Elec­tric Eoin leads Dwyers to vic­tory

Byrne shines as west side de­liver stun­ning sec­ond half

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT - BREN­DAN LAWRENCE


A stun­ning sec­ond-half per­for­mance from Michael Dwyers seen the west Wick­low club crowned Mi­nor ‘A’ cham­pi­ons of Wick­low as they dis­man­tled the chal­lenge of de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons Carnew Em­mets in Aughrim on Sun­day af­ter­noon.

A tow­er­ing per­for­mance from half-for­ward Eoin Byrne and a hugely im­pres­sive work ethic and bla­tantly ob­vi­ous hunger were just some of the fac­tors in turn­ing a 2-5 to 0-8 half-time deficit into a re­sound­ing 0-17 to 2-7 vic­tory by the fi­nal whis­tle of a pul­sat­ing de­cider.

That a tight-mark­ing and clued in de­fence kept a Carnew Em­mets side lit­tered with at­tack­ing tal­ent to just two points from placed balls in that sec­ond half should tell you all you need to know about the im­mense foun­da­tion laid so that the likes of Kil­macart’s Byrne, Tom Mo­ran, Rory Martin, Jack Grace and Brian Keogh to do the dam­age at the other end.

It was all about hunger in that sec­ond half, all about lead­ers and young men stand­ing up to the chal­lenge on the big day, and Dwyers cap­tain Bran­don Ryan was a key fig­ure in that re­gard as he worked tire­lessly from half­back along with Jack Reid and Ciarán Har­mon while the fever­ish full-back line of Daniel Van Alpen, Oisin Bro­gan and the very im­pres­sive Darren Ber­ming­ham coped ef­fec­tively with a Carnew inside line that changed on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions as the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons sought to gain a foothold in the sec­ond half.

It all looked so dif­fer­ently early on as Carnew bounced into a 2-5 to 0-4 lead af­ter 17 min­utes as the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons started full of in­tent.

Full-for­ward Owen Young got the ball rolling with a pointed free af­ter a foul on John Young by Ciarán Har­mon and cen­tre for­ward Eoin Ka­vanagh bought him­self time and space by boot­ing the ball clear and then swung over their sec­ond to lead by two af­ter two min­utes.

Young went wide from a free won by Cor­mac Red­mond but Dwyers ral­lied and were back all square af­ter just a few mo­ments through points from the seem­ingly un­mark­able Eoin Byrne and a free from the ac­cu­rate Brian Keogh.

Eoin Ka­vanagh looked like he was about to pro­duce a per­for­mance for the ages when he won a break­ing ball and wal­loped over from dis­tance to return Carnew to the front and the lead was dou­bled when Owen Young col­lected a side­line from Ka­vanagh and split the posts to make it 0-4 to 0-2 af­ter 10.

But even at this early stage it was clear that Dwyers were not go­ing to be rolled over eas­ily here. Michael Mo­ran’s men might not have been hurl­ing to their best and there might have been an el­e­ment of nerves here and there, but they were al­ways able to keep Carnew in their sights and within 120 sec­onds of Carnew carv­ing a two-point ad­van­tage the sides were all square again thanks to a magic score from Eoin Byrne and an­other well-struck free from Brian Keogh af­ter a pull on Tom Mo­ran.

And then Carnew Em­mets landed what looked to be real body blows to the Dwyers. A long puck-out from Carnew full-back Thomas Collins was plucked from the heav­ens by Eoin Ka­vanagh who fed Owen Young who showed ev­ery ounce of the ef­fort­less class he possesses when he threw the ball on his hurl and waltzed through the heart of the Dwyers de­fence be­fore fin­ish­ing home past Meitheal Cleary at the Red­nagh Hill end.

Tom Mo­ran struck back with a point for the Dwyers af­ter 16 but more bad news was to be­fall the west­ern­ers when a long, hope­full ball in from the side­line from the hurl of Thomas Hay­den took a wicked bounce on the As­tro turf and whizzed in past the un­for­tu­nate Meitheal Cleary for a 2-4 to 0-5 lead af­ter 17.

It was do or die time now for Dwyers. An­other score or two for Carnew and the heads were in dan­ger of drop­ping. They needed to steady the ship, cur­tail the in­flu­ence of Eoin Ka­vanagh at cen­tre for­ward and the re­cov­ery would be­gin.

Brian Keogh pointed a free. Rory Martin al­most had a goal but for the hero­ics of Caoimhín Raw­son in the Carnew goal who got his hurl to the ball and pushed it up and off the cross­bar and away. Brian Keogh fires over an­other free mo­ments later and two Eoin Byrne stunners be­fore the break puts an al­to­gether health­ier look to pro­ceed­ings for Michael Mo­ran’s side with Dwyers strug­gling all over the field since the scor­ing of the two goals.

