Midfield maestro Michael led Barndarrig to victory
PICKING up the Junior B Footballer of the Year award was as far removed from the mind of Barndarrig midfielder Michael Murphy as could be possible.
When the club chairman phoned him to tell him of the news, on the same night as Barndarrig lifted the Division 4 league title as it happened, he presumed it was the club's own award he had won.
“I didn't even know such an award existed to be honest,” said a proud Michael. “I was happier winning the championship with Barndarrig than I was winning an award but it's great at the end of the day,” he added.
It was a year of superb highs and devastating lows for the Kilmacurra men. Undefeated in the league, they also crossed many difficult hurdles on the playing fields during the year, none less than the clash against Baltinglass where they found themselves nine points down at half time.
“We lost the final last year by two points in a replay so this year we thought that it was goig to be our year. We were under new management and we went undefeated in the league. Then we played Rathnew in the group game and we were missing four or five players and they only beat us in the end so we knew we were going to be ok.
“I suppose the Baltinglass game was the toughest really. We were nine points down at half time and I got the winning point in the last few seconds. We thought our championship was over at half time. We went in and we were quiet. Any team would find it hard to come back from being nine points down but we had a chat. We talked about all the hard work and about our manager Eugen Sheelin passing away during the year. That was mentioned during the year and that drove us on. That win against Baltinglass was the turning point,” he said.
As Michael said he bagged the winning point that day, to add to several others during the game. The winning score came from their won kick out he recalls.
“Our captain Kevin Dempsey won the ball and gave it to me. I passed it to Jim Waldron and he gave it back to me and I hoofed it and it went over,” he said modestly.
In the final against Rathnew he played a pivotal role. In the Wicklow People match report he is described as being the star for Barndarrig and indeed he was.
When it comes to people he wishes to mention in light of his award he lists off the names of Kieran O'Brien, Tom Byrne, Jim Waldron, John Clarke and the late Eugene Sheelin and of course his comrades on the field of play during 2012.
Michael Murphy with the silverware.