‘We’re de­lighted to get the re­sult’

Bray People - - SPORT -

WHILE the play wasn’t al­ways won­der­ful, Wick­low man­ager Sea­mus Mur­phy was a happy man after Satur­day’s vic­tory over Mayo. The team en­tered the Christy Ring cam­paign in a dif­fer­ent place from twelve months ago, both in terms of phys­i­cal prepa­ra­tion and the mood within the camp.

The squad has en­dured some frag­mented prepa­ra­tion since their last league match in March with the ma­jor­ity of the squad was on the treat­ment ta­ble at one stage or another.

“I’m de­lighted with the re­sult, ab­so­lutely de­lighted. I sup­pose when we started the Christy Ring last year we came in off the back of good league form when we got to the league fi­nal. We came in off some good per­for­mances.

“This year was a worry be­cause we didn’t have that this year, al­right we played well but we didn’t get where we wanted to get to. Mayo went on and won and to­day was go­ing to be a huge test and we’re de­lighted to get the re­sult.

“Andy would have been in­jured and that cur­tailed his train­ing and War­ren would have been in­jured too, that’s the first bit of hurl­ing War­ren has done in three or four weeks, he could only do a bit of ball work. There were a few other lads in­jured there along with some of the subs and that would have de­ter­mined whether they were first choice sub or sec­ond choice. We’re de­lighted given that sit­u­a­tion.”

He men­tioned War­ren Ka­vanagh’s abil­ity to per­form so well with­out train­ing.

“He was very, very good. We pushed for­ward, we didn’t try to de­fend too much, and a lot of the times he was iso­lated one on one. It’s cur­tains if he loses the ball ten or fif­teen yards from goal. He took it on very pos­i­tively with no game time in the last few weeks and he had a bril­liant dis­play there.”

Over­all there is room for a lot of im­prove­ment in the team’s per­for­mance though Mur­phy does high­light how dif­fi­cult the last cou­ple of months have been to train co­he­sively.

“There were a few mis­di­rected passes and a lot of times you’ll pay the price for that. A few times in the first half had a few balls been in­ter­cepted we could have been opened up for a goal or two. We’re work­ing on that but we’ve found it very hard to get on the pitch. Six or seven weeks ago, and even more re­cently, we had no pitches with the weather.

“Every club and county is prob­a­bly the same but Bal­li­nakill was a swamp and we had nowhere with a proper sur­face to play fif­teen on fif­teen. We went through all that with the bad weather and when the pitches dried up we had a lack of proper chal­lenge matches be­cause April was a club month. And now the county is back none of the strong club teams would take you on be­cause they wanted to have a break them­selves be­cause they mightn’t play again for ten weeks. At least we’ve got this win and got over this hurdle.”

Even if the team could play bet­ter the level of per­for­mance was still good and puts the team in good stead for the rest of the Christy Ring Cup.

“We would be happy with our per­for­mance, okay we lapsed out of the game for a few min­utes at the end of each half. But they put some lovely play to­gether and took some lovely scores. That’s a pos­i­tive to work on. It’s the first time that for­ward line has come to­gether, Mikey Lee is back with us three or four weeks and PJ Nolan has joined linked with us and that’s their first com­pet­i­tive game.

“The two lads has added a scor­ing flair to the for­ward line and we have a few more lads in­jured for to­day and Padraig Doyle is out through sus­pen­sion. Those lads will be fight­ing for a place and that strength­ens our panel. We’re look­ing for­ward to move on here.”

Wick­low travel cross coun­try to Roscom­mon at the week­end as firm favourites. They were beaten heav­ily by Kil­dare last week­end and played in Di­vi­sion 3A in the league hav­ing been rel­e­gated from Di­vi­sion 2B last year. How­ever Mur­phy is cer­tain that Roscom­mon will throw ev­ery­thing at Wick­low given they are at home and de­feat would knock them out of the cham­pi­onship run­ning.

“We’ve got to go there with the right at­ti­tude, hope­fully some of the in­juries will have pro­gressed. If re­sults go a cer­tain way the group could come down to points dif­fer­ence and Kil­dare put up a mas­sive score to­day so we’ll have to push on and try to win the match and try to win it by as much as we can.”

The Wick­low hurlers ahead of their clash with Mayo in Joule Park, Aughrim, last Satur­day. Pho­tos: Joe Byrne

Wick­low’s Andy O’Brien gets away from Mayo’s Conor Daly.

Wick­low boss Sea­mus Mur­phy was a happy man after the win.

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