but then Brian Stafford pointed two frees and the Roy­als were on their way (again). With just min­utes to go David Gor­don put in a great run out of de­fence, found Mick Murtagh out at the cor­ner and from a dif­fi­cult an­gle the Dunlavin stal­wart kicked the equaliser. It fin­ished 1-9 to 0-12.

There was 42,000 in Cro­ker for the re­play and while Wicklow suf­fered a ham­mer blow when full back Hugh Kenny was sent off they were still in the reck­on­ing to the fi­nal whis­tle.

Meath won by 1-12 to 1-9, went on to win Le­in­ster but were pipped by Down in the All-Ire­land fi­nal - 1-16 to 1-14. The best ever cham­pi­onship per­for­mance by Wicklow - what do you think?

The Wicklow line out - John Walsh, David Gor­don, Hugh Kenny Thomas Keogh; Mick Murtagh, Billy Kenny, Phillip Healy; Fer­gus Daly, Pat O'Byrne; Paul Allen Terry Allen, Co­nan Daye; Kevin O'Brien, Pat Baker and Ash­ley O'Sul­li­van. Man­ager - Niall Ren­nick.

When the Se­nior foot­ballers also won pro­mo­tion and the Di­vi­sion 3 ti­tle it was cel­e­bra­tions on the dou­ble!

They were also only pipped at the post by Laois in the O'Byrne Cup fi­nal, played in Port­laoise.

That was a night to end all nights in Lawless's Ho­tel in Aughrim. The then Pres­i­dent of the GAA, Peter Quinn was the guest of hon­our and also in the gath­er­ing of dig­ni­taries was the Chair­man of Le­in­ster Coun­cil Jimmy Grey.

Two play­ers got spe­cial at­ten­tion on the night; Donal Leni­han of Aughrim and De­nis Kil­bride, Carnew played on both teams.

There were other pre­sen­ta­tions also made on the night. The two Wicklow play­ers that made the Ire­land team for the Com­pro­mise Rules games, Kevin O'Brien and Pat O'Byrne were pre­sented with tro­phies by Peter Quinn.

Jimmy Hat­ton, who had made his­tory 25 years ear­lier by ref­er­ee­ing hurl­ing and foot­ball All-Ire­land fi­nals in the same year, was also made a suit­able pre­sen­ta­tion by the Pres­i­dent.

We gave you the hurl­ing team that won the dou­ble, the League and the Ke­hoe Cup last week ad­di­tions to the foot­ballers above were: Dan Leigh, , David Gor­don, Donal Leni­han, John Traynor, Ciaran Finn, Robert McHugh, Nick O'Neill, Ken Fo­ley, Padraig Dal­ton. Thomas Dono­hue, Paul Kenny

On the home front the com­pe­ti­tion was rea­son­ably good as well and we will take a look back at some of the main ac­tion.

SFC Fi­nal

Balt­in­glass 1-18; East District 2-6 Balt­in­glass made it five in a row when they beat East District in the fi­nal but the Liam McGraynor coached side put up a rea­son­ably good show.

The only changes on the Balt­in­glass team com­pared with the All-Ire­land win­ning team of the year be­fore was that Tom Fox, Ge­orge Bradley, Billy Tim­mins and Andy Owens were on the start­ing fif­teen.

East District - Jimmy Kelly; Roger Mi­ley, Owen Doyle, Paul Byrne; J.J. Doyle, Wayne Rooney, Johnny Ga­han, Tom Byrne, Pat Baker; De­clan Byrne, Gerry Doyle, Ciaran O'Brien; An­drew Cullen, Pat Doyle, Richie Cullen.

Club Cham­pi­onship

Balt­in­glass had the ag­o­nis­ing ex­pe­ri­ence of los­ing to Thomas Davis twice in the one year in the club cham­pi­onship.

In Fe­bru­ary they parted with their All-Ire­land and Le­in­ster cups when they were beaten by the Dublin cham­pi­ons in the Le­in­ster fi­nal re­play -1-8 to 0-8.

Then in De­cem­ber they were back in New­bridge again, this time in the Le­in­ster semi-fi­nal where the Dubs won again - 0-7 to 0-6. The Wicklow Peo­ple head­line de­clared 'Balto de­served at least a draw'. .

Iron­i­cally the cen­tre back on the Davis's team in both matches was Gary Kil­martin who was the Balt­in­glass trainer this year and who was on the Bless­ing­ton team beaten by Bray Em­mets in the Ju­nior C fi­nal.

IFC Fi­nal

Strat­ford 2-4; Barn­dar­rig 1-4

The In­ter­me­di­ate Cup came to Slaney­side that year when Strat­ford lined out like this - Pat Cronin; Michael Byrne, Thomas Keogh, Ge­orge Moore; Andy Moore, Der­mot Allen, Fer­gal Moore, De­clan Han­ley (10), Fran­cis Keane, Bill Byrne (1-3), Nick O'Neill, Pa­trick Byrne, Harry Man­gan (0-1), Lar O'Toole (0-1), Gerry Keane.

