KEOGH’S COR­NER

Bray People - - SPORT - WITH PETER KEOGH

A GOOD weekend all round in Wick­low GAA.

Casey O'Brien's hurlers brought home the first piece of sil­ver­ware af­ter a fine dis­play that saw them turn the ta­bles on Down.

Our 'lucky gen­eral', Wayne O'Gor­man, added to his fine collection of honours by lift­ing the Cup in Pairc Tail­teann, a venue that is turn­ing into a Wick­low's happy hunt­ing ground.

What a weekend? When the hurlers hit the ground they weren't run­ning but sprint­ing and when they had the over­worked um­pires wav­ing white flags three times in­side a minute I thought, 'well I have seen saw it all'.

Then along came the foot­ballers to say 'any­thing they can do, we can do bet­ter'. When all hope of sal­vaging some­thing from the wreck­age in Sem­ple Sta­dium had van­ished they slammed in three goals in­side two min­utes to grab a vic­tory from the jaws of de­feat.

While this win was not enough to get us pro­mo­tion it is still a nice boost as Harry pre­pares his team for the cham­pi­onship. For the first time in years one can no­tice com­pe­ti­tion for places.

Ladies Foot­ball

Hard luck to Do­minic Leach and his brave ladies team. They made the long jour­ney to Lim­er­ick and were pipped by a point by the home side.

Scor Ques­tion time

Hol­ly­wood were the win­ners of the Wick­low sec­tion of the Scor ques­tion time, held in the Royal Ho­tel Glen­dalough on Fri­day night.

Richard Burke's team pipped a St Patrick's team cap­tained by Colm Fin­negan and they now go for­ward to rep­re­sent Wick­low at the All-Ire­land fi­nals, to be held in Castle­bar on the 26th of the month.

Tom Walsh was quiz­mas­ter while Ray Men­ton, Ash­ling Grace and Dessie Bur­ton were the ad­ju­di­ca­tors.

An­other 'first' for Hol­ly­wood - con­grat­u­la­tions.

Re­mem­ber Mick Fal­lon

Well I know one man that does. When Tommy Bren­nan, the driv­ing force be­hind the West Wick­low branch of Cu­mann na mBun­scol was send­ing me a copy of his spring pro­gram of ac­tiv­i­ties in the west for the year he en­closed a nice let­ter on the 'Fal­lon' story that ap­peared in the 'Cor­ner' some weeks ago.

'I am writ­ing to com­pli­ment and thank you for that won­der­ful ar­ti­cle; I sent on a copy to Mick's son in Manch­ester'. Keep up the good work'.

So now they are read­ing the 'Cor­ner' in Manch­ester.

I note that Tommy's pro­gramme caters for hurl­ing, foot­ball, camo­gie, ladies foot­ball, rounders, bas­ket­ball, cross coun­try and even in­cludes Tran a gCeist.

Prime Time on Sky

One of the big talk­ing points over the week it would ap­pear was the 'Prime Time' pro­gramme that took a look at de­ci­sion of the GAA to do a deal with 'Sky' on broad­cast­ing rights for a small num­ber of GAA games and as al­ways the 'Cor­ner' some­how got dragged into the con­tro­versy.

Since I did not watch the pro­gramme my­self I am not in a po­si­tion to com­ment on it but you can have a look at some of the com­ments:

“What about the el­derly men all over the coun­try that gave a life­time of ser­vice to the GAA - now we are go­ing to have to pay to watch the matches on TV”; “We never minded pay­ing into the matches, pro­vided we could get tick­ets - now we are ex­pected to pay to see them at home”.

“Con­trast the per­for­mance of the DG with that of Anne Healy of Bray Em­mets: res­o­nant of all that is best in the As­so­ci­a­tion. No con­test!!”

“Sky can be flat­ter­ing and in­sid­i­ous; their com­pe­tence is con­fined to the an­nual bot­tom line (their own). Their meth­ods are in­sid­i­ous and self-serv­ing. The thin end of the wedge comes to mind. The GAA, as an or­gan­i­sa­tion, does not fit this model. Anne Healy made that quite clear.” G.T.

“Why the sud­den wave of protests when the GAA sign up to a world­wide broad­caster? Do we com­plain about pay­ing to watch other sports? We have the great­est games in the World.

Why not let the world see and en­joy them”.

“Is this not a mat­ter of self be­lief - why should we want to hide our games away or keep them for our­selves? If oth­ers want to see our games and are pre­pared to pay for the priv­i­lege then why not take their money - we cer­tainly have plenty of ways to use it'.

