A week­end Dwyers will never for­get!

Won­der­ful mem­o­ries made

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT - JACK O’TOOLE Michael Dwyers

WE set off on our jour­ney on Billy’s Bus at 10am from Kil­te­gan GAA pitch on Fri­day morn­ing.

Af­ter a few pick-ups we had time for quick snack in Bless­ing­ton GAA grounds before de­part­ing for Cork. There was one pit stop en­route in Circle K where we ate our packed lunch.

At around 4pm we ar­rived in River­stick in Cork to our host club of Sli­abh Rua (a com­bined club of Bel­go­oly and River­stick).

Our first match was at 5.30pm against a fan­cied Cork team, Courcey Rovers. It was a tight match; we were two points up at half-time. In the sec­ond half the ref­eree in­cor­rectly gave us a 14-yard free (they make mis­takes in Cork, too!) so I took my chance and it hit the back of the net, that put us six points up so we were home and dry. We won by eight points.

Our sec­ond match was against a Done­gal team; Aodh Rua. They were poor op­po­si­tion; we won this game by 25 points with Jimmy Mallin getting a hat-trick of goals.

Af­ter re­fresh­ments in the club­house we met our host fam­i­lies and headed home for the night. I was shar­ing with James Boland and Ivor Fen­ton and the host fam­ily lived across the road from the pitch. Ryan, the num­ber eight for Sli­abh Rua, was a son of the host fam­ily.

We played our hosts Satur­day morn­ing win­ning on a score­line of 2-7 to 0-6. This put us in the Cup quar­ter fi­nal against Cork team Ballinhas­sig in the af­ter­noon.

We hit the beach in Kin­sale to cool down and have lunch. Sean Darker was the only lad who in­vol­un­tar­ily went for a swim. We trav­elled back to River­stick for our 3pm quar­ter fi­nal match. We had a pa­rade with the other three teams who were play­ing in the quar­ter-fi­nals before our game. The host team had warned us that Ballinhas­sig were a tough team and that they were. It was a tough phys­i­cal match with the Cork ref­eree do­ing us no favours.

We got off to a good start with two goals, but they got two goals back in quick suc­ces­sion. At half­time we went in three points up. We didn’t score in the sec­ond half but held on for a hard fought one-point win.

Ev­ery­one was de­lighted and there was great ex­cite­ment that we were in the semi-fi­nals of the Cup. There were a lot of in­juries af­ter this game with bangs to the hands and legs, so our first aid team of Miriam Man­i­fold and Anne Sheri­dan rec­om­mended some hy­drother­apy at the beach. There was no hes­i­ta­tion from the play­ers, so we boarded Billy’s bus again along with some of the Sli­abh Rua lads and headed back to the beach for a re­cov­ery session.

The sea was cold, but it was great craic. We returned to the club­house where the hosts pro­vided a barbeque and mu­sic for us. There was even an ice-cream van with free ice-cream which was proved very pop­u­lar. I think James Boland got the big­gest ice-cream of us all.

The weather was good, and we hurled a lit­tle more with our hosts before head­ing into the club­house to watch Cork ver­sus Water­ford on the big screen. At half-time of this match one of our coaches; Matt Byrne made a pre­sen­ta­tion to the host club’s chair­man in ap­pre­ci­a­tion of their kind­ness to the team and be­ing su­per hosts for the week­end.

Af­ter a short puck around out­side again we headed home for the night wrecked but look­ing for­ward to our match in Clon­akilty the next morn­ing.

We departed from River­stick at 11am on Sun­day morn­ing af­ter a few more pic­tures with our hosts and some good­byes and thanks. It was great to see the Wick­low flag fly­ing high in Clon­akilty.

Our match was against Four Roads from Roscom­mon at 1pm. We had the wind in the first half, but they started with a flurry of points and were up three points to no score af­ter eight min­utes.

We got go­ing then and scored three points to leave it level at half time.

The ref­eree gave them a penalty early in the sec­ond half af­ter one of our lads had been pushed in the back with no free given. They scored it and we had an up­hill bat­tle.

Un­for­tu­nately, they got a free and con­verted it and we tried hard to get a goal, but their backs were too strong for us. We lost in the end by four points and were dev­as­tated.

All of the 24 lads had given it ev­ery­thing, but we just met bet­ter op­po­si­tion on the day. We were very dis­ap­pointed but proud we had got this far. Home­ward bound and weary we boarded Billy’s bus to head for Wick­low.

Thanks to Rob Murtagh and Matthew Doyle who pro­vided the en­ter­tain­ment on the bus for the week­end. Richie Ka­vanagh never sounded so good!

Mother Hub­bard’s in Cashel was our fi­nal pit­stop where we were treated to din­ner.

We hit Kil­te­gan at 8pm Sun­day night. It was a week­end we will never for­get and hope­fully some of the lads who are still un­der 14 will get there again next year.

James Boland, Ryan Deasy, Jack O’Toole and Ivor Fen­ton.

The Michael Dwyers squad on the beach.

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