Bray at­tacker bags 1-11 of Wick­low’s to­tal as Storey’s charges re­tain Ring sta­tus

Bray People - - SPORT - MICK HA­GAN

FOL­LOW­ING a mixed Christy Ring Cup cam­paign, Wick­low and Derry re­newed an old ri­valry when the coun­ties make the trip to Newry on Satur­day last for the rel­e­ga­tion play-off.

The out­come of the clash would see the win­ners re­tain their sta­tus while the losers would en­ter a last chance sa­loon sit­u­a­tion against the Nicky Rackard win­ners for sur­vival.

Wick­low were given a boost when Christy Moore­house was cleared to play fol­low­ing an ap­peal dur­ing the week af­ter his dis­missal against Kil­dare in the last round.

And no doubt he played a ma­jor role on Satur­day as the Bray man pro­duced a five-star per­for­mance when he scored 1-11 of his side’s to­tal and de­liv­ered a per­for­mance which in­spired his team mates to step up to the mark as Martin Storey’s side scored a con­vinc­ing win to re­tain their sta­tus for 2017.

Both teams showed one change from the pro­gramme which saw Diar­muid Master­son re­place Anto Byrne, while Jonathan O’Dwyer started in­stead of Paul Cleary for Derry.

With the aid of a strong breeze in the open­ing half, Wick­low opened the scor­ing with a point from Daniel Staunton af­ter two min­utes.

This brought a quick re­sponse from the Derry men when Jonathan O’Dwyer scored a point from play to bring the sides level.

Wick­low showed their in­tent when they bagged three points on the trot.

Diar­muid Master­son scored a long-range point from play, while top scorer Christy Moore­house pointed a free, and wing for­ward Pádraig Do­ran also got his name on the score board with a point from play which left Wick­low lead­ing by 0-04 to 0-01 af­ter seven min­utes played.

Derry launched two at­tacks then but the Wick­low de­fence stood firm be­fore a long ball from a free was floated in to the Wick­low goal area which ended in the net. The ref­eree con­sulted with his um­pires and then awarded a free out, much to the de­light of the loyal Wick­low sup­port­ers who made the trip to sup­port their team.

Wick­low surged for­ward which saw good move in­volv­ing three play­ers be­fore Mikey Lee split the Derry de­fence, but his pile driver brought a ex­cel­lent save from Darry McDer­mott in the Derry goal,

Wick­low con­tin­ued to keep the pres­sure on which saw mid­fielder Ea­mon Kearns solo through but his shot went wide and the win­ners were also guilty of some bad shoot­ing as they recorded two wides in a row, one from a free.

Derry surged up field but the in-form cen­tre-back John Hen- der­son cut off their threat which re­sulted in a free out be­ing awarded and the first yel­low card be­ing shown to Derry wing for­ward Mark McGuigan.

Af­ter both sides missed two scor­ing chances each, a Derry at­tack re­sulted in a free be­ing awarded which Ruairi Con­very pointed to leave Wick­low lead­ing on a score of 0-04 to 0-02 at the end of the first quar­ter.

At this stage Wick­low upped the tempo which saw Ea­mon Kearns find his way past sev­eral de­fend­ers only to be de­nied a goal by the alert Conor McSor­ley which re­sulted in a 65 be­ing awarded but, on this oc­ca­sion, Christy More­house was off tar­get.

The Wick­low de­fence con­tin­ued to bat­tle hard and made life mis­er­able for the Derry for­wards while a hard work­ing mid­field pair­ing of Ea­mon Kearns and Ro­nan Keddy gave a good sup­ply to the for­wards who clicked as a unit. This united play re­sulted in three points be­ing scored through Diar­muid Master­son, Daniel Staunton, and Christy Moore­house to leave Wick­low lead­ing by 0-07 to 0-02.

Wick­low were also un­lucky not to have scored a goal dur­ing that spell when a pass from Mikey Lee was gath­ered by Daniel Staunton who rounded his maker but he shot wide.

An­other Wick­low at­tack re­sulted in a free out to Derry which saw a melee de­velop and one or two Derry play­ers can count them­selves lucky to have stayed on the field of play.

A rare Derry at­tack saw a free be­ing awarded which Ruairi O’Con­very con­verted. This stirred Wick­low into ac­tion and, fol­low­ing a foul on Pádraig Do­ran, ace free taker Christy More­house scored a point from the free.

From the puck out, Ea­mon Kearns won pos­ses­sion around the mid­field area which saw him drive a long ball down field which re­sulted in Daniel Staunton scor­ing a point while cen­tre-for­ward Tommy Storey added an­other Wick­low point to give Wick­low a com­mand­ing lead of 0-10 to 0-03.

Derry set about re­duc­ing the deficit and were re­warded with two points, one each from wing for­wards Mark McGuigan and top scorer Ruairi Con­very, but it was the win­ners who fin­ished the stronger with two points, af­ter good work by John Hen­der­son and Daniel Staunton re­sulted in Mikey Lee land­ing a point, while it was only fit­ting that Christy Moore­house should close the first half scor­ing with a point from play to leave Wick­low lead­ing by 0-12 to 0-05 at half-time.

Fol­low­ing the break, a fired up Derry side showed they were hurt and, trail­ing by seven points, they ral­lied strongly and struck over seven con­sec­u­tive points, with early scores from Mark McGuigan and Ruairi Con­very, and no doubt th­ese scor­ers in­spired the rest of the Derry team as they went on to take con­trol and force Wick­low to play sec­ond fid­dle to a ram­pant Derry side.

Cor­ner-for­ward Oisin McCloskey landed the first of the seven points, his from play. An­other Derry at­tack saw Mark McGuigan fouled and Ruairi Con­very pointed.

The Derry dom­i­nance con­tin­ued and they landed a point each from Tiar­nan McCloskey, Mark McGuigan, and Ruairi Con­very, to bring the sides level at 0-12 each.

This bom­bard­ment left the Wick­low side shell-shocked as they had been cruis­ing in the open­ing half.

But, once again, Wick­low re­sponded when they knew they had a bat­tle on their hands. They went on to score two points from the in-form Christy More­house, one from play, while the Derry side kept in touch with a point which left one point be­tween the sides with Wick­low lead­ing by 0-14 to 0-13 at the end of the third quar­ter.

At this stage Wick­low re­ally took the game to their op­po­nents and, af­ter hit­ting a cou­ple of wides, Danny Staunton gave the win­ners the tonic they needed when he scored a great goal.

Staunton’s strike in­spired those around him to up the tempo once more, and this fresh burst of en­ergy re­sulted in Derry con­ced­ing frees which proved costly with Moore­house on fire from placed balls. He added two points from frees and, for good mea­sure, scored his side’s sec­ond goal which left the Gar­den county with a com­mand­ing lead of 2-16 to 0-13 well into the sec­ond half.

The re­main­der of the game saw the win­ners outscore their op­po­nents by seven points to two.

A long ball from mid­fielder Ea­mon Kearns re­sulted in a 65, which Christy Moorhouse pointed. Sec­ond half sub­sti­tute Anto Byrne also got his name on the score board.

Diar­muid Master­son and Christy Moore­house went on to add two points each while Mikey Lee com­pleted the Wick­low scor­ing with a point from play.

Derry sub­sti­tute Deaglan Foley and Alan Grant scored two con­so­la­tion points for Derry which left Wick­low com­fort­able win­ners and re­tain­ing their Christy Ring sta­tus for 2017.

This game saw Wick­low play their best hurl­ing of the year as they dom­i­nated the open­ing half with some great de­fend­ing, they con­trolled mid­field and the for­wards work­ing as a unit with all six at­tack­ers get­ting on the score sheet while sub­sti­tute Anto Byrne also scored a point, while an­other sub, Eoin McCor­mack, also played a part in Wick­low’s sec­ond goal.

Wick­low fin­ished up wor­thy win­ners and they fully de­served their vic­tory with all 17 play­ers play­ing their part to achieve vic­tory which sent the loyal band of sup­port­ers home happy.

Af­ter the game, Wick­low man­ager Martin Storey was full of praise for the team ef­fort and com­mit­ment dur­ing the year and had no doubt that to­day was the team best per­for­mance and hoped he would play a part in the com­ing sea­son.

County Chair­man, Martin Cole­man, thanked ev­ery­one con­cerned with the team for their ef­forts dur­ing the year and they got what they de­served in re­tain­ing their sta­tus and he also wished the play­ers the best of luck in the lo­cal cham­pi­onship and urged the

en­tire panel to re­turn for county duty at the end of the year.

Scor­ers – Wick­low: Christy Moore­house 1-11 (8f, 1 65), Danny Staunton 1-03, Diar­muid Master­son 0-04, Mikey Lee 0-02, Pádraig Do­ran 0-01, Tommy Storey 0-01, Anto Byrne 0-01.

Derry: Ruairi Con­very 0-07 (6f), Mark McGuigan 0-03, Jonathan O’Dwyer, Oisin McCloskey, Michael McGrath, Deaglan Foley, Alan Grant 0-01 each.

Wick­low: Dan ONeill; Luke Maloney, Stephen Kelly, Cathal O Du­lachain; Peter Keane, John Hen­der­son, Martin O’Brien; Ro­nan Keddy, Ea­mon Kearns; Pádraig Do­ran, Tommy Storey, Diar­muid Master­son; Mikey Lee, Christy Moore­house, Daniel Staunton. Subs: Anto Byrne for P Do­ran, Eoin McCor­mack for D Staunton (BS), Daniel Staunton for E McCor­mack, Eoin McCor­mack for Tommy Storey.

Derry: Dar­ryl McDer­mot; Dar­ragh McCloskey, Conor Quinn, Sean McCul­lagh; Bren­dan Quigley, Conor McSor­ley, Brian Og McGil­lian; Alan Grant, Tiar­nan McCloskey; Mark McGuinan, Jonathan Dwyer, Ruairi Con­very; Gar­reth O’Kane, Shane Far­ren, Oisin McCloskey. Subs: Michael McGrath for Gar­reth O’Kane, Deaglan Foley for Jonathan O’Dwyer.

Ref­eree: John O’Brien (Tip­per­ary)

Wick­low’s Ro­nan Keddy storms up the field dur­ing the Christy Ring Cup rel­e­ga­tion bat­tle.

The tide turns - Ur­gency on the Wick­low side­line as the hurlers start to get the bet­ter of Derry.

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