KEOGH’S COR­NER

Bray People - - SPORT - WITH PETER KEOGH

WE ARE head­ing into a hec­tic weekend with both hurlers and foot­ballers in­volved in cru­cial matches.

Both Harry and Casey are ex­actly where they planned to be at his stage - in at the cut­ting edge. On Satur­day the Hurlers head to Na­van to take on Down at Pairc Tail­teann with the ti­tle, pro­mo­tion and the brag­ging rights at stake. A big task but they can do it.

Harry has an even more daunt­ing task in his last league match in Thurles where they take on the young lions of Tip­per­ary foot­ball.

It may not be the fi­nal that he planed but still a win could earn his team the spoils. A dif­fi­cult one but it's still nice to be in with a chance at this stage.

No luck for the McCormack boys from Bray and their school team Co­laiste Eoin who lost out in the All-Ire­land Col­leges semi-fi­nal. Still they have the Le­in­ster medals to look for­ward to.

Well done to Anthony Nolan and his gang on an­other job well done in Cu­sack Park. A Di­vi­sion 1 match in­volv­ing Kerry is the high­est grade any Wick­low Ref­eree has reached since the days of Moules and Hat­ton. (In­ci­den­tally he is off to Clones to ref­eree the Mon­aghan v Galway match this weekend).

Quiz time

A re­minder that the Se­nior Scor Quiz fi­nals take place in The Glen­dalough Ho­tel on Fri­day night. A place in the Al­lIre­land fi­nals in Castle­bar at stake - a prize well bid­ding for. Still time to en­ter. Kil­bride on the move

Kil­bride are launch­ing their Club Strate­gic five-year plan on Satur­day, April 12 in Kil­bride Com­mu­nity Hall at 6.30pm. Spe­cial guests will be present and the com­mit­tee are look­ing for­ward to a big turnout of sup­port­ers.

Where are they now?

If one were to judge by the re­sponse to the pic­tures in last week's paper, Christy Mo­ran must be the best known man in Wick­low. Ev­ery­one, be they from east or west had him spot on but few enough could name the team or the oc­ca­sion.

Well, as most people have guessed by now the two are con­nected. This was a Wick­low Mi­nor hurl­ing team from 1993.

They played a draw with Dublin in the Le­in­ster Hurl­ing League. It was gen­er­ally agreed that the team put on a great per­for­mance that day and were in hard luck not to win.

The man in the other pic­ture was, as ev­ery­one told us the team man­ager, Christy Mo­ran, and that brings me to the rea­son for choos­ing the pic­tures.

Two weeks ago I was in Ark­low to see a new gen­er­a­tion of Wick­low Mi­nor hurlers put on an­other very good dis­play against Antrim in the same league and guess who was man­ag­ing the team - David Mo­ran, the son of the man that held the same post 21years ago. So we can trace two of the bet­ter dis­plays in Mi­nor hurl­ing back to the same sta­ble.

The pic­ture of the team did not copy too well and up to the time of writ­ing noone came up with all the names.

How­ever we will tell you some­thing about the match and give you the line out and that way you will have at least 17 of the 19 strap­ping lads in the pic­ture.

Would any­one like to haz­ard a guess about who the wass star of the show? None other than the man who is still fill­ing the same star­ring role ev­ery time he pulls on the blue and gold - Jonathan O'Neill.

'Bosco' got ev­ery­thing right that day ex­cept one thing - he ar­rived late in Ark­low and the match had to start with­out him.

Christy Mo­ran did not leave his star player on the line too long and when he got go­ing he scored 1-7 of the 1-9 that Wick­low reg­is­tered.

The other two points were scored by Timmy Collins and Ray Nolan leav­ing the un-named scribe of the day lament­ing on the lack of scor­ing power. Jonathan joined Shane O'Lough­lin at mid­field and be­tween them they gave Wick­low a pull in the area.

It would ap­pear that Wick­low may have been a shade un­lucky not to take both points. Corned for­ward James Browne brought a great div­ing save from the Dublin keeper Karl Cowap to pre­vent a goal - even a point would have done the trick.

The Li­ne­out - John Keogh (Kil­te­gan); Der­mot Do­ran (Carnew), Trevor McGrath (Avon­dale), Eu­gene Hef­fer­nan (Avon­dale); Keith Sul­li­van (Carnew, Joe O'Con­nor (ARP), Joe For­tune (Kil­coole); Shane O'Lough­lin (Aughrim) Brian Byrne (ARP); Timmy Collins( Carnew), Robin Fitzger­ald (ARP), Wayne Austin (Carnew); Ray­mond Nolan (Avon­dale), Bryan O'Leary (ARP), James Browne (Bray Em­mets).

Subs - Jonathan O'Neill (Gle­nealy) and Ja­son Molloy (Carnew).

