Minor final to be major battle
Dwyers and Carnew clash
THE Minor hurlers of Michael Dwyers and Carnew Emmets will lock horns this Sunday afternoon in the county final for what promises to be a thriller of a game between two very talented outfits.
Boasting players such as Brian Keogh, Eoin Byrne, Rory Martin, Ben Burke, Brandon Ryan, Arun Daly Danne, Tom Moran and goalkeeper Meitheal Cleary, the Dwyers are a formidable unit who came through a very tough encounter with Arklow Rocks/ Avondale in the semi-final by 3-11 to 1-13.
Carnew Emmets, featuring talented players such as Eoin Kavanagh, John and Owen Young, Thomas Collins, Conor Wafer, Cormac Redmond and Ryan Guilfoyle, breezed through their semi-final against Bray Emmets with a convincing 8-16 to 0-6 victory with team captain Eoin Kavanagh bagging 5-3 of that tally.
This has the makings of a real cracker of a game and should draw a reasonable crowd on county final day from two clubs in need of a boost in terms of hurling with Carnew exiting the Senior championship at semi-final stage and Kiltegan losing out to James Hickey’s men in the quarter-final.
Both adult teams will benefit from a considerable influx of young players from these squads and there is a real sense of optimism given the effect the Celtic Challenge campaign and their own club coaching has had on these players.
Michael Dwyers captain Brandon Ryan is relishing this chance to go to war with the Carnew lads. Neither side will be unfamiliar with the other given that they clashed in the championship in Carnew recently with the home side emerging victorious after a tough battle.
Dwyers will probably feel that they will be better served by their semi-final where they were pushed to their pin of their collar by Arklow Rocks/Avondale in the second half.
‘It was hard, a few ups and downs, we got lucky there in the semi-final. Arklow Rocks/Avondale were very good, they really put it up to us in the second half. We thought we had them bet in the first half. Going out in the second half we thought we were going to beat them well, but, no, they gave is a shock, a big shock, so we’re happy to be in the final,’ said Brandon.
‘Our backline was very good. The full-back line saved us. They had three chances on goal, and they should have got them, but our backs put enough pressure on them to miss them,’ he added.
Brandon names Kiltegan and Wicklow hurling legend Jeffrey Bermingham as the man he looks up to in terms of his hurling. The Dwyers captain also speaks brightly at the rise of hurling again in Kiltegan with the club winning the Junior ‘A’ title recently and with plenty of young talent coming through the ranks in the very near future.
‘After seeing him in the Junior ‘A’ final, he was brilliant,’ said Brandon.
Reflecting on the championship meeting between these two sides and what a win on Sunday would mean for the area, Brandon says the match will be dogged and that a win would give them a huge lift.
‘It was sore enough (the last game). Dogged, always going to be dogged between us and Carnew, always was.
‘Even last year, they beat us twice as well, so hopefully we’ll get the better of them this time. We need a bit of a drive out of us, it would give us a huge lift in Kiltegan,’ he added.
Brandon Ryan’s Celtic Challenge colleague Eoin Kavanagh will line up against him this Sunday afternoon. The defending champions set out their stall early on and brought a mindset where there was little room for error in any game.
‘We said from the start of the year that we wanted to be there (in the final), so we had to push ourselves from the start. We were there last year, and we seen that Dwyers were very unfortunate to be in the ‘B’ championship so we said we’d have to push on and whoever we would get we were going to have to put it up to them. We had to have that mentality for the year. We haven’t done too bad, in fairness,’ said Eoin.
Two points separated the sides in Carnew earlier in the year in what was a very good game according to Eoin.
‘It was a very good game. It could have gone either way, two points there in the last few minutes,’ he said, before explaining how they handle the friendships inspired by the celtic Challenge when such a significant title is on the line.
‘Friends off the pitch, but once you go on to the pitch, you’re not going to be friendly with them, but once it’s off the pitch, it’s off then pitch, you have to be civil about it as they say,’ he said.
Eoin Kavanagh says that a win would be a big boost for Carnew hurling and also for the seven or eight lads who will make the step up to adult hurling next season.
‘I think we are in a bit of a dip, to be fair (Carnew), I think it might push us on. It might give the seven boys a little bit of a boost coming on to the Senior panel next year or trying to get on to the Senior panel next year,’ he added.
Carnew captain Eoin Kavanagh and Michael Dwyers captain Brandon Ryan in Aughrim last weekend for a photoshoot ahead of the big county Minor ‘A’ hurling final this weekend.