What un­folded in the sec­ond half sug­gests that in Michael Mo­ran, Brian Keogh and Peter Byrne Dwyers have a very shrewd and ca­pa­ble man­age­ment team as well as a squad of con­fi­dent and ca­pa­ble hurlers.

To a man the Dwyers team stepped up and were counted and in Arun Daly Danne and Jake O’Kelly there were found two of the lead­ing lights in that re­gard. O’Kelly col­lected a poor Carnew clear­ance in the open­ing mo­ments of the sec­ond and drove over to leave just a sin­gle point be­tween the sides and you could sense that the Dwyers were out for blood.

Owen Young pushed it back out to a two-point ad­van­tage but Eoin Byrne, liv­ing on and thriv­ing off scraps col­lected a ball from Darren Ber­ming­ham and drove over and we were all square af­ter 11 when Brian Keogh fired over from an Arun Daly Danne ball. Carnew were in trou­ble. Eoin Ka­vanagh was be­ing al­lowed make lit­tle or no im­pact on the game. They were strug­gling in the mid­field and half-back line and Owen Young was re­al­is­ti­cally their only scor­ing threat up top.

Carnew’s man­age­ment team switched Owen Young and Eoin Ka­vanagh with Ka­vanagh go­ing in on Oisin Bro­gan on the end of the square but it would have very lit­tle ef­fect on the over­all mo­men­tum of this game which was driv­ing on the Dwyers at this stage. Dwyers coun­tered the move by drop­ping Bran­don Ryan deeper to pro­tect their full-back line.

They took the lead for the first time af­ter 18 min­utes through Rory Martin af­ter good work from Arun Daly Danne and Jack Reid.

Eoin Byrne com­mit­ted day­light rob­bery when bril­liantly dis­pos­sess­ing Cil­lian McDon­ald be­fore fir­ing over in be­tween two way­ward strikes from Eoin Ka­vanagh (one from a free). Ka­vanagh was then switched back to cen­tre back to try and give Carnew some mo­men­tum go­ing for­ward with Ryan Guil­foyle go­ing to full and Owen Young mov­ing out the half for­ward.

Dwyers were look­ing like the side with all the aces at this stage. Brian Keogh opened up a healthy look­ing three-point gap from a free af­ter 23 be­fore mak­ing it four af­ter 25 and Tom Mo­ran show­ing con­sum­mate ease and skill to make it 0-17 to 2-6 af­ter 27 with Austin Bren­nan fir­ing into the sidenet­ting for a missed goal chance for the west side.

Owen Young pointed the last score of the game af­ter a foul on James McGing and al­though Carnew came look­ing for goals late on the Dwyers de­fence weren’t for mov­ing.

A stun­ning sec­ond-half per­for­mance from the Dwyers and a huge boost for hurl­ing in the west of the county. Eoin Byrne de­servedly picked up the Man of the Match award but re­al­is­ti­cally the win­ning of this county fi­nal was in the stel­lar team per­for­mance from Meitheal Cleary to sub­sti­tute Austin Bren­nan.

Scor­ers – Michael Dwyers: Brian Keogh 0-7 (5f), Eoin Byrne 0-5, Tom Mo­ran 0-2, Jake O’Kelly 0-1, Jack Grace 0-1, Rory Martin 0-1.

Carnew Em­mets: Owen Young 1-5 (4f), Thomas Hay­den 1-0, Eoin Ka­vanagh 0-2.

MICHAEL DWYERS: Meitheal Cleary; Daniel Van Alpen, Oisin Bro­gan, Darren Ber­ming­ham; Bran­don Ryan, Jack Reid, Ciarán Har­mon; Arun Daly Danne, Jake O’Kelly; Jack Grace, Tom Mo­ran, Eoin Byrne; Rory Martin, Brian Keogh, Ben Burke. Subs: Austin Bren­nan for B Burke (28).

CARNEW EM­METS: Caoimhín Raw­son; Mau­rice Shiel, Thomas Collins, Max Keogh; Conor Byrne, James McGing, Conor Wafer; Ryan Guil­foyle, Cil­lian McDon­ald; John Young, Eoin Ka­vanagh, Thomas Hay­den; Dan Red­mond, Owen Young, Cor­mac Red­mond. Subs: Daniel

The Michael Dwyers Mi­nor hurlers cel­e­brate af­ter de­feat­ing Carnew in the ‘A’ de­cider in Aughrim last Sun­day.

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