LEAGUE CHAMPS

Bray People - - SPORT -

WICK­LOW are Al­lianz Na­tional Hurl­ing league Di­vi­sion 2B cham­pi­ons af­ter they de­feated Down at the weekend. The Gar­den County can now look for­ward to meet­ing neigh­bours Car­low and Kil­dare in 2A next year as the gap be­tween the di­vi­sions draws ever closer.

Wick­low man­ager, Casey O'Brien, was un­der­stand­ably de­lighted with the di­vi­sional win and al­though the mar­gin was just two points in the end the man­ager felt his side were wor­thy of a big­ger win.

“It was only a two point win but to be hon­est I thought we were a four or five point bet­ter team on the day, the lads hurled ex­cep­tion­ally and fully de­served it, in the last few min­utes we prob­a­bly de­fended a lot but that's what hap­pens in a fi­nal,” said Casey.

The man­ager says Wick­low hurl­ing has come a long way in re­cent years and has the height of praise for the younger mem­bers of the panel.

“The whole thing has come full cir­cle. If you think back to when we won our first league and the likes of Mikey Lee and Daniel Staunton were prob­a­bly only 13 or 14 years of age. Now, not only are they on the panel, but they are in­te­gral parts of the team, that's how much hurl­ing in Wick­low has come along, it's a good sign,” said Casey.

The panel runs deeper than that again even and the man­ager com­ple­mented the en­tire con­tin­gent.

“Daniel, I think, turned 19 the day be­fore the match, that's how young he is, then there's Anto Byrne who played his part all year and the clubs de­serve huge credit, es­pe­cially Gle­nealy and Bray Em­mets with the work they've done pro­duc­ing all these young guys, we won our first league back in 2010 and the likes of these young guys seen this when they were 15 or 16 and it made them want to put on the Wick­low jersey,” sug­gested O'Brien.

The man­ager didn't for­get about the older mem­bers of the panel ei­ther who he says have kept plug­ging away in bad times and in good.

“If you look at Liam, Ro­nan, and Bosco, these guys are 31 or 32 and Bosco, well, no­body knows how old Bosco is,” laughs the man­ager.

“But these guys have had the years of win­ning noth­ing and they de­serve huge credit too,” says O'Brien.

The man­ager paid spe­cial trib­ute to Ea­monn Kearns who missed the league due to work com­mit­ments abroad.

“When you think we went the whole league with­out Ea­monn, that's mas­sive, he was prob­a­bly our best hurler in the last few years and he trained 10 or 11 times be­fore christ­mas and I know he will be gut­ted to have missed out be­cause this would mean a lot to him but for a Wick­low team to win 2B with­out the likes of him, says an aw­ful lot about how much hurl­ing has im­proved in the last few years,” said Casey.

Wick­low cap­tain, Wayne O’Gor­man, lifts the Di­vi­sion 2B Cup af­ter the Gar­den County de­feated Down in Na­van.

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