Hollywood rejoice after IFC success
HOLLYWOOD DUNALVIN 5-09 0-15
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