A right hoolie for the hurlers
Wicklow hurlers presented with a collection of medals at special shindig in Ernie’s
THE Wicklow hurling team had their long awaited medals presentation night in Wicklow Town on Saturday night last.
With two sets of National Hurling League medals (2011 and 2014) and two sets Christy Ring Cup runners-up medals (2011 and 2012) there was a lot to celebrate for this great group of players.
While this was an opportunity to celebrate everyone present was acutely aware that Jim Connors, who was very much a catalyst to this success was unable to attend due to illness.
The popular St. Patrick’s and Wicklow player was missed on the night by his many colleagues and friends who send their best wishes.
One of Wicklow’s great hurling servants, Mick Hagan, assumed the mantel of master of ceremonies for the night and welcomed the assembled players and guests.
Noting that not only did were the 2014 county and club players of the year, John Henderson and Mikey Lee, present, but also in attendance was Stephen Kelly who was on the 2014 Christy Ring team of the year.
Mick reminded everyone of the hard-fought league final victory against Derry in 2011 when Wicklow came from behind to take the honors.
Captain on that day was the incomparable Jonathan O’Neill.
2011 was also the year that Wicklow hurling people will long remember when we made the short trek to Croke Park for the Christy Ring Final, unfortunately losing out that day to a very slick Kerry team.
Enan Glynn was the captain in 2012 when Wicklow came to Croke Park for a second Christy Ring Final in a row but as was the case in 2011 we came out second best when we faced up to a Lon- don side which was stacked with experienced players from all of the major hurling counties of Ireland.
Last in the list of medals to be presented was the 2014 National Hurling League medals.
Capturing the Division 2B title and promotion to Division 2A for 2015 in the play-off final against a determined Down side was very much the highlight of the year.
This team was captained by Wayne O’Gorman who was also a member of the 2011/12 teams.
It is interesting to note that Wicklow’s Mikey Lee with 58 points finished the league as the third highest scorer coming in behind no less than Seamus Callanan of Tipperary on 77 points and Patrick Horgan of Cork with 60 points.
Through all of this success the team has been guided by a great manager in Casey O’Brien who along with current selectors Brian Gleeson, Emmet O’Sullivan and Robert Doyle and past selectors Gerry Murray and Jim Bob Doyle.
The St. Patrick’s Wicklow Town man has brought much glory to the county during his tenure and this fact was emphasised by County Chairman, Martin Coleman who told the assembled guests that the County Board is very happy to support the work of Casey and his back room team.
Martin also said that the delegate who bemoaned the lack of inter county success at our recent county convention would have done well to be in attendance and witness this great occasion.
Martin reserved special thanks for Mr. Wicklow hurling, Jackie Napier for his many years of dedicated work and although Jackie will now step down from the man- agement committee there is no doubt that wherever a Wicklow team takes to the field Jackie will be somewhere in attendance offering advice and support.
The speeches were rounded off by our County GAA President Peter Keogh who echoed the sentiments of the other speakers in thanking the players and management.
Peter noted the new influx exciting young players who are fast becoming the backbone to the team. The work rate and commitment of these young lads allied with the experience, drive and determination of the older players bodes well for our coming season. Peter finished by challenging the squad to take that step and push on to take the Christy Ring Cup in 2015.
For more photos go to the Wicklow People Sport Facebook page.
Casey O’Brien, Jackie Napier, and Brian Gleeson enjoying the awards night for the Wicklow hurlers.
County Chairman Martin Coleman unleashes his savage sense of humour on Jackie Napier and Mick Hagan.
Martin Coleman presents Mikey Lee with his medal.
Billy Cuddihy with the ‘Most Colourful Tie’ award winner Pat Mitchell.
John Henderson collects his medal from County Chairman Martin Coleman.
We think the message that Billy Cuddihy, Peter Keane, and Stephen Kelly are trying to get across is that Ronan Keddy is the best hurler in Wicklow but we’re not entirely sure.