Barn­dar­rig - Gerry Arthurs, Johnny Bren­nan, Bill Byrne, Jim Wal­dron; Gerry Doyle, Paul Byrne; De­clan Byrne, Tom Byrne, Ciaran O'Brien (0-1), Jim Clarke, Brian Walsh, Wil­lie Moules, Der­mot Murphy (0-1), Mick Hen­neberry, Paul Doyle (1-1).

Strat­ford made it a dou­ble when they won the Tim­mins Cup - beat­ing Barn­dar­rig in the last match at Strat­ford.

JAFC Cham­pi­ons

Ark­low Geraldines Prob­a­bly one of the bet­ter things that hap­pened that year was the emer­gence of the Geraldines from Ark­low to claim a county ti­tle.

And it could not have hap­pened at a bet­ter time. Their own favourite son Jimmy Dunne had taken over as chair­man of the County Board - prob­a­bly mak­ing his­tory as the first man to have served as chair­man and sec­re­tary and prob­a­bly filled most other posts as well.

One of the great nights of that year was Fri­day De­cem­ber 13 when the Geraldines and Jimmy cel­e­brated to­gether in the Ark­low Bay Ho­tel.

U-21 FC Fi­nal

An Tochar - 0-16; Balt­in­glass 1-6 Twenty one years ago the fi­nal of the U21 FC would be one of the high­lights of the year and any­one in­ter­ested in good foot­ball would make sure to see that match.

An up and coming young team from An Tochar trained by Donal McGil­licuddy laid down a marker that day with a win over the spe­cial­ists Balt­in­glass. See how many play­ers you can spot that went on to play Se­nior for club and county.

An Tochar: Liam Cullen; Ni­cholas Nolan, Dean Nolan, Em­met Duffy; Brien Power, Bren­dan Brady, Gary McGil­licuddy; Conor Doyle, Philip McGil­licuddy; Sea­mus Cullen, Enda McGil­licuddy, Tier­nan Hall; Fer­gal Mul­li­gan, David Brady, Donal McGil­licuddy.

Balt­in­glass: Ken Quirke; James Far­rell, Hugh Kenny, Derek Byrne; Derek Quirke; Joseph Byrne, Kevin Flem­ing; De­clan Humphries, Paul Kenny; De­clan Wall, Pa­trick Nolan, Michael Cam­pion; Damien McMa­hon, John O'Ke­effe, Billy Nolan.

SHC Fi­nal

Carnew 1-9; Barn­dar­rig 2-4 Af­ter knock­ing out the hold­ers St Pat's in an ear­lier round Carnew went on to beat Barn­dar­rig in the fi­nal of the SHC. Carnew led by 1-6 to 0-2 at half time af­ter play­ing with the wind and had to with­stand a strong sec­ond half come­back by the men from the east. It was def­i­nitely not Barn­dar­rig's year.

Carnew: Billy Molloy; John Sul­li­van, Vinny Mun­roe, Michael My­ers; Ed­die Bren­nan, De­nis Kil­bride, David Quinn; Ger Murphy, Don Hyland; J.J. My­ers, Bat Kenny, Der­mot Browne; Joe Molloy, De­clan My­ers, Enda Bren­nan.

Barn­dar­rig: Gene An­der­son; Paul McDon­ald, Leonard Browne, Dessie Murphy; Billy Byrne, Tom Byrne, Johnny Moules; De­clan Byrne, Garry Doyle, Ciaran O'Brien; Paul Byrne, Jim O'Brien, Ea­mon Eng­land, Wil­lie Moules, J. Clarke.

JHC Fi­nal

Shil­le­lagh 2-4; Kil­te­gan 0-7 Two goals in the space of min­utes late in the game gave Shil­le­lagh vic­tory in the JHC fi­nal.

Shil­le­lagh: Mick Ros­siter; Kevin Byrne, Pat Nolan, John Nolan; John Cullen, An­thony Grey, David Nolan; An­drew Nolan, Stephen Dagg; De­clan Nolan, Pat Nolan, Frank Dee­gan; Owen Dempsey, Donie Nolan Billy Whe­lan. Subs: Frank Byrne, Keith Byrne.

Kil­te­gan: John Keogh; Michael Boland, Nat Pear­son, Lor­can Byrne; Peter Byrne, Michael Byrne, De­clan Clare; Lor­can Byrne, Joe Clancy; Michael Byrne, John O'Toole, Cil­lian O'Ke­effe; Ray­mond Byrne, John Byrne, Mick O'Con­nell. Subs: Gerry Boland, Damien Byrne, Rory Tal­lon.

