‘We wanted a team per­for­mance’

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT -

and the threat­en­ing fig­ure of Jor­dan Deans.

AGB were very well served by Tom Ma­her at full-back, An­drew Ma­her, Cor­mac O’Shea and Tier­nan McBride.

Scor­ers – Balt­in­glass: Adam McHugh 1-6 (3f), Jor­dan Deans 1-1, John Keogh 0-3 (1f), Cian Lee 0-2, Tadhg O’Toole 0-1.

AGB: Cor­mac O’Shea 1-3 (3f), Mark Hur­ley 0-2, An­drew Ma­her 0-1 (f), Cathal Kelle­her 0-1 (f). BALT­IN­GLASS man­ager Billy Cullen was a happy man after watch­ing his young side de­feat AGB in the un­der-20 ‘A’ foot­ball fi­nal in Joule Park Aughrim last week­end.

The Balt­in­glass man­age­ment team sent out a hun­gry and pas­sion­ate foot­ball team that hunted their prey re­lent­lessly over the 60 min­utes and were fully de­serv­ing win­ners of this in­au­gu­ral clash for the cup named after the leg­endary Peter Keogh.

Billy Cullen said they had done their home­work on the AGB kick-out and that it served them well in the fi­nal.

‘The one thing we were say­ing all week was on Ark­low’s kick-outs, that they’re run­ning for ev­ery kick-out, start­ing in the mid­dle and break­ing out, so we worked on that dur­ing the week, our for­wards had to push up, we were shout­ing, prob­a­bly hoarse from shout­ing, ‘touch, touch, touch’ so ev­ery­one was man on man. And we said if we could win three of their kick-outs a half we’d go a long way. And it did work out, I think we got 1-2 off it in the end,’ he said.

Cop­ing with AGB’s tac­tic of open­ing up a gap­ing wound in front of their full-for­ward line was a prob­lem for the Balt­in­glass boss and there were a num­ber of oc­ca­sions when his de­fence was opened up but he was happy with the huge ef­fort from his team over­all when it came to cop­ing with the AGB at­tack­ing threat.

‘Ark­low started re­ally well, they went two points up. We could see it, they do it the very same as their Se­nior team, they have their full-for­ward line in and they get their cen­tre-for­ward out of there so there’s a big gap there, there’s a 40-yard gap in front of our full-back line. So, that was a prob­lem. And we were try­ing to go man on man, we didn’t want to play a sweeper be­cause then we’re on the back foot straight away.

‘We done well over­all and you couldn’t say there was a bad per­former on the day. We didn’t care. We didn’t want any stars on the day. We just wanted a team per­for­mance and I think that’s the way it worked out in the end,’ he added.

John Keogh’s im­pact early in the se­cond half was key to the Balt­in­glass win. It put them firmly on the front foot after a tight open­ing half.

‘Run­ning with the ball, his heart is as big as the Balt­in­glass club,’ was Billy Cullen’s take on his half-for­ward.

The hunger of the Balt­in­glass de­fence was an­other mas­sive fac­tor in this vic­tory. Billy Cullen’s men con­ceded the first goal of the cam­paign to the AGB men but the con­stant pres­sure on the at­tack­ers com­ing through was key to Mark Jack­son’s net not be­ing found on plenty more oc­ca­sions.

‘Ark­low had their chances (goal) as well, we con­ceded one goal in four matches and that was day. You seen a cou­ple of times there when lads, Ark­low mid­field­ers, broke, and we were on the wrong side of them and they were com­ing straight at goal and our lads didn’t give up, even when they were tak­ing a shot the pres­sure was on. We mightn’t match them for pace, but we matched them for pres­sure,’ he said.

One note­wor­thy as­pect of this game was the phys­i­cal dif­fer­ence be­tween the two teams. Where AGB are a light, ath­letic side for the most part, Balt­in­glass ap­pear to be a more mus­cu­lar out­fit.

‘Very strong team. Even the lads who aren’t on the Se­nior team are in the gym. It stands to them,’ said Billy Cullen.

The Balt­in­glass man­ager was im­pressed with the com­pe­ti­tion and de­lighted that the Peter Keogh Cup was head­ing to Balt­in­glass for its first year in ex­is­tence.

‘I got a phone call about seven weeks and from then on it has re­ally ran on. I was sur­prised. Like you see Wick­low town don’t even have a Ju­nior team, so I wasn’t ex­pect­ing them to even have a team. It was ran re­ally well, and to have it done and over so quick, like seven weeks ago we knew the dates. And to have a good ref­eree and li­nes­men for the fi­nal was great.

‘’Look a cham­pi­onship is a cham­pi­onship. The Mi­nor was the se­cond cham­pi­onship in Wick­low, but now there’s Se­nior and now there’s the un­der-20,’ he added.

ob­bie Doyle, Lisa Keogh and Aaron Ka­vanagh with the newlt com­mis­sioned Peter

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