Bray People

A vic­tory for de­parted friends

- Sports · Rathnew · County Wicklow · Mike Doyle

AF­TER watch­ing his Rath­new team pro­duce an awe­some per­for­mance to de­feat St. Peter’s in the Wicklow Cup fi­nal on Sun­day af­ter­noon, man­ager Nicky Kear­ney has said that he was not at all sur­prised by the show­ing or re­sult, in­stead stat­ing that, when at full strength, they are as good as any team around the county.

Spurred on by tremen­dous dis­plays from Theo Smith, Jody Mer­ri­gan, Ed­die Doyle, and Jonah Graham – among many oth­ers - Rath­new de­servedly came out on top of Peter’s. Lead­ing for much of the game through Mark Doyle’s well-taken goal, Rath­new were pegged back by an in­jury-time Darren Lacey header, be­fore fall­ing be­hind in ex­tra-time to Chad Ryan.

They pro­ceeded to show im­pres­sive spirit to draw level through a stun­ning Gary Byrne vol­ley, be­fore go­ing on to win the cup on penal­ties.

Speak­ing fol­low­ing the tri­umph, Kear­ney in­sisted that he was not sur­prised by the win, and that the nar­ra­tive of Rath­new be­ing un­der­dogs drove them on.

‘It has al­ways been said that if you say you are not ner­vous or afraid go­ing into a cup fi­nal, you’re ei­ther a liar or you’re from Rath­new,’ Kear­ney said with a proud grin.

‘They had to deal with good foot­ballers, and we knew be­fore to­day that we had to deal with them, but I am not sur­prised. Th­ese lads are great foot­ballers.

‘When we got the lads back from the Gaelic, this is the strong­est team around. There won’t be many teams in Wicklow stronger than this lot when we are at full strength. We qui­etly fan­cied our­selves to­day.’

While re­flect­ing on the game, Kear­ney took the time to pay trib­ute to those whom the club and lo­cal com­mu­nity have lost over the last num­ber of years.

In May 2018, the vil­lage and county as a whole mourned the tragic loss of Jor­dan Quinn while, in Au­gust, Mike Doyle – long­time, ded­i­cated ser­vant of the club – passed away; both of whom were on the minds of the play­ers and staff as they pre­pared to meet St. Peter’s, said Kear­ney.

‘I’ll tell you what I will say, our club has had a very hard time the past few years. We lost a player trag­i­cally two years ago, Jor­dan, and about two weeks ago, we lost a man who ded­i­cated 40 years to our club, so this win is for them, and I am sure that the lads will all agree.’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland