Mi­nor fi­nal to be ma­jor bat­tle

Dwyers and Carnew clash

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT - MI­NOR HURL­ING

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.

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