The Michael Dwyers team that beat Kil­mac in the U-16 FC fi­nal were - Bren­dan Lawrence;

B. Keogh, C. Byrne, J. Flem­ing; J. Boland, F. Gart­land, M, Clare; P. Lan­caster (Capt), D. Hayes; C. Clancy, J. Keogh, A. Tracey, R. Car­roll; L. Tal­lon, O. Murphy.

Ladies Foot­ball

Ladies foot­ball in Wicklow was only in nap­pies at the time but the new baby was start­ing to kick its way out of the cot.

At Tochar was the first club from the east­ern side of the county to throw a hat in the ring but they were quick to make their pres­ence felt, win­ning their first se­nior cham­pi­onship in only their sec­ond or third year. They beat Coolboy in the fi­nal by 2-11 to 34.

The ladies that made his­tory lined out like this: Bernie Byrne; Eithne Ka­vanagh, Mary Gal­lagher, Mary Gask­ins; Jackie McGee, Ann Gask­ins, Chris­tine Wolo­han; Mary Brady, Ann Marah; Michelle Fee, Theresa Ka­vanagh, Pauline Murtagh; Su­san Gask­ins, Mar­garet Bol­ger, Brenda Hal­li­gan.

Coolboy: Mary Byrne; Mar­tine Cole­man, Mary Do­ran, Ann Molloy; Vera O'Ke­effe, Caro­line Gre­gan, Bridger Austin; Mary Mur­ray, Ann Dono­hue; Geral­dine Raw­som, Ann Fitz­patrick, Marie Kenny; Kath­leen O'Neill, Margsaret Nolan, Breda Raw- som.

All-Ire­land ti­tle for the girls

Be­fore we leave ladies foot­ball lets salute a great lit­tle U-14 team that brought All-Ire­land glory to the Garden County that year.

They took on Mayo in the fi­nal. Mayo was one of the early pil­lars of ladies foot­ball and were go­ing to prove a mighty ob­sta­cle. Wicklow sprung Siobhan Flood of Dunlavin from the bench early on and she got the at­tack mov­ing.

Two goals by Ann McGil­licuddy and two more from Ni­chola Dunne did the trick and the first ever All Ire­land Cup for un­der­age girls foot­ball was on its way to the Garden County.

Team: D. Dwyer (Dunlavin); H. Maloney (An Tochar), C. Grace (Dunlavin), M. Short (An Tochar), B. Brady (An Tochar), J. Power (An Tochar), S. Lawlor (Dunlavin), S. Gask­ins (An Tochar), N. Dunne (Wicklow), F. White (An Tochar), M. Fee (An Tochar), Ann McGil­licuddy (An Tochar), D. Cof­fey (Rath­new), J. Brady (An Tochar), C. Hal­li­gan (An Tochar). Subs used: S. Flood (Dunlavin); S. O'Reilly (Wicklow).

De­parted friends

The year also had its sad mo­ments - none more so than the pass­ing of two pil­lars of the As­so­ci­a­tion.

Billy Lawless, a man who should be named Wicklow's great­est ever Gael when the next his­tory of the GAA in the county is writ­ten passed to his eter­nal re­ward just days af­ter he at­tended the funeral of one of the stars in the 1936 All-Ire­land, Jim Dal­ton.

Also that year the cap­tain of that team Martin O'Neill was laid to rest in his na­tive Ferns - two men who could never be ad­e­quately re­placed.


Wil­lie O'Toole R.I.P. The death of Wil­lie O'Toole, late of Grangecon took place on Christ­mas Eve in Tal­laght hospi­tal. His burial took place in Bal­ly­more Eus­tace on Satur­day af­ter funeral mass in the lo­cal church. Our sym­pa­thy to his wife Mairead, son, daugh­ters; brothers, sis­ters and ex­tended fam­ily. Elizabeth Troy R.I.P. Elizabeth Troy, mother of well known Shil­le­lagh GAA men­tor Bill passed away peace­fully at Balt­in­glass Hospi­tal on Thurs­day.

Burial took place in Kilquig­gan ceme­tery on Satur­day af­ter re­quiem mass in the lo­cal church. Our sym­pa­thy to her son, daugh­ter, the Byrne fam­ily, Strat­ford and ex­tended fam­ily. Sarah Kenny R.I.P. Deep­est to out caterer Eddy Cashin and his fam­ily on the death of his sis­ter Sarah. Sarah's funeral took place to Kil­lagegs ceme­tery in Kil­dare on Fri­day.

May they all rest in peace.

No mys­tery to the above pic­ture. County board chair­man of the time Jimmy Dunne with Ken­neth O’Neill, Ark­low Geraldines team cap­tain and Felix Ka­vanagh, club chair­man at the Ark­low Geraldines an­nual din­ner dance where they were cel­e­brat­ing win­ning the JAFC and the Swan Cup in 1991.

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