Hol­ly­wood re­joice after IFC suc­cess

Wicklow People - - SPORT - BREN­DAN LAWRENCE


WHAT a dif­fer­ence a year makes?

From a team that looked out of place at Se­nior level and de­void of any real sense of pur­pose and en­thu­si­asm, Mick Mur­ray and his back­room team of Dar­ragh Burke and Éoin Roddy have cre­ated a for­mi­da­ble Hol­ly­wood out­fit that made the swiftest of re­turns to the top ta­ble of Wick­low club foot­ball thanks to their de­struc­tion of Dunlavin in the D’Arcy Sand In­ter­me­di­ate foot­ball cham­pi­onship fi­nal in Joule Park, Aughrim, last Satur­day af­ter­noon.

Hol­ly­wood cap­tain Conor Burke ref­er­enced the trans­for­ma­tion from the rel­e­gated team from last year to the cham­pi­onship win­ning side of 2017 in his post-match speech on the steps of the stand to a huge crowd that must have in­cluded ev­ery sin­gle hu­man be­ing with an ad­dress in or around the vil­lage of Hol­ly­wood.

Burke thanked Mur­ray, or ‘Big Dog’ as he called him, and said that the team had gone from hav­ing small num­bers turn­ing up for train­ing in 2016 to a very healthy panel of over 30 play­ers turn­ing up at ses­sions in


Mur­ray has reignited the pas­sion in Hol­ly­wood foot­ball. It’s abun­dantly clear that the Hol­ly­wood play­ers have bought in to the Mur­ray phi­los­o­phy. They’ve had a bump or two along the road but they now boast play­ers who would walk on to any Se­nior panel in Wick­low.

The likes of Keith Traynor, Harry Wil­son, Éoin Burke, Conor Burke, Mikey Healy, Robert Kelly, Cian Tyrrell, Peadar Traynor, Matthew Kelly, PJ O’Ke­effe, Thomas Burke and Joe Glen­non are se­ri­ous foot­ballers and when you add in the mar­velous Tony Han­non and the burly Ciarán Tyrrell, it’s no won­der that Hol­ly­wood have made the im­me­di­ate bounce back to Se­nior sta­tus. All it needed was in­vest­ment by the play­ers into a man­ager and a man­age­ment that they be­lieved in.

And Mick Mur­ray proved to be ex­actly the right man for the job.

The key to Satur­day’s comprehensive vic­tory was the abil­ity to run at and ex­ploit a por­ous defence. Hol­ly­wood cre­ated six goal chances and con­verted five, chances are you’re go­ing to win any game you can score five ma­jors in a game and keep your op­po­nents sur­viv­ing on scraps and fre es.

Dunlavin will be gut­ted by this de­feat. Thomas Har­ney’s men truly be­lieved that they had the ca­pa­bil­i­ties to beat Hol­ly­wood but a fragility in the defence was most cru­elly high­lighted by the Hol­ly­wood at­tack.

The loss of Tom McGuirk in goals was note­wor­thy. Scott Phelan didn’t do too much wrong but it was a mas­sive day for a young man to come in and take the place of an ex­pe­ri­enced young keeper like McGuirk.

The fail­ure of the ap­peal to get McGuirk off his sus­pen­sion aris­ing from the semi-fi­nal against Rath­new will ran­cor with Dunlavin who feel their net­min­der was com­ing to the defence of his col­league at the time of his red card.

But Dunlavin had more to worry about that the loss of McGuirk. The early con­ces­sion of two goals within seven min­utes did se­ri­ous dam­age to their col­lec­tive psy­che. Mikey Healy’s role in those two goals was mas­sive. He gath­ered the stray clear­ance and bounded up the field for the first and was on the Dunlavin end line pass­ing it across to Thomas Burke for the sec­ond. Healy col­lected the Man of the Match award after the game, and rightly so. He was su­perb.

