NEW YEAR KICK-START

Three O’byrne Cup clashes to whet ap­petites

Bray People - - SPORT - MARK KENNEDY Sports Re­porter

HAPPY New Year in sport to ev­ery­one.

The sport­ing sea­son 2012 saw Wicklow achieve their big­gest success in decades - namely the foot­ballers win­ning Di­vi­sion 4 of the league and gain­ing pro­mo­tion to Di­vi­sion 3.

Let's hope we have many more days like that up ahead, not just for our foot­ballers but for the hurlers too.

Just six days into the new year and the foot­ballers will get their first taste of com­pet­i­tive ac­tion in 2013 when for the sec­ond year run­ning they kick off the O'Byrne Cup with a home game against DCU at Greystones next Sun­day at 2pm.

Changes have been made to the O'Byrne Cup this time. For one thing there'll be no Shield, but ev­ery team is guar­an­teed a min­i­mum of three games, all played over the space of one week.

Af­ter DCU, Wicklow will have an­other home game on Wed­nes­day night, this time against near neigh­bours and fierce ri­vals Car­low at Bray; while we will com­plete the se­ries of three group games away to Dublin on Sun­day week in Par­nell Park.

A year ago when we took on the DCU stu­dents we came out the wrong side of a 1-14 to 0-18 score line, an in­di­ca­tor that Sun­day's reprise is not go­ing to be a piece of Christ­mas cake for Harry Murphy's men who have an am­bi­tious tar­get of hold­ing on to newly won sta­tus as a Di­vi­sion 3 team and also putting in a strong show­ing in the cham­pi­onship.

Dean Rock, a son of the great Bar­ney Rock, was the match win­ner the col­lege boys last year with 08 and we can ex­pect DCU to be an equally for­mi­da­ble side this with a pick of play­ers from many if not most of the top foot­ball coun­ties.

Last year DCU' s line-up in­cluded Michael Murphy (Done­gal), David Kelly (Sligo), Paul Flynn, Philip McMa­hon and James McCarthy (Dublin), Colm Be­g­ley (the former Aussie Rules player from Laois), Cathal Cregg (Roscom­mon) and the West­meath full-back Ciarán Ga­van.

Harry Murphy can ex­pect a sim­i­lar test­ing ex­am­i­na­tion for his men from the Dublin stu­dents on Sun­day and again on Wed­nes­day from Car­low who like noth­ing bet­ter than lay­ing waste to Wicklow's garden.

Yes, we're only in the first week of 2013 and the foot­ball juices are al­ready cours­ing through our veins in an­tic­i­pa­tion of an­other great play­ing sea­son for Wicklow teams.

Here’s to a suc­cess­ful New Year to all Wicklow sports men and women wher­ever you are.

Look­ing ahead - Wicklow Se­nior foot­ball man­ager Harry Murphy sends his team into ac­tion on Sun­day.

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