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Sunday 16 December 2018

Micko stays upbeat after loss

No Joy for Micko down in the Banner County on Sunday. He was still short of about five key players and as he pointed out himself that is one third of his team as he started the build up for the Championship. To make matters worse the weather turned foul and spoiled what could have been a nice trip for a fair number of Wicklow supporters. In fact while there was anything left t

No Joy for Micko down in the Banner County on Sunday. He was still short of about five key players and as he pointed out himself that is one third of his team as he started the build up for the Championship.

To make matters worse the weather turned foul and spoiled what could have been a nice trip for a fair number of Wicklow supporters. In fact while there was anything left to shout about it appeared we were out-shouting the Clare crowd.

However, he was, as always up-beat and told his players after the game that the training would continue at a hectic pace between now and May 18.

Micko's training/Match schedule for the month of April

April 2 - Avondale 7.30 p.m. April 4 - Rathnew 7.30 p.m.; April 6 - London 2.30 p.m., Knockananna 7.30 p.m. April 9 - Aughrim versus Carlow 2.30 p.m.; Roundwood 7.30 p.m. Aprill 11 - Baltinglass 7.30 p.m.; April 14 - Aughgrim 7.30 p.m.; April 16 - Augrim 7.30 p.m.; April 18 - Aughrim 7.30 p.m.; April 20 - Tipperary 2.30 p.m.; April 21 - Aughrim 7.30 p.m.; April 23 - Aughrim 7.30 p.m.; April 25 - Aughrim 7.30 p.m.; April 27 - Brittas Bay - 10.30 a.m.; April 28 - Aughrim 7.30 p.m.; April 30 - Aughrim 7.30 p.m.

The Hurlers

John Mitchell's hurling training continues but the emphasis is now on preparing a team to take part in the new Leinster Junior Hurling League which id due to start shortly.

A new panel for this competition is being drawn up and will be available shortly.

About 17 of the Senior panel will be eligible for this competition and for the All-Ireland Junior championship which follows, that is provided they have not played in the Christy Cup in the mea time.

Wicklow clubs have entered the Leinster Club Hurling League in large numbers this year and this has the potential to lift the profile of the game in the county.

That in turn should see more local players becoming available to to John Mitchell and his selectors.

With the Minors

A hectic weekend coming up for the Minor players in both codes, but in particular for the dual player.

Hugh Kenny's Minor footballers are at home to Offaly in Aughrim on Saturday in the Cchampionship while the hurlers are also at home. They play Kildare at Arklow on Sunday. Without doubt talented young players like Robert Lambert, Paul Cunningham, PJ Mulhall and a few others will be under pressure to line-out in both matches.

Add in key matches with their schools teams and with the clubs and you will have no trouble seeing where the word burn-out' came from.

U-21 Hurling

Martin Barnes has his U-21 hurling team out in the first round of the championship on Saturday.

Martin had a trial match for his team for his panel on Sunday in Aughrim when they took on a team drawn from John Mitchell's new Junior squad plus a few Seniors.

The panel, if not the team, were picked after that match.

Junior Football

Kevin O'Brien's Junior football team have made it through to the semi-final of the Leinster Shield after that good win over Meath on Wednesday.

They finished on equal points with Meath and Kildare and at first it was predicted that the placings would be decided on score difference.

However, Leinster Council decided that the three teams should go into a hat and the result was that Wicklow will have to play Kildare in the semi-final with Meath getting the bye into the final. That match n the semi-final will be played at Avondale on Wednesday night.

Dublin/Wicklow men

A great reaction to the piece in last week's column on Wicklow men who played football for Dublin down the years.

First call was from Peter O'Neill from Greystones - himself a man who has put quite a bit into Dublin football as manager trainer of St. Ann's Bohernabrenna and later St. Patrick's in Pamerstown.

Peter takes us to task for leaving out John O'Leary, the All-Star goalkeeper who captained the Dubs in their last victory in 1995 and was also on the 63 team.

Peter points that John was born in Bray, the son of Corkman Denis O'Leary who played for Bray Emmets and Wicklow and married local Lass Terrie Pugh from Kilmacanogue.

Well we are all were aware of what John has done for Wicklow football, not just in his three years as manager but his many visits to the county of his birth to help in coaching sessions for Juveniles and presentations nights etc.

We left him out in the first place because he had not actually played for Wicklow but of course Peter is right, he should have been included.

Next up was Jackie Napier and of course he was none too pleased because we did not mention Wicklow's contribution to hurling in the capital.

Jackie points out that Pat Kennedy, a brother of present day Dublin TD Mick Kennedy, was centre half back on the last Dublin team to win a Minor hurling All-Ireland in 1965 and of course both Pat and Mick later wore the Wicklow jersey on the hurling field.

The present Dublin manager is Arklow man Tommy Naughton and he certainly has worked wