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).
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.