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The season East District made history

Reached county final against Balto

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Pat Baker, who was a big player for the East District in the early 1990s

Pat Baker, who was a big player for the East District in the early 1990s

Eftin Hurley (Inbhear Mór) clears the danger as Pat Doyle (East District) closes in

Eftin Hurley (Inbhear Mór) clears the danger as Pat Doyle (East District) closes in

Tommy Murphy and Kevin O’Brien in action against East District in the final of 1993. Murphy was heavily bandaged after an early collision in the game that left Tom Byrne unable to continue

Tommy Murphy and Kevin O’Brien in action against East District in the final of 1993. Murphy was heavily bandaged after an early collision in the game that left Tom Byrne unable to continue

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Pat Baker, who was a big player for the East District in the early 1990s

wicklowpeople

In 1992 five group teams played in the Senior football championship they were Lakeside, Inbhear Mór, East District, North District and Shamrocks. Lakeside and Inbhear Mór played a preliminary round in early June to get the numbers down to 16 teams.

The Arklow combination won a decent game by 2-12 to 2-8. Ernie Zeller and Mick Nolan had early points for the Lakeside men but Mick Healy and Rory Stokes replied to tie it up after 15 minutes. Stokes and Zeller exchanged goals soon after and the team were level at 1-4 each at half-time.

Paul Clarke and John Miley edged Lakeside ahead again only for Pat McCabe and Peter Mulhall to reply.

A Jimmy Byrne goal for Lakeside looked like it might finally create a gap was short lived as Gary Hurley and Damien Devereux replied and substitute Mark O'Reilly was the match winner with 1-1 in the closing stages.

They played East District in the next round. The East would win out 0-12 to 0-10. Pat Baker and Pat McCabe exchanged a couple of frees each early on before Pat Doyle and John Gahan kicked the East in to an 0-7 to 0-4 lead at the break.

Inbhear Mór went ahead midway through the half 0-8 to 0-7 after Mark O'Reilly with a brace and Peter Mulhall pointed. Pat Baker was having a great tussle with Gary Hurley around midfield but it was he who pulled the East through with some fine scores aided and abetted by Pat Doyle at full forward.

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Semi-final action from 1993 when East District defeated Hollywood to make history as the first group team to reach the SFC final

Semi-final action from 1993 when East District defeated Hollywood to make history as the first group team to reach the SFC final

Semi-final action from 1993 when East District defeated Hollywood to make history as the first group team to reach the SFC final

Inbhear Mór lined out as follows: Emmet Byrne (Ballymoney); Ken O'Neill (Arklow Gers), Eftin Hurley (Bal), John McElheron (Bal); James Forde (Ark G.), Billy Manley (Ark G.), Gerry Byrne (Arklow Rocks); Damien Devereux and Paul Devereux (both Bal); Austin Walker (Ark R.), Rory Stokes (Bal), Peter Mulhall (Ark G, 0-2.); Mark O'Reilly (Ark G, 0-4), Gary Hurley (Bal, 0-1), Pat McCabe (Bal, 0-3). Sub: Peadar Keogh (Ark R.) for Paul Devereux.

It was Baltinglass again for the East District. Two goals by Tommy Murphy in the 10th and 12th minute helped the champions to a 2-3 to 0-1 interval lead. The only score the East got came from the boot of Baltinglass centre back Pat Murphy when his booted clearance went over his own bar! The East had the wind at their backs in the second half and they battled well. Wayne Rooney done a fine marking job on Kevin O'Brien, Seamus McGraynor and Pat Baker got a good supply in the middle. It would finish 2-12 to 0-9. East District-Jimmy Kelly (Avondale); Wayne Rooney (Laragh), Owen Doyle (Avon), Brian Olohan (Avon); Timmy Lenihan (Ashford), Tom Byrne (Barndarrig), Gerry Doyle (Barn); Seamus McGraynor and Pat Baker 0-2 (both Avondale); Mick McDonald (Ash, 0-2), John Doyle (Lar), John White (Lar), Tony Byrne (Ballinacor 0-1), Pat Doyle (Avon, 0-2), John Gahan (Avon).

