Huge win for hurling in the west
MICHAEL DWYERS manager Michael Moran knew his charges were nervous in the warm-up and getting them in at half-time and explaining to them that they were only two points down having not hurled at all in that opening half was key to turning the performance around.
‘Our lads were very nervous starting off, I knew even in the warm-up, they were on edge,’ said Michael after the game in Aughrim. ‘A lot of them haven’t played in Aughrim before, so even that was a bit daunting.
‘We settled them down at half-time and just pointed out that we hadn’t hurled at all in the first half and we were only two points down, and the wind wasn’t even a factor. They calmed down at half-time and they just sorted themselves out, and they just worked on the basics. We talked about hooking and blocking and winning the rucks, we didn’t win them in the first half, we won them in the second half, and I think that was the difference.
‘The way the ground is gone, it’s not a time for fancy hurling, it’s a time for being a bit more direct. It was a case of getting possession and moving the ball as fast as we could,’he added.
Eoin Byrne rightfully collected the Man of the Match award but Michael Moran said that so many players lifted their game in that second half that it allowed Dwyers to win battled in the second which they hadn’t been in the first. But he agreed that Eoin Byrne was super.
‘He was super. Even on the Carnew side, I though Eoin Kavanagh, particularly in the first half, I thought he had a superb game, an excellent hurler. But, certainly, a lot of our lads – Oisin Brogan storming into in the second half, Brandon (Ryan) tore into it, Arun Danne in the middle, Jake O’Kelly, Tom (Moran) at centre forward and we just started to win places where we weren’t winning them in the first half.
‘During the rest of the year we looked like our legs weren’t up to it, but today we just seemed to be getting stronger and stronger as the game went on,’ he added.
Carnew’s switch of Eoin Kavanagh to full-forward was worrying to one extent but it also removed a major hurler from the middle third. Was Michael Moran happy to see him shifted inside.
‘No, I certainly wasn’t, because I was afraid a ball would go in, so we had to counter that, we dropped Brandon a little bit deeper just to cover that and thankfully it worked out,’ he said.
This win should bring massive benefits to hurling in the west of the county.
‘We were talking about this during the week – we don’t know when Michael Dwyers won a Minor ‘A’ championship. It’s a long, long time ago. We’re probably talking about the time of Seanie Furlong and Ray Kelly and those guys were hurling so that’s a long time ago.
‘Certainly, for our part of the county it’s just gives an incentive for lads to keep hurling. Because it is difficult, and I know we’re pulling from a big area but this same group have been together from under-13 through the Féile and whatever.
‘The parents have always been phenemenal, they’ve always rowed in behind us and anything we’ve ever asked for they’ve always come in.
This is a thank you for them,’ he said.