The ease at which Hol­ly­wood seemed to be able to move up the field and into scor­ing po­si­tions was aw­fully wor­ry­ing from a Dunlavin point of view.

When Thomas Burke gath­ered Tony Han­non’s high ball in be­tween Scott Phelan and Thomas Whe­lan to make it 3-04 to 0-03 after 18 min­utes you would have been for­given for ac­cept­ing that Dunlavin were dead and buried.

But those next 12 min­utes were Dunlavin’s best of the game and they came from 10 points be­hind to be­ing five points be­hind at the break with white flags be­ing raised by James Walsh (two), Thomas Davis (three) to leave the half­time score read­ing 3-04 to 0-08 in favour of the Hol­ly­wood men.

How­ever, Dunlavin would be play­ing against the wind and shoot­ing into the Red­nagh Hill end for the sec­ond half. But an early free from Thomas Davis clawed them back to within four points and things were sud­denly look­ing sal­vage­able for Thomas Har­ney’s men.

The last thing Dunlavin needed was an­other goal for Hol­ly­wood but that’s what ar­rive two and a half min­utes into the sec­ond half when Thomas Burke nabbed his hat-trick thanks a lovely Matthew Kelly pass across the face of the ex­posed Dunlavin goal.

The most im­por­tant role in the goal was played by cor­ner-back Éoin Burke who took a pass from Hol­ly­wood cap­tain Conor Burke inside his own half and ex­changed a one-two with Cian Tyrrell be­fore launch­ing a dainty pass to the ath­letic Joe Glen­non.

Glen­non cut across the field and found PJ O’Ke­effe who in turn sent in a neat kick pass to Éoin Burke who had am­bi­tiously con­tin­ued his run.

He gath­ered and flipped a lit­tle pass over the top to Matthew Kelly who sur­vived a stiff tackle from Thomas Kelly to pass across the goal to Thomas Burke for what was prob­a­bly the killer score of the game.

Joe Glen­non popped over a score shortly after­wards be­fore Dunlavin bagged four points from Gary Allen, James Walsh, Shane Carty and Thomas Davis with a mag­i­cal up­lift­ing point from man of the match Mikey Healy sand­wiched in be­tween.

And then the cur­tain was ruth­lessly brought down on the Dunlavin chal­lenge when Ciarán Tyrrell picked out Peadar Traynor with a sub­lime pass while on the ground and Traynor gal­loped down on the Dunlavin goal and fired home a screamer to make it 5-07 to 0-13.

It was a mag­i­cal day for Hol­ly­wood. Mikey Healy was fully de­serv­ing of his Man of the Match award but hot on his heels would have been the ex­cel­lent Éoin Burke, the ca­pa­ble Cian Tyrrell, the pow­er­ful Peadar Traynor, the ma­raud­ing Matthew Kelly, the plun­der­ing PJ O’Ke­effe, the tor­ment­ing Thomas Burke, the cat­a­strophic Ciarán Tyrrell and the juicy Joe Glen­non.

Dunlavin will need time to re­cover from this de­feat. They are a club lit­tered with tal­ented foot­ballers and they will be back at the busi­ness end in 2017.

Have no doubt about that, what­so­ever.

– Hol­ly­wood: Thomas Burke 3-00, Tony Han­non 0-03 (1f), Matthew Kelly 1-00, Cian Tyrrell 1-00, PJ O’Ke­effe 0-03, Joe Glen­non 0-01, Mikey Healy 0-01, Peadar Traynor 0-01.

Dunlavin: Thomas Davis 0-06


The Hol­ly­wood team and sup­port­ers cel­e­brate after they de­feated Dunlavin in the IFC county fi­nal on in Joule Park, Aughrim.

Dunlavin’s Paul Murtagh and Hol­ly­wood’s Peadar Traynor defy grav­ity dur­ing the IFC fi­nal in Joule Park, Aughrim. Pic­ture: Garry O’Neill

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