KEOGH’S COR­NER

Bray People - - SPORT - WITH PETER KEOGH

NEW CHAIR­MAN Martin Cole­man has cer­tainly got his year off to a fly­ing start. Last week was vic­tory over the Dubs in their own Par­nell Park, this week the hurlers also get off to a win­ning start in the Ke­hoe Cup and in be­tween an­other fab­u­lous night in the Ark­low Bay Ho­tel when all the 'good­ies' of 2012 were handed out and a new name was added to the Hall of Fame re­cip­i­ents.

And start­ing with that Hall of Fame win­ner, Liam O'Lough­lin was cer­tainly a very very pop­u­lar choice.

The Aughrim/Annacurra man has been part of al­most ev­ery­thing that moved on the GAA scene in Wicklow over the past 50 years.

He started his in­ter-county hurl­ing ca­reer when he was smug­gled out of St Peter's Col­lege to play in a Mi­nor match in 1966.

Since then he has played hurl­ing and foot­ball for Wicklow, Annacurra and Aughrim at ev­ery con­ceiv­able level, win­ning his own share of medals and tro­phies along the way.

In ad­min­is­tra­tion he reached the pin­na­cle when he was elected chair­man of the county board in 1986.

He is a great pro­moter of Scór and Scór na nÓg and a reg­u­lar com­peti­tor at the Se­nior events. Our con­grat­u­la­tions to Liam, to his wife Alice and his ex­tended fam­ily.

Wicklow hurlers

Con­grat­u­la­tions also to Casey O'Brien and his troops on a good win over Down.

The men from the Mournes are never easy to beat and what made this an ex­tra spe­cial win was the fact that Casey was field­ing what could be de­scribed as a new look team.

They were cer­tainly fired up and showed a great hunger and de­ter­mi­na­tion to win.

In ad­di­tion their fit­ness level looked very good for this time of year, prob­a­bly a trib­ute to new trainer Trevor Doyle.

How­ever we won't get car­ried away just yet.

We are still only in Jan­uary and there is a long and hard year ahead for ev­ery­body.

Where are they now?

When ap­plied to the team in last week's edi­tion of this pa­per that is an easy ques­tion to an­swer.

All of the fine play­ers that made up the team in that pic­ture are long since gone to their eter­nal re­ward.

While we be­lieve that we can pin­point the team and even the oc­ca­sion we do gen­uinely need some­one to name the play­ers in the or­der in which they ap­pear in the pic­ture.

This, we be­lieve is the Wicklow team beaten by Car­low in the Le­in­ster Ju­nior foot­ball cham­pi­onship fi­nal of 1933.

Lit­tle enough has been writ­ten about that team but they do de­serve their place in his­tory be­cause they were the team that started the come­back that won us back our place in Se­nior foot­ball af­ter we had lan­guished for years in the Ju­nior grade.

I am not sure where I got the pic­ture but I do have it for quite a long time - but with­out the names.

How­ever it is just pos­si­ble that there is a copy, with names at­tached, hang­ing on a wall in a back room or locked away in a cup­board some­where.

Have a look in the at­tic or in an old scrap book and if you find any­thing get in touch.

Why do we say that this team, who fin­ished with­out a medal, de­serve their place in his­tory?

The an­swer that ques­tion we have to go back a lit­tle fur­ther in his­tory. For roughly 20 years from around 1915 or '16 to 1936 Wicklow had slipped down to be graded Ju­nior in Le­in­ster and took lit­tle or no part in Se­nior foot­ball.

C.M. Byrne, in his first his­tory of the GAA in Wicklow claims the come­back started around 1929 with the elec­tion of Fr Han­ton as county chair­man.

It con­tin­ued with the elec­tion of Jack Kenny of Ark­low as sec­re­tary but his real kick off point ap­peared to be 1931.

That year some great Wicklow born foot­ballers like Mick Keat­ing, Coolboy, Jim Dal­ton, Kil­te­gan; Jim Cof­fey, Rath­new and Wil­liam Hil­lard, Carnew, (both in the army); John Far­rell, a Val­ley­mount man play­ing with Por­trane; Peter Nolan, Balt­in­glass, who was play­ing his club foot­ball with Sean McDermott's in Dublin and an­other army man Mat­tie Roche de­clared for Wicklow.

They lost to Dublin in the first round that year; things ap­peared to fall apart again and all or most of the men who had come home went back again to their adopted coun­ties.

Men who played in that fi­nal and who must be in the pic­ture in­cluded - Joe Deer­ing (ex­treme right mid­dle row), Mick Byrne (Rath­dan­gan) (cen­tre of mid­dle row); Jack Hil­liard and Bob El­liott (Carnew); John Far­rell (Balti­boys), Jack Ebbs and a man called Grimes (Bray Em­mets), Mat­tie Roche (Army Metro), R. Doyle (Erin's Hope), Pat Sut­ton (Tuck­mill), Jim Kelly, Bill Do­ran and Ned Byrne (Kil­coole); Mick Reilly (Annacurra) and Louis Dil­lon (Tuck­mill).