Eamon Manley (Ash), Andrew Cullen (Lar), John Joe Doyle (Avon) and Niall Nolan (Avon) played against Inbhear Mór.

The North District had five clubs to pick from and were expected to have a decent team. They were drawn against An Tóchar who were starting to find their feet in the senior grade. The four McGillycuddy brothers were on fire along with Shay Cullen and the Roundwood men led 1-7 to 0-2 at the break with Cullen the goal scorer.

Fergal Mulligan and David Brady also score points as An Tóchar didn't let up. To their credit the North selection fought back and created a number of goal chances but their only score came from one of their better performers in Gary Kavanagh who kicked their third point.

The North District lined out as follows: Mick Neary (Kilcoole); Ken Carson (Eire Óg), Philip Quinn (Eire Óg), Sean Greene (Kil); Gary Kavanagh (Enniskerry 0-1), Ray Clarke (Newtown), Wayne Moran (Kil); Ciaran Finn (Kil) and Roy Byrne (Kil); Conan Daye (Eire Óg), John Walsh (Bray), Paul Hayden (Eire Óg); Kevin Keyes (Eire Óg), John Lynch (New), Michael McMahon (New). Subs used: Rory McGarry (Bray), Gerry Murray (Kil) and Christy Fox (Kilmac).

Shamrocks an amalgamation of Ballymanus and Knockananna were pitted against Rathnew and were expected to be easy pickings for the Villagers. It didn't go as expected with the group team pushing them right to the end.

Rathnew started well and were cruising early on with points from Darren Coffey and Trevor Doyle. Coffey was unerring from placed balls and although Eugene Canna and Michael Foley levelled things early Rathnew led 0-7 to 0-2 at half-time.

John Coogan, Ken Foley and John Harmon were outstanding in the second half and Shamrocks tied the game at 0-9 each with under ten minutes to play. Pat Doyle, Ronan Coffey and Eamon White steadied things around the middle and three frees from Darren Coffey would see Rathnew through 0-12 to 0-9.

Shamrocks team: Sean Hughes (Knockananna); Alan Carthy (Ballymanus), Paul Whelan (Kn), Denis Kinsella (Kn); Michael O'Keeffe (B), Tom Byrne (B), Denis Kinsella (Kn); Lorcan Byrne (B 0-1) and Ken Foley (Kn 0-1); PJ Byrne (B), John Harmon (B, 0-4), Ger O'Neill (Kn); Eugene Canna (Kn, 0-1), John Coogan (Kn, 0-1), Michael Foley (Kn, 0-1). Subs used Peter Dunne (Kn) and Ollie Murphy (B).

In 1993 Lakeside faced Dunlavin again. Dunlavin were hell bent on revenge for the defeat of 1991. A more mature team would exact full retribution. They had wind assistance in the opening half and scored 2-11 whilst keeping the Lake men scoreless.

To their credit Lakeside had 1-4 on the board before Dunlavin troubled the Baltinglass scorekeeper again. Mick Murtagh, top scoring Thomas English, county Minors Seamus Miley and Declan Flood along with Kenneth Flood were too hot to handle as Dunlavin won 2-16 to 1-6.

Lakeside team: Dave Callaghan (Valleymount); Brian Clarke (Kilbride), John Miley (Val), Paul Carroll (Kil), Kevin Donohue (Val), Jimmy Byrne (Val), Pat Reid (Val); John Geoghegan (Val) and Paul Clarke (Kil); Pat Mahon (Val), Sean Miley (Val), Joe Craul (Kil); Michael Geoghegan (Val), Ernie Zeller (Kil), Seamus Miley (Val). Subs used: Noel Foster and Ben Reid (both Val.)

Inbhear Mór and the East District also met again. Despite the East having the lion's share of possession the sides were tied 1-3 to 0-6 at the break. Mick Healy got the goal from a 16th minute penalty for the Arklow side.

The East went four points up at one stage in the second half but Joe Gilbert and Mark O'Reilly impressed as Inbhear Mór fought back. It took a late point from Billy Byrne to secure a 0-12 to 1-6 victory.