The match re­port said that Jonathan O'Neill was play­ing Se­nior as well as Mi­nor for the county at the time which bears out his claim that he is now play­ing in­ter-county hurl­ing for over 23 years.

Ger­ard Tal­lon back

Our friend Ger­ard Tal­lon is back this week with an apol­ogy and some thoughts on the rule changes - Dear Peter, Be­cause of pres­sure of work the Wick­low People to hand only to­day. I think the 'rule changes' ar­ti­cle is timely. Please see the at­tached re­sponse.

Sadly, will miss the Wa­ter ford and Tip­per­ary matches. Best wishes.

Ger­ald adds in his own sug­ges­tions on rule changes, see what you think of them. 'Dear Peter, “Rule changes are very much in the news”.

'I wel­come the ar­ti­cle from last week's Keogh's Cor­ner and should be grate­ful if you would con­sider the fol­low­ing re­sponse.

'Gaelic foot­ball has, I am con­vinced, a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity to be­come one of the great field games in the world. Such great­ness must be a func­tion of at­trac­tive­ness and en­cour­age­ment to play­ers, to spec­ta­tors and sup­port­ers, to chil­dren and, very im­por­tantly, to par­ents/guardians. Much of the struc­ture re­quired is al­ready in place; how­ever, con­sid­er­able fin­ish­ing touches re­main to be done.

'The el­e­gance of yes­ter­year -not the fin­ished ar­ti­cle- has been side­lined by the in­no­va­tions of the last twelve years or so.

'The new and al­most pro­fes­sional lev- els of fit­ness in what might be called 'field bas­ket­ball' has done the game no favours, I would ar­gue.

'This pseudo bas­ket­ball game emerg­ing may be driv­ing many people away. In­deed, tele­vi­sion shows the de­fi­cien­cies in such a man­ner that view­ers may well be chang­ing chan­nels or, worse, chang­ing codes. The at­trac­tion of bas­ket­ball is closely con­nected to its much smaller play­ing area.

'Vari­a­tions in play on the court work well be­cause of scale; such vari­a­tions are lost in the scale of a foot­ball field. What is ex­cit­ing on the smaller court can be of­ten mo­not­o­nous and bor­ing in the larger arena. So, if my ar­gu­ment has weight, what needs to be done? Con­sider a few ex­ploratory ques­tions.

Present day Mick O'Con­nells are wait­ing in the wings. How can they be at­tracted and en­cour­aged?

Present day Pur­cells and Stock­wells - not to men­tion Ge­orgie Car­rolls- are wait­ing in the wings. How can they be at­tracted and en­cour­age?

Present day Andy Phillips, whether they be short, medium or tall in stature are wait­ing in the wings. How can they be at­tracted and en­cour­aged?

Fast at­tack­ing Gerry O'Reilly half backs are wait­ing in the wings. How can they be at­tracted and en­cour­aged?

Great free tak­ers in the old el­e­gant style are wait­ing in the wings. How can they to be at­tracted and en­cour­aged?

At­trac­tion and en­cour­age­ment will be key el­e­ments for the fu­ture of the game. Both will be a func­tion of rule changes.

Thank you again for rais­ing this timely is­sue.

Ger­ald Tal­lon.

Gal­lant Losers

Mighty win­ners or Gal­lant losers. They both make the head­lines on a reg­u­lar ba­sis in sport but very of­ten the lat­ter are quickly for­got­ten.

My thoughts this week are with some of the losers, who, lets face facts, put in as much ef­fort as the win­ners and con­trib­utes as much as to the gen­eral en­joy­ment of any par­tic­u­lar oc­ca­sion as the men who lifted the cup.

Some teams have ex­pe­ri­enced the bit­ter pill of de­feat on more than one oc­ca­sion but thank­fully most of them bounce back have their day in the sun.

One of the gal­lant losers that come to mind is Ark­low Geraldines who put so much into that fi­nal of 1963.

They were there with a win­ning chance right up to the end and had they got a han­dle on Tony Nor­ton that bit quicker who is to say what might have hap­pened.

Hol­ly­wood is an­other Club that failed at the fi­nal fence, of­ten by the slen­der­est of mar­gins and still wait for the big break through.

How­ever he one we chose to have a look at this week is un­lucky Laragh who had a great year in 1962, beat most of the top teams in ei­ther cham­pi­onship or other com­pe­ti­tions and for a long time were odds on to take the ti­tle.

Kil­bride, in a much qui­eter way were mak­ing rip­ples in smaller pools in the west and ar­rived in Aughrim full of fight and fire.

To Say the Clarks, the Han­lons, Duffys and the rest hit the ground run­ning in that fi­nal is an un­der­state­ment.

Laragh on the other hand had a dis­as­trous start when they failed to clear a high ball into the square and the youngest player on the Kil­bride team Sean Duffy was in to put the ball in the net.

