Talented footballers tackle Tyrone and Cork on busy weekend
THERE was no rest for the Wicklow county under-15s last weekend where a victory over a travelling Tyrone side suggests how much talent is available to work on in the panel.
Manager Kevin O Brien and his coaches are delighted with the response of their players.
On what was another busy week for the under-15 footballers, on Thursday night they travelled to Thomastown in south Dublin to play Cuala in a challenge game.
This game was organised to give members of the panel game time who didn’t get a run the previous week against Meath.
On to Saturday and big games against Tyrone and Cork in Blessington.
The management team would like to thank the Blessington GAA club for providing their facilities to play such high profile teams as Tyrone and Cork.
It proves how much people are looking at results over the last few weeks when you have teams like this looking to play challenge games.
The panel of players were really looking forward to testing their ability against such prestigious opponents.
Despite a number of players away on holidays from the prievious games it also gave a number of other players the chance to stake a claim for starting place for the Adam Mangan tournament in Offaly on August 12.
The opening game against Tyrone was played at a very high tempo and Wicklow had good control of a very competitive game.
As expected, the Northern boys tackling was close to the edge but game was played in a very sporting manner and no cards issued or required.
Due to holidays the team had a slightly different look to previous games but the players on the pitch, one to 15, played for the jersey and made it difficult for the sideline to make changes in this game.
Result: Wicklow 3-07, Tyrone A 2-06.
Scorers: Jack Hanlon, Sam Kearney, Thomas O’Shea, Shane Daly, Cillian McDonald, Adam Hadden and Eoin O’Neill.
The second game against the second Tyrone team started like a formula one motor race with both teams attacking at speed and the management emptied the bench mid way through game.
This game was high scoring and required a degree of composure to quench a strong second half performance come back from Tyrone.
One of the many stand out moment of the game saw Sam Kearney taken down but got back up straight away and and buried the ball in the back of the Tyrone net.
After two games against Tyrone the players had played two hours of football, therefore, as expected, the players were getting tired.
Killian McDonald had a man of the match performance in all games and was ably assisted by Sam Kearney and Eoin O’Neill who marshalled midfield with an accomplished performance. Providing 30 players with game time over two games is a lot to manage.
Result: Wicklow 5-10, Tyrone B 3-12.
Scorers - Jack Hanlon, Sam Kearney, Robey Miley, Cian Hynes, Alan Miley, Sean Coffey and Patrick O’Hallaron
By the time Wicklow played Cork in the third game there was little in the tank and as expected our performaces didn’t reach the high standards as in previous games.
Cork knew this as well as they were impressed enough to organise another challenge game in a few weeks.
Overall another accomplished performance from this group of players.
Slowly but surely it looks as though this team is developing into a side Wicklow people can be proud of.
The players themselves also feel part of something special.
Much more to do but the seeds are beginning to grow, they need to be nurtured and cared for like a gardener takes care of his flowers in the end beautiful flowers develop and the Garden looks amazing.
For this group of players to bloom and develop it will take more than sun and water and the occasional weeding it will take finance and backing from a sponsor and total support from our County Board to ensure these players get their day out in Croke Park in two year’s time.
Panel of Players who competed were: Jack Hanlon (Baltinglass), Killian McDonald (Tinahely), Bradley Hickey (Tinahely), Adam Hadden (Tinahely), Oisin Brogan (Blessington), Daniel Healy (Éire Ógs), Thade Shanahan (Éire Óg), Eoin O’Neill (Éire Óg), Cian Hynes (Éire Óg), Alan Miley (St Nicholas), Brian Keogh (St Nicholas), Jack Grace (St Nicholas), Shane Daly (St Nicholas), Luke Kenny (An Tochar), Hugh O’Brien (AGB), Dylan Lynch (Derry Gaels), Sean Campbell (Derry Gaels), Cian Kelly (St Patrick’s), Sean Coffey (Rathnew), Fionn O’Sullivan (Rathnew), Joseph O’Shea (Barndarrig), Thomas O’Shea (Barndarrig), Robbie Miley (St Kevin’s), Keith Burke (St Kevin’s), Sam Kearney (Bray Emmets), Ryan Guilfoyle (Carnew Emmets), Caoimhin Rawson (Coolboy) (injured), Stephen Maguire (Kilmacanogue), Darren Walsh (Baltinglass), Patrick O’Hallaron (AGB), Arun Daly Danne (Baltinglass) (injured).
The Wicklow under-15 team who defeated Tyrone in Blessington last weekend.