That 1933 Le­in­ster Ju­nior fi­nal was played in En­nis­cor­thy on Au­gust 13 and was re­ported to be one of the great fi­nals of that era.

Strangely enough it got scant men­tion in the first his­tory of Wicklow GAA, pub­lished in 1935, just two years later. C.M. Byrne, who com­piled that his­tory along with 'Wicklow Peo­ple' jour­nal­ist P.J. Noo­nan gave it a few lines with no team or de­tails.

He wrote: “The I933 fi­nal is too fresh in our mem­o­ries to waste space re­call­ing but I think all of us who were in En­nis­cor­thy on that Au­gust day can still feel our pulses throbbing with the ex­cite­ment of that fi­nal”.

The fi­nal score was Car­low 5-3; Wicklow 4- 5 and I think you will agree that not many matches now pro­duce nine goals.

The win­ning goal was scored, ac­cord­ing to re­ports, with the last kick of the game by Paddy shine, later to be­come Fr Paddy Shine and is cel­e­brated in Car­low to this day. Joe Deer­ing, Ned Byrne and Bill Do­ran were Wicklow's top scores with Mat­tie Roche, Mick Byrne and Mick Reilly also got on the score sheet.

Two Carnew men got very spe­cial men­tion for the part they played in 1933.

One was the county sec­re­tary of the day John Doyle; the other was Bob McCrea, one of the best known DublinWick­low men of the day.

Oth­ers listed among the tributes in­cluded Matt Byrne, Balt­in­glass; Laois­born Dan Dunne, New­town, Malachy Bren­nan, a former cap­tain of the Bray Em­mets team fron Round­wood; Mick Tim­mins, Balt­in­glass and a young fel­low from Rath­dan­gan, Peter Whe­lan.

One of the things we have al­ways been good at was mak­ing ex­cuses for our faults and fail­ings so I feel that no story on Wicklow foot­ball would be com­plete with­out some sort of ex­pla­na­tion as to why we lost that 1933 fi­nal.

For one thing Joe Keenan, a great goal­keeper from Round­wood, missed that fi­nal so per­haps that could ex­plain why Car­low got five goals;

Tommy Con­nell, a great foot­baller from Grangecon who had played against Wex­ford and Louth in ear­lier rounds, had re­turned to Aus­tralia while Tom Brien from Annacurra was also miss­ing.

In­ci­den­tally Car­low's man of the match was Tom 'Drakes' Walker, a player well known in West Wicklow.

The 1888 ti­tle was shared!

A call this week from an Avoca man, now liv­ing in Dublin, Paddy Ivers to con­firm that we were right when we said that the Wicklow SFC ti­tle of 1888 was shared.

He checked it in a book of of­fi­cial records he found in Ea­sons and right enough Annacurra and Clare shared the Wicklow SFC that year.

Paddy says he reads the 'Cor­ner' ev­ery week and en­joys the sto­ries and pic­tures from times past.

Where were thee in 33?

As we have just es­tab­lished there is not many around that can re­mem­ber the hap­pen­ings of 80 years ago, but we do know one man, Paddy Byrne of Moyne, who has a very clear me­mory of foot­ball in that year, at least when it comes to foot­ball around Aski­na­gap, Moyne and Bal­ly­manus.

The 'Bil­lies' had made their first big break­through when they won the In­ter­me­di­ate cham­pi­onship in 1932 and were go­ing hell for leather for a Se­nior crown.

Thanks to Paddy's great me­mory we are able to tell you that on April 9 1933 Bal­ly­manus beat Carnew by 1-2 to 0-2 at Aughrim in the first round of the SFC.

How­ever noth­ing was straight­for­ward in foot­ball at the time (has any­thing changed?).

At a Board meet­ing it was claimed that the Bal­ly­manus goal was dis­al­lowed and the match was re-fixed.

The ' Bil­lies' won again in the re­play and met Round­wood in the semi-fi­nal. Thus started one of the long­est sagas in the his­tory of cham­pi­onship foot­ball in Wicklow.

That first match ended in a draw - Bal­ly­manus 1-3; Round­wood 0-6. The re­play took place in Aughrim in Oc­to­ber and again fin­ished in a draw.

The third match took place in Ash­ford early in 1934 and while it was an­other humdinger it failed to fin­ish so on April 15, more than a year later, the fourth and fi­nal match in the saga took place at No­vara Road Bray.

Round­wood fi­nally won out; it was the end of that road for the ' Bil­lies' but the men from the high­est vil­lage in Ire­land saw no more ac­tion ei­ther.