The men of the west were leading by 1-5 be­fore Andy Cullen got Laragh's first point. It was 1-9 to 0-1 at half time and if it was any other team bar Laragh the sup­port­ers would have been head­ing for the gate.

How­ever the paper said that the pre­dom­i­nantly Laragh crowd got be­hind their team but again it was Kil­bride that sent over the first score of the sec­ond half - a point by Larry Walsh.

How­ever it was the great hearted Jimmy Byrne, who made his name as de­fender with Wick­low but was in the for­wards that day sent over a point and that score got such a rous­ing cheer that it just had to lift the team. Byrne boxed over two more. Andy Cullen got on the score sheet again.

Mick Cahill moved up from mid­field and sent over an­other but when Peter Clarke replied for Kil­bride the score was 1-11 to 0-6 - surely a lost cause. Still spurred on by the sup­port­ers Laragh ral­lied again.

Mick Cahill and Alex Wolo­han added points; Two more points by that tank of a man Andy Cullen left only a goal be­tween the sides.

Laragh were fly­ing and Kil­bride fight­ing for their lives. The chance fi­nally fell to Shay Doyle and he made no mis­take.

The game ended 1-11 each, surely one of the great fight backs of our time in a county Se­nior fi­nal.

While Kil­bride sur­vived in the re­play - 1-9 to 2-5 - to bring the first ever Se­nior foot­ball cham­pi­onship to the banks of the Lif­fey it was the great dis­play put up by the lit­tle club in the two matches de­serves to be re­mem­bered.

The sad thing was that great play­ers like Jimmy Byrne, Mick Cahill, Andy Cullen and oth­ers were never to get an­other chance to col­lect that one medal their tal­ents and ded­i­ca­tion so richly de­served.

Where were thee in '93?

With the U-21 Foot­ball Cham­pi­onship about to be re­vived the time is right to look at how that com­pe­ti­tion was go­ing 21 years ago.

While Balt­in­glass were go­ing great guns in the grade at the time they were not un­beat­able as An Tochar proved on a bleak Fe­bru­ary day in ' 93. The fi­nal score line was An Tochar - O-14; St Josephs 0-11

An Tochar - Chris Brady, Liam Cullen, De­clan Wolo­han, Alex Jenk­in­son (0-2); Kevin Power, Brian Power, Owen Br­sady; Wil­liam Brady (0-2),Brendan Brady; Shay Nolan, Donal McGil­ly­cuddy (0-2);Noel Brsdy (0-2), Fergus Mul­li­gan, Enda McGil­ly­cuddy (0-3), Gary McGil­ly­cuddy (0-3). Subs: Der­mot Davis and Joe Price.

St Josephs - Ul­tan Rooney, John Bookle, Derik Byrne, Niall Flem­ing; Derik Quirke, Joseph Byrne, Michael Byrne; Thomas Dono­hoe; Thomas Keogh,; P.J. Ka­vanagh, Damien McMa­hon(0-4), Patrick Byrne (0-2); Michael Cam­pion(03), John O'Keeffe(0-2), Mark Byrne. SubFer­gus Kelly. St Bridgets 3-6; St Pa­tricks 0-8 A good win for the Bless­ing­ton pow­ered side at Laragh where the teams lined out like this -

St Bridgets - Mick O'Con­nor; Paul Breen, Fer­gal Donoghue, Joseph; Byrne; Damien Breen, Paul McDer­mot, Michael Fen­nan; Owen Phibbs David Kearns; Ge­orge Allen, Dar­ren Be­han (31), David Moore (0-1); Robert Richard­son (0-1); David Richard­son (0-3), Mark Car­roll. Sub Frank Keogh.

St Pa­tricks - Jack Byrne; John Jame­son, Colin Byrne, Ja­son Carey; Brian Glee­son, John Casey, Padraig Con­nolly (0-2); Casey O'Brien (0-2), Niall Kil­coyne; Ed­die King, Stephen Kennedy(02), Alan Lowlor (0-1); Stephen Far­rell, Gary Dee­han and Patrick Jame­son.

A lot of well known names in that lot and hope­fully we will have more to re­mind the read­ers of what was a very good com­pe­ti­tion next week.

Sym­pa­thy

Our Sym­pa­thy this week to for­mer County Chair­man Liam O'Lough­lin and his wife, Alice, on the death of Alice's brother Jimmy Har­ris of Kil­berry.

Fu­neral took place on Tues­day to St Michael's Church Athy for re­quiem mass fol­lowed by Cre­ma­tion. May he rest in peace.

A fine band of young men. Have you any idea where and when this photo was taken and the iden­tity of all or any of the play­ers? If you do then con­tact Peter on 087 6907589 or email pe­terkeogh­gaa@gmail.com.

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