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Monday 10 December 2018

Huge win for Minors over mighty Dublin

Wicklow 2-6 Dublin 0-8

Wicklow’s Eoghan Byrne drives towards the Dublin goal in the Leinster MFC clash in Parnell Park last Wednesday. Wicklow played Meath yesterday (Tuesday) where a win would put them through to the Leinster semi-final against Kildare this Saturday
Wicklow’s Eoghan Byrne drives towards the Dublin goal in the Leinster MFC clash in Parnell Park last Wednesday. Wicklow played Meath yesterday (Tuesday) where a win would put them through to the Leinster semi-final against Kildare this Saturday
Eoin Darcy leaves Dublin full-back Adam Fearon trailing behind in the Leinster Minor Football Championship against Dublin in Parnell Park

Daniel Gorman

'Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though chequered by failure...than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a grey twilight that knows not victory nor defeat' - Theodore Roosevelt.

When the Wicklow Minors travelled to Parnell Park on Wednesday last, they did indeed dare mighty things.

But they didn't travel with a cavalier, 'sure we'll give it our best shot' attitude, they travelled with nothing but victory on their minds and when Kevin O'Brien freed his young men it was akin to the Trojan Horse with the miffed Dubs playing the part of the Trojans.

It has been seven days since Wicklow downed the Dubs and went viral. It was the feel-good story of the week and will have offered inspiration to untold numbers of players who will now realise that anything is possible.

There's no point boring you with a blow-by-blow report of a match that happened over 150 hours ago.

We all know the facts. We know that Ben Fennell filled in superbly in goals, we know that wing-back Kevin Quinn embarked on a wonderful run in the 12th minute and left Dublin goalkeeper Sean Bohan with no chance as he rattled the net. We know that Mr. Player of the Week Eoin Darcy raised a second green flag to leave a shaken Dublin trailing by two goals at the interval.

The mighty Dubs had time to recover though, they had time to bounce back and put little Wicklow in their place, didn't they? Not a chance. Not this Wicklow team.

Matthew Ging cleared the crossbar four times - two from open play and two from the dead-ball. Sean Doody and substitute Jack Fleming Foran also split the posts as Wicklow again held their hosts to just four points - so much for an onslaught from the Boys in Blue.

The lucky ones amongst us travelled to Dublin last week and witnessed this fantastic result. The blessed ones were the ones shaking hands with Dublin players before embarking on delirious celebrations. Those celebrations were earned.

Last night, Wicklow discovered if the Dublin result was a fantastic result on the road to a wonderful achievment or just a fantastic result. Unfortunately Wicklow hadn't even taken to the field by the time this newspaper went to print so we can offer no result or reaction.

We can hope that Wicklow players are reading this right now with beaming smiles on their faces and the scalp of Meath in their back pocket. If that's the case, well done Wicklow. Well done Kevin O'Brien. Well done to the Garden County Academy.

If not, well done Wicklow anyway. Well done to Kevin O'Brien anyway. Well done to the Garden County Academy anyway. Because win, lose or draw last night, this Wicklow team have resuscitated us. They've inspired us. They've made many people fall in love again.

The ridicule has been replaced with hope. The mocking replaced by admiration. Wicklow GAA are back on the map and with these young men on the rise, we don't see them going anywhere but up.

Scorers - Wicklow: Matthew Ging 0-4 (2f), Kevin Quinn, Eoin Darcy 1-0 each; Sean Doody, Jack Fleming Foran 0-1 each. Dublin: M Lavin, E Cashman 0-2 each; M Dunne, L McGovern, C Murray, R Bolger 0-1 each.

Wicklow: Ben Fennell; Fionn O'Carroll, Sam Kearney, Tom Moran; Kevin Quinn, Oisin Cullen, Gavin Fogarty; Eoghan Byrne, Sean Doody; Alan Barrett, Craig Maguire, John Keogh; Matthew Ging, Eoin Darcy, Andy Foley. Subs: C McDonald for Barrett (49), Christopher Grimes for Byrne (52), Jack Fleming Foran for Ging (58), Shaun Cranley for Doody (62).

Dublin: S Bohan; E Farquharson, A Fearon, A Rafter; M O'Leary, E Cashman, M Lavin; S Foran, E Adamson; C Hennessy, M Dunne, L McGovern; S Guiden, L Swan, D Smith. Subs: D McLoughney for McGovern (h-t), C McManus for Dunne (h-t), C Murray for Hennessy (h-t), R Bolger for Smith (40), M Grogan for Farquharson (44), L Dunne for Grogan (53, BC).

Referee: D Fedigan (Louth)

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