Bless­ing­ton had won their way to the fi­nal but af­ter sit­ting idle for the bet­ter part of a year found that they could not muster a team and had to give a walk over in the fi­nal.

Where were thee in '93

Fast for­ward to a day in Ath­boy in March '93.

Play­ing for Wicklow in a NHL match were Jimmy Kelly; Brian Glee­son, De­clan Byrne, Tom Byrne; Colin Byrne, Casey O'Brien, M.A. O'Neill; Nigel Byrne, Ned Cremin; David (Bill) Bury, Sean Byrne, Danny Cur­ran; Don Hyland, Vin­cent Mun­roe and Jonathan O'Neill. John Hen­der­son was the man­ager and De­nis Kil­bride and Tommy Mun­roe came on as subs. SFL - Rath­new 1-9; Ti­na­hely 1-8 Rath­new made it through to the fi­nal of the SFL with a hard earned win over Ti­na­hely at Rath­new. Rath­new scor­ers: Mark Doyle 1-3; Trevor Doyle 0-4; Bobby Murphy and Derek Hollingsworth 0-1 each. Ti­na­hely: Cole­man Byrne 1-1; Mickey Mur­ray, Rory B. Stokes and Nicky Murphy 0-2 each; Bernard Kinsella 0-1. Balt­in­glass 2-16; Dunlavin 0-8 Ta­ble top­pers Balt­in­glass made it through to the fi­nal as well with a big win over Dunlavin.

Scor­ers for Balto were - Liam Hor­gan 1-3; Robert McHugh 0-6; Bryan Kil­coyne 0-3; John O'Ke­effe 1-0); Ray­mond Danne 0-2; Tommy Murphy and Sean O'Brien 0-1 each. Dunlavin: Mick Murtagh and Thomas English 0-3 each; Joe Kennedy and Sea­mus Mi­ley 0-1 each. Nor­ton steps down Off the play­ing field in Fe­bru­ary of '93 one of the big head­lines was the re­tire­ment of great Balt­in­glass player, trainer and se­lec­tor Tony Nor­ton.

The 'end of an era' the pa­per called it, point­ing out that “teenager Tony scored the goal that scut­tled the hopes of Ark- low Geraldines in the SFC fi­nal of 1963 and brought Balto their sec­ond ti­tle in the grade”.

For the next 30 years Tony was never far from the cen­tre of the ac­tion.

A pic­ture of Tony on the same page had the cap­tion - 'Tony's proud­est moment' and showed him hold­ing the All-Ire­land Cup aloft in the dress­ing room af­ter Balt­in­glass had beaten the Roscom­mon cham­pi­ons in the club cham­pi­onship fi­nal on St Pa­tricks day 1990.

Pre­sen­ta­tion to Dixie

The Lacken GAA Club made a spe­cial pre­sen­ta­tion to one of its long­est serv­ing mem­bers Peter Car­roll at their AGM last week.

'Dixie' as he was af­fec­tion­ately known to friend and foe alike played on the first Lacken team in 1970 but be­fore that he had played for Kil­bride and also got a pre­sen­ta­tion from that club as a mem­ber of the team that won the first SFC in 1962.

Peter has been un­well re­cently so as well as send­ing him our con­grat­u­la­tions we also wish him a speedy re­cov­ery.

Ea­mon Mur­ray

80 years young Con­grat­u­la­tions to Ea­mon on his 80th birth­day.

Our great­est liv­ing All-Ire­land win­ning hurler was hon­oured by fam­ily, neigh­bours, friends and even the Pres­i­dent of the GAA was there to wish him well.

A great oc­ca­sion for a great man.

An­thony Nolan

Con­grat­u­la­tions to one of Wicklow's young ref­er­ees An­thony Nolan who got his big­gest hon­our to date when he was cho­sen to ref­eree the semi-fi­nal of the O'Byrne Cup be­tween Dublin and Louth.

Only a few weeks ago An­thony picked up an award for his part in ref­er­ee­ing the Le­in­ster MFC fi­nal.

Ac­tu­ally An­thony was the lines­man that day but had to take over when the ref­eree on the day, Damien Brazil, suf­fered an in­jury coming up to half time.

But that ap­pear­ance in a Le­in­ster fi­nal, short as it may have been, earned the Balt­in­glass club­man his right­ful place in his­tory.

Liam McCarthy in Kil­te­gan!

Our Kilkenny friends brought up the Liam McCarthy Cup to add spice to the ju­ve­nile pre­sen­ta­tion night in St Te­gan's Hall, Kil­te­gan.

A huge crown turned out to see the boys and girls col­lect their tro­phies and medals for 2012.

(See report).

A top­i­cal pic­ture for the week that’s in it. If you can name the team and the men in it then con­tact Peter on 087 6907589 or email pe­terkeogh­gaa@gmail.com.

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