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


YOU get the feel­ing that this is more than just a cham­pi­onship vic­tory for Bray Em­mets fol­low­ing their dis­missal of Gle­nealy in the Light­ning Pro­tec­tion Ire­land Se­nior Hurl­ing Cham­pi­onship fi­nal in Aughrim last Sun­day.

You get the feel­ing that this is the start of some­thing long-term and pow­er­ful that could change the land­scape of hurl­ing in the county for some time to come.

This Bray Em­mets team look to have ar­rived back in town like a dis­grun­tled gun­slinger who was dis­patched not so long ago and he’s taken up lodg­ing in the saloon and he ain’t for mov­ing.

The match pro­gramme listed a panel of 30 names for Paul Carley’s side, ev­ery sin­gle one of them a com­pe­tent and ca­pa­ble hurler. For the love of God, Eoin McCor­mack didn’t even start this game! What does that say to the rest of the county?

Gle­nealy were wor­thy cham­pi­ons these past two years, bring­ing Wick­low club hurl­ing to the cusp of a Le­in­ster crown in Nowlan Park and de­fend­ing their ti­tle with class last year but this Bray Em­mets team are a dif­fer­ent gravy al­to­gether and un­less a seis­mic shift takes place among the chas­ing pack they are a team who will dom­i­nate for the fore­see­able fu­ture if their unity and con­fi­dence re­mains at the lofty heights upon which they cur­rently re­side.

At times in this game Paul Carley’s charges were a joy to watch. Sweep­ing moves, dev­as­tat­ing hunger in de­fence, cre­ativ­ity, ut­ter be­lief in their abil­ity and their plan, it was clear from early on that Gle­nealy were in se­ri­ous trou­ble.

From that open­ing ex­change when Michael Boland raced past Danny Staunton be­fore fir­ing over a stun­ning score from the side­line, the writ­ing was on the wall. Very few play­ers race past Danny Staunton. Very few play­ers split the posts from out on the side­line with their first touch. The scene was set, gaunt­let thrown. Let’s dance.

Christy Moore­house moved out to the half-for­ward line where he was picked up by Gary Byrne, the duel we all wanted to see was about to play out. Padraig Doyle and Michael Boland were inside. Marc Len­non would drop a lit­tle deeper to sup­port the mid­field and try choke ‘Bosco’ Snr’s in­fle­unce on the game while Leighton Glynn re­sumed his new po­si­tion at cen­tre back.

The afore­men­tioned ‘Bosco’ dropped over a bomb to re­ply but we were see­ing signs that Bray were look­ing to run at the Gle­nealy de­fence at ev­ery op­por­tu­nity and they wanted quick ball into Boland and Doyle to try and test Staunton and Ro­nan Man­ley.

Pos­si­bly the defin­ing score of the game ar­rived next. Christy Moore­house won pos­ses­sion among a group of play­ers and of­fered a dummy hand pass that bought him a few yards and with the air of a man look­ing to set­tle a score he fired over a mis­sile from way out. This was hugely im­pres­sive stuff and the match wasn’t even in dou­ble fig­ures in terms of the clock.

Christy pointed a free af­ter a foul on Ben McCor­mack and an ex­tremely im­por­tant stop be­ing put to Marc Len­non’s run with ad­van­tage be­ing played by Ciaran Flem­ing by Gary Byrne. Had the Gle­nealy cap­tain not stopped Len­non’s run it was look­ing very threat­en­ing for Cian Staunton up ahead.

Bray’s pace and move­ment were elec­tric early on. With Marc Len­non drop­ping out to the mid­dle and with space be­ing cre­ated all over the place Bray were soon out to a 0-6 to 0-1 lead thanks to points from Christy Moore­house, Ben McCor­mack and Michael Boland who col­lected a sweet Marc Len­non ball be­fore turn­ing and fir­ing over. This was epic stuff.

Mas­sive de­fend­ing by Sean Maloney was un­done by the whis­tle of Ciaran Flem­ing who awarded a free for a foul on Jonathon O’Neill Jnr and ‘Bosco’ Snr notched Gle­nealy’s sec­ond of the day from the free.

Frees were what was keep­ing Garry Laf­fan’s men alive at this point in time but a han­dling er­ror from Gary Byrne pro­vided Moore­house with an­other chance and he took it with aplomb, 0-7 to 0-2.

A ‘Bosco’ free af­ter a foul on Joey Drive Jnr who was oper­at­ing out the field cut the deficit to four and only for a vi­tal save from Conor McNally from a Gary Hughes strike Gle­nealy might have had the first ma­jor of the game and what a boost that would have been for Laf­fan’s side who were vis­i­bly shrink­ing in the face of the Bray Em­mets on­slaught.

The prob­lem for Gle­nealy was that not only did they not get the first ma­jor, but it was scored by Bray at the death of the first half when Padraig Doyle lashed home past Cian Staunton at the dress­ing room end to send Bray in with a healthy 1-11 to 0-5 lead at the break.

Garry Laf­fan sent in Sam O’Dowd for Tommy Doyle af­ter half-time and the re­cov­ery looked well and truly un­der­way when ‘Bosco’ fired over two points ei­ther side of a wicked Matthew Traynor goal to leave just four be­tween the sides at 1-11 to 1-7.

Christy Moore­house stopped the rot with a point from a free won by Diar­muid Master­son and he fol­lowed that up with a 65 af­ter his rocket of a shot at goal was saved by Staunton in the lead up.

Paul Carley sent in Eoin McCor­mack to the fray af­ter 10 min­utes of the sec­ond half and an­other ‘Bosco’ point from a free was fol­lowed up with two humdingers from Bray, the first from Christy from a free and the sec­ond from the grace­ful and suave Diar­muid Master­son with 15 gone. 1-15 to 1-8.

Gle­nealy would try nu­mer­ous switches to try un­lock the Bray de­fence. Gavin Weir and Gary Hughes switched, Leighton Glynn

pushed up as did Danny Staunton but in Cian Lo­han, John Hen­der­son and Daire Hen­der­son they found a half-back line of ut­ter bril­liance and be­hind that were Peter Walsh, Karl Lacey and Sean Maloney who all had very ef­fec­tive games.

Danny Staunton pulled a point back for Gle­nealy in what would be their last score with 12 to go and al­though Bray lost Christy Moore­house to a red card af­ter 25 min­utes this game was dead and buried by then and fur­ther points from Padraig Doyle and Cathal Ó Dualachain put the fin­ish­ing touches on what was a mas­sive state­ment by a young and very tal­ented Bray Em­mets side.

These lads are here to stay. Get used to it.

Scor­ers – Christy Moore­house 0-11 (6f, 2 65), Michael Boland 0-4 (1f), Ben McCor­mack 0-1, Diar­muid Master­son 0-1, Padraig Doyle 1-1 (f), Cathal Ó Dualachain 0-1.

Gle­nealy: Jonathon O’Neill Snr 0-7 (6f), Matthew Traynor 1-0, Danny Staunton 0-1, Alan Driver 0-1. BRAY EM­METS: Conor McNally; Peter Walsh, Karl Lacey, Sean Maloney; Cian Lo­han, John Hen­der­son, Daire Hen­der­son; Luke Maloney, Diar­muid Master­son; Padraig Doyle, Marc Len­non, Ro­nan McMa­hon; Christy Moore­house, Ben McCor­mack, Michael Boland. Subs: Eoin McCor­mack for R McMa­hon (40), David Maloney for B McCor­mack (48), Cathal Ó Dualachain for D Hen­der­son (59), Daire Lo­han for C Lo­han (63), Peter Kiely for L Maloney (63).

GLEENALY: Cian Staunton; Ro­nan Man­ley, Danny Staunton, Joey Driver KJnr; Gary Byrne, War­ren Ka­vanagh, Paul O’Brien; Leighton Glynn, Jonathon O’Neill Snr; Gavin Weir, Matthew Traynor, Thomas Doyle; Gary Hughes, Alan Driver, Jonathon O’Neill Jnr. Subs: Sam O’Dowd for T Doyle (H/T), Wayne O’Gor­man for M Traynor (52), Robert Byrne for G Weir (54).

REF­EREE: Ciaran Flem­ing (Balt­in­glass)

Bray Em­mets play­ers cel­e­brate af­ter win­ning the Se­nior hurl­ing ti­tle and stop­ping Gle­nealy’s three-in-a-row bid.

Paudi Reidy of Light­ning Pro­tec­tion Ire­land presents the cup to Bray Em­mets cap­tain Marc Len­non with Wick­low County Chair­man Martin Fitzger­ald and Paudi’s two daugh­ters.

Gar­rett, Mar­ian, Daire, Bren­dan, An­gela, John, John Snr, Carmel and Gavin Hen­der­son cel­e­brat­ing Bray’s mag­nif­i­cent win.

Pure joy for these Bray Em­mets hurlers af­ter they had clinched the Se­nior hurl­ing crown for 2019.

Brenda Maloney with Dara, Luke, David and Sean.

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