Panel vital in magic victory
Carley praises all his men
BRAY EMMETS manager Paul Carley believed his side’s hurling ability and pace would get them over the line against Glenealy in the county final in Aughrim. A year on from a disappointing semi-final exit to Carnew, the Glynn-Barntown man produced a totally transformed outfit that delivered in spades in terms of their abundant strengths.
‘We knew we had pace from 8 up. That’s not to say we don’t have pace from 8 back but we knew that if we could move them and hit the ball into space, we’d have success, and we did,’ said Paul Carley after Marc Lennon had hoisted the O’Donoghue Cup into the evening air in the stand in Aughrim.
‘Then when they got on top, we kind of slowed the game down too much rather than offloading and delivering quick. When we did deliver quick, I thought we were excellent. Even if you look at the first 10 minutes, I think were 0-6 to 0-1 up which gives any team a lift and then it’s a case of defending it and probably winning the last,’ he added.
A key factor in the victory was Christy Moorehouse who started the game like lightning. Paul Carley says the man they call ‘Jackie’ is enjoying a new lease of life as a hurler.
‘He’s like a man with a new lease of life this year. He struggled in patches last year but this year he’s a different animal. It’s kind of given him the freedom to just go and hurl, you know. A lot of times, you stick him in the corner it’s too easy mark him – just drop a fellow back on him. But you seen him out around the wings today, his legs are good. And when he moved, he was excellent.
‘All the talk in the paper during the week was that Gary (Byrne) stopped him for his last man of the match. I just think Christy was just tuned in 100 per cent to us winning. And we didn’t get bogged down in the whole Glenealy/Bray rivalry. It was just, we do what we do, and we do it right, and I think that worked for us,’ he said.
What Christy and Michael Boland were doing at one end, the imperious John Henderson was doing at the other with superb lieutenants in Cian Lohan and Daire Henderson alongside. But Paul Carley is quick to point out that winning this title is about a panel of 30 players.
‘John was immense, he was brilliant. But this is a panel of 30. We played a challenge match last Friday week, we started 15, brought on nine at half-time, and the nine that came on in the second half hurled better. It’s a case of we left seven, eight, nine lads on the bench today who are every bit as good as what’s on. And there’s four or five lads, the likes of Mikey Timmins, Shane Slattery, Shane Anders, Michael Walsh who didn’t make the panel today. Without them we wouldn’t have fulfilled Dublin league games or games early in the year. It’s more than just the 15 and the four or five lads that came on.
‘Lads coming out might question us leaving Eoin McCormack out, and Davy Maloney, Cathal Ó Dualachain, Dara Maloney played every game for us last year, I think Peter Kiely has played every game for the past 13 years, but we could only go on what we were seeing in challenge matches and training and the best 15 went out today and the lads came on and finished it.
‘We knew that with 20 minutes to go we just hoped to run and run and run, if you do that lads are going to be bet with 20 minutes to go and then you’re bringing on a fellow like Eoin McCormack, that’s huge. If I’m a Glenealy wing back of centre back and I’m after being running around for 40 minutes and the next thing Eoin McCormack comes on you’re there, ‘not this for another 20 minutes’.
‘The lads were brilliant. It’s just a case of getting confidence and hurling like they can. We just said today, just stick to our hurling and do what we’re asked to do and they did that in fairness to them,’[he added.
In the preview for this final Paul Carley was asked about where the change came for this Bray side in terms of last year’s disappointment and this year’s new-found energy and drive. He reflected on that again after the final whistle.
‘As I said, with young lads a year is a massive difference. You’ve young Cian Lohan there who didn’t figure at all last year, then comes in and plays every game at wing back for us. Davy Maloney is still only 18 but was brilliant and was unlucky to be dropped but he’s played every other match for us.
‘Ciaran McKay didn’t get a run today. We have excellent lads who have really pushed on the older lads.
‘Up until Thursday night when we named the team, nobody knew who was going to play. If you had said to me last year that Peter Kiely wouldn’t start in a county final I would have said ‘you’re mad’.
‘It’s not that he’s doing anything wrong. I told the lads that. I can’t go to a sub and say ‘you’re doing this wrong or that wrong. It’s just lads are playing that bit better.
‘You won’t win anything without a panel. Last year I found that we had 13 lads on the team every day and seven or eight were fighting for two positions, but the 13 were starting every game. That doesn’t breed competition. Lads get comfortable in their positions.
‘It’s huge. I’m on to them lads all the time, they’re as good as what’s out there. I’ve been in Dublin, I’ve been in Wexford, and it’s all about belief and confidence. I just completely focused on hurling. At times the Wicklow championship is too rivalry built. Now, you could also go the other way, I think Wexford is a bit too nicey nicey but you have to find a balance somewhere and hurling wins out most of the time and I just kept focusing on that the last couple of years and this year especially, when you have hurlers use them.
‘I’d say we’ve played 30 matches this year between Dublin league, Wicklow and championship, and we took a risk playing last Friday week, but it worked. W seen things that probably worked for us today. Ronan McMahon did 40 minutes of pure work, work, work. A lot of people wouldn’t see that. Ben McCormack was put in to run them and work them and get a hook and a block and then you bring on your finishers,’ he added.
And getting one over on his club mate from Glynn-Barntown, how did that rank in terms of sources of satisfaction?
‘Myself and Garry soldiered for a long time. The whole thing is you’re enemies for 60 minutes and then you move on. In fairness to him, he was the first man over to congratulate me.
‘He’s done a great job with Glenealy. No bad team goes for three in a row. That’s down to Garry.
‘He came in and organised it and got a good structure going and won two in a row.
‘I don’t think 10 points was a fair reflection on the game. We hurled well, but we were just that bit more clinical,’ he said.
Bray captain Marc Lennon, referee Ciaran Fleming and Glenealy captain Gary Byrne before the start of the Senior hurling final in Aughrim.