Inbhear Mór team was: Michael Cox; Marcus O'Toole, Kenneth O'Neill (all Arklow Gers), Eftin Hurley (Ballymoney); James Kavanagh (Ark G.), Paul Hurley (Bal), John McElheron (Bal); Austin Walker (Arklow Rocks 0-1) and Declan O'Brien (Ark G. 0-1), Noel Cummins (Bal), Joe Gilbert (Ark R. 0-1), Michael Healy (Ark R. 1-1); Mark O'Reilly (Ark G. 0-1), Alan O'Neill (Ark G. 0-1), Pat McCabe (Bal). Subs used: Gerry O'Neill and Gary Hurley both Ballymoney.

The East faced Carnew next. They would win a tight game 1-7 to 0-5. Amazingly the sides were all square 0-5 each at the end of normal time with the East men hitting 1-2 in injury time to progress. Carnew missed a first half penalty and led 0-4 to 0-2 after a wind assisted opening period. It took the East all of the second half to finally draw level with Seamus McGraynor and Pat Baker prominent. It was a Conor Behan goal in the 63rd minute that sealed the win.

Dunlavin were their quarter final opponents. The West men were expected to progress but were dominated for long periods by an East team who were growing in confidence. Dunlavin led 0-5 to 0-4 at the break but the East had missed three good goal chances. It was Richie Cullen who was to finally find the Dunlavin net in the 52nd minute after a Mick McDonald pass. A late Alan McPartland goal ensured a few anxious moments as the East won 1-8 to 1-7 to progress to the last four and a meeting with Hollywood.

The east men were visibly growing in confidence and their teamwork improving with every outing. Although Hollywood got the tonic of a goal in the first minute from Paul Allen a Richie Cullen opportunist goal before the break left it 1-5 to 1-4 in the west sides favour. Cullen was to have a fine game scoring 1-3 and this added to two fine saves by Jimmy Kelly from Ray Timmins kept the group team in contention.

It was point for point in the second half until John Doyle and Dermot McDonald popped up with the winning scores; the East team winning 1-9 to 1-7 to make history as the first combined team to reach the Senior final. Managed by Liam McGraynor, Andy Cullen and Pat O'Connor, many fancied them to now go all the way.

Baltinglass were going for their seventh title on the trot when they met the East District in September, 1993.

A terrible day, driving rain and a howling gale strangled the life from the game and the sizable crowd who had gathered to witness a potential shock.

Baltinglass had first use of the wind and although they kicked plenty of wides, they still had seven points on the board at the break. The East men had only been past the halfway line a couple of times and didn't trouble the scoreboard at all.

A clash of heads between Tommy Murphy and Tom Byrne had seen Byrne depart and Murphy stitched up and swathed in bandages. He was still one of the most influential players afield for the hour. The expected fightback from the East never materialised and points from Robert McHugh, Damien McMahon, Sean and Kevin O'Brien and Billy Kenny eased them to an 0-14 to 0-6 win.

The East finally raised a flag in the 19th minute of the half through Pat Baker and had plenty of fine performers over the hour, most notably Wayne Rooney, Paul Byrne, Pat Baker, Mick McDonald, Conor Behan, Brian Doyle and Richie Cullen.

Dermot McDonald, who had replaced the injured Byrne, also impressed. Baltinglass captain Hugh Kenny, who played a real leader's role, accepted the cup from County Chairman Jimmy Dunne.

The headline in the Wicklow People the following week read 'Balto in seventh heaven'. The East men had struck a blow and would return in 1994 along with Inbhear Mór and a new team called Ballinglen.

The East District panel was: Jimmy Kelly, Owen and Pat Doyle, Pat Baker, Billy Byrne, Seamus McGraynor, John Gahan, Brian Olohan (Avondale), John Begley, Tony Byrne, Paudie Byrne (Ballinacor), Mick McDonald, Timmy Lenihan, Conor Behan, Michael Anthony O'Neill, Jonathan O'Neill, Denis Healy, Vivian O'Connor (Ashford), Wayne Rooney, Richie and Andrew Cullen, John and Brian Doyle, Dermot McDonald (Laragh), Paul Byrne, Tom Byrne, Gerry Doyle (Barndarrig).


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