“There is no such thing as bad pub­lic­ity; surely ex­po­sure to a larger au­di­ence has to be good”

As I said at the start I did not see the pro­gramme and so can not judge but other have no prob­lem pay­ing to watch other sports so why not a few selected GAA matches . I don't know what all the fuss is about.

Where are they now?

The young men in last week's pic­ture were ply­ing their trade in the early days of Vo­ca­tional Schools foot­ball in the county. They were from the Bray Vo­ca­tional School and were drawn from the greater Bray area which would take in New­town, Kil­macannogue, En­niskerry, Grey­stones and Kil­coole.

They had just won the Wick­low VS cup and the lad hold­ing it in the sec­ond row was Mick Crin­nion of New­town, a fine young foot­baller who went to serve the county in many ways down the years.

We had a call from his wife, Ann, and his daugh­ter, Ann Marie, and both were thrilled to see the 'Da' in the paper; it brought back mem­o­ries of his hey-days.

Shay Ryan from Bray was one of the early call­ers and he could name most of the play­ers in the pic­ture. Shay also had great mem­o­ries of play­ing with the Bray schools teams against the Wick­low schools.

The most fa­mous name of all in the pic­ture he said, was Alan Kelly, who went on to be­come Ire­land's goal­keeper in soc­cer and won 47 caps for his coun­try.

Sean Doyle rang from Cork and he named al­most ev­ery­one in the pic­ture. Like Mick, he was from New­town him­self, and played a lot of foot­ball with the 'Mag­pies' and some with Wick­low.

The lad with the cup is def­i­nitely Mick Crin­nion and clearly very proud to be cap­tain on the day.

An­other player in the pic­ture to be­come fa­mous in his own right lat­ter is Joe Keenan of Round­wood while I am sure that oth­ers like Sean Devlin, Sean Brady and Peter Don­nelly are still well re­mem­bered around Kil­macan­nague.

The pic­ture was taken from that lit­tle gem of a book 'Our Gar­den Nurs­eries' which cov­ered Gaelic games in Wick­low run by Coiste Chon­tae Iarb­hun­scoileanna, Chill Mhan­tain from 1968 to 1993 but also looked back briefly at games in the schools from post war years, mainly the late 1940s and the '50s.

While there is some doubt the ex­act date or lo­ca­tion of the pic­ture the book puts it down as 1951 some­where in Bray - most likely Em­met Park

How­ever the man him­self, Mick Crin­nion, rang in and put us out of our mis­ery. It was, as we guessed, the Wick­low Vo­ca­tional Schools fi­nal of 1951 and was played on the Mur­row in Wick­low town.

Bray VS beat Wick­low VS in that fi­nal and Mick had the hon­our of bring­ing the cup back to Bray.

The book told the story of Wick­low's trip to Bray for an ear­lier match; play­ers of to­day may find this in­ter­est­ing. The only trans­port avail­able was the reg­u­lar bus ser­vice and the Wick­low team sheet car­ried the fol­low­ing: Bus from Wick­low to Bray - fair (sin­gle) 2s 10p; from Rath­new 2s 6p; from Ash­ford - 2s 4p (Ef­forts to be made to get half fares). Out­ward fare to be paid from stu­dents fund; re­turn play­ers would have to pay them­selves.

Mick Crin­nion com­mented that there was noth­ing strange about that - the same ap­plied in Bray.

The Boys in the Pic­ture

Back Row L to R - John Rodgers (Bray/Shankhill); Paddy O'Toole (Boghall), Mick O'Brien (Bray)'Peter (Mousie) For­tune (Sea Front), Sean Doyle (New­town), Der­mot Hay­den (Grey­stones),

Cen­tre row - Alan Kelly (Bray), Joe Keenan (Round­wood), Peter La Comber (Grey­stones),

Mick Cronin (New­town) Pat Hussey (Cook­stown), Cor­mac Davis (Kilped­dar).

Front Row - Peter Don­nelly (Kil­macannogue), Wil­lie Humphries (Bray), Paddy Mur­phy (Grey­stones) Sean Brady (Kil­mac), Sean Devlin (Kil­mac).

U-21 Foot­ball in 'moth­balls'

With the U-21 or U-20 foot­ball cham­pi­onship about to kick off in the near fu­ture we thought this a good time to look back at how the grade did in the past.

We all re­mem­ber the good days, the great matches and, in par­tic­u­lar, great fi­nals in­volv­ing Balt­in­glass, Ti­na­hely, An Tochar and oth­ers.

But there was also the down side and that was what caused the grade to be aban­doned in the end.

We bor­rowed the above head­line from a 'Wick­low People' of 21 years ago. It was a Fe­bru­ary edi­tion so clearly they were com­ment­ing on the U-21 cham­pi­onship of 1992. It read like this - “His­tory is about to re­peat it­self with the U-21 Foot­ball Cham­pi­onship. This ex­cel­lent com­pe­ti­tion to date is about to go into moth­balls like many be­fore it - and all be­cause of one match. The match is a sec­ond round match be­tween Bless­ing­ton and Carnew - the dif­fi­culty arises be­cause on the one side you have a county hurler in­volved and on the other a county foot­baller.

An agree­ment ar­rived at be­tween the ac­tiv­i­ties com­mit­tee and the county team man­agers was that lo­cal league or cham­pi­onship matches in­volv­ing county play­ers could go ahead on the Satur­day pro­vided the rel­e­vant county team was not in­volved in a key league of cham­pi­onship match on the Sun­day.

Very good you may well say ex­cept that all league matches are key matches for the hurlers and the foot­ballers at the mo­ment.

The Carnew v Bless­ing­ton match can not go ahead this weekend be­cause Dar­ren Be­han is needed by the foot­ballers for the match against Ty­rone on Sun­day - a match which could de­cide whether Wick­low play in Div.1 or Div 11 next year. On the fol­low­ing weekend, hurl­ing man­ager, John Hen­der­son, is un­likely to re­lease Don Hyland, not to men­tion the Mul­roe broth­ers from duty in a match v Meath. And so it goes on.”

That is part of the his­tory of a good com­pe­ti­tion and should be re­mem­bered as Mick Ha­gan and his com­mit­tee pre­pare to launch the new U-20 cham­pi­onship later this year. As lit­tle as two play­ers can, un­der the old rules, stall the com­pe­ti­tion at any stage.

Where were thee in '93

21 years ago, be­lieve it or not An­nacurra had a Se­nior hurl­ing team but luck was not on their side. They drew the reign­ing cham­pi­ons St. Patrick's in the first round of the cham­pi­onship and had to go all the way to Kil­coole to play the match.

Lit­tle sur­prise than that they were not able to match a team led from cen­tre­field by Casey O'Brien with his fa­ther Sean in goal be­hind him.

The teams - St Pats: Sean O'Brien; Wil­lie Red­mond, Stephen (Sap) Kennedy, John Casey; Brien Glee­son, Thomas Byrne, Noel Cor­co­ran; Casey O'Brien (0-6), David Hef­fer­nan; Ed­die King, Patrick Lawlor (0-1), Ge­orge John­son (0-3); Johnny Ka­vanagh, Colin Byrne (1-1), David Bury (The Wick­low Man) (1-4). Sub: Wil­lie Carey.

An­nacurra: Colm Doyle; Michael Doyle, De­clan Byrne, Pat O'Neill; Phillip Doyle, Syl Ivers (0-2), Mar­cus Gra­ham; Ger Mur­phy, Brendan Doyle (0-2) ; Sean O'Neill (0-1), Pat Mur­phy, Eu­gene Gra­ham; Timmy Howard, Michal (Lofty) Doyle (1-1), Tony Doyle.

(That An­nacurra team, as you can see was back­boned by play­ers from the Avoca Club).

A Garda Sergeant, Joe O'Rourke, from Tip­per­ary had taken on the task of re­build­ing the old hurl­ing club the mo­ment he set foot on Wick­low soil.

He started with U-12 and won ev­ery cham­pi­onship from that up to Se­nior in as many years as it took him to climb from one grade to the next.

The last cham­pi­onship he won be­fore he was trans­ferred back to Tip­per­ary was Se­nior B but be­fore the train tak­ing him back to his na­tive county had reached Thurles the rot has set in and the struc­tures he had built up hat be­gan to crum­ble. The club crum­bled for a time and the play­ers joined neigh­bour­ing clubs but the drive, love and the pas­sion that Joe brought to the game went with him.

Some of the play­ers he groomed to star­dom and were wear­ing the blue and gold of Wick­low in­cluded Mick Doyle. Michael (Lofty) Doyle, Syl Ivers, John and Wil­lie Moules, Tony Doyle, The De­lany's, The Dev­ereuxs and many oth­ers that will not come to mind.).

Get Well Wishes

Get well wishes this week to well known Ti­na­hely hand­baller and foot­baller, Pat Quale, who is in hospi­tal await­ing a big oper­a­tion.

You will make it Pat as you al­ways did on the play­ing field or in the al­ley and we will all be root­ing for you.

Can you iden­tify the people in the above photo? Con­tact Peter on 087 6907589 or email pe­terkeogh­gaa@gmail.com.

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