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Celebrating the 2019 league champions!

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Wicklow GAA Chairman Martin Fitzgerald, Leinster GAA Chairman Pat Teehan, and Stephen Lawless

Wicklow GAA Chairman Martin Fitzgerald, Leinster GAA Chairman Pat Teehan, and Stephen Lawless

The Wicklow Senior hurling panel and backroom team who gathered in Murphy’s Hotel last
weekend to celebrate the 2019 national league success

The Wicklow Senior hurling panel and backroom team who gathered in Murphy’s Hotel last weekend to celebrate the 2019 national league success

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Wicklow GAA Chairman Martin Fitzgerald, Leinster GAA Chairman Pat Teehan, and Stephen Lawless

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The Allianz National Hurling League Division 2B champions of 2019 were honoured at a well-attended event in Murphy's Hotel in Tinahely last weekend.

The Wicklow team, who defeated Derry in the final on a wonderful day in Iniskeen, gathered with friends and family to celebrate the wonderful win that sees them plying their trade in Division 2A where, although they have suffered two defeats so far, will look to secure their status with a win away to Mayo this coming weekend in Castlebar.

Speaking at the event and representing the sponsor of the Wicklow Senior hurling team, Yuasa Batteries, Stephen Lawless, a man whose family is steeped in the tradition of hurling in the county, said that his company which is based in Japan sponsors very few sporting organisations around the world. He explained that the company sponsor just four groups: Honda, in the touring car competition in England, Ducatti in the Superbikes Championship, and Matt Edwards, the reigning British rally champion, and, of course, the Wicklow Senior hurling team.

Lawless said that it was 'great from my point of view to be associated with the Wicklow hurlers. My great-uncle Billy was a founding member of the hurling fraternity here in Wicklow back in the 1950s. My own father, Pat Lawless, was chairman and vice-chairman in the 80s and 90s among his other roles. Trust me, if the two of them could be here tonight they would be so, so proud of you all. You all should be so proud of yourselves,' he added.

County Chairman Martin Fitzgerlad thanked Stephen Lawless and reminded him that his wife Inglis was also steeped in hurling pedigree as her brother had won an Intermediate hurling title in Annacurra in 1991.

'And everyone thinks there are no hurlers in Annacurra,' he joked.

Wicklow manager Eamonn Scallan said that he believed the players did 'extremely well to win the league'.

'I think we were unlucky on score difference not to get to a Christy Ring Cup semi-final. I think this year, even though we've no points in the league, we've hurled well, we're fitter, we're stronger, and I do think that there's a much closer bond established among the team, and I do believe that this bond has been created by training five nights a week so to get over the line maybe we might go to six or seven,' he joked.

'I think ye (the hurlers) can be proud of yourselves and your achievements last year. I've said it to ye several times, you're a small group of players that love the game of hurling in Wicklow, you've been there driving, looking for success, hungry for success in the last few years and it's been a pleasure to be involved with ye, y.

Scallan concluided by saying that the most important game of the year was this Sunday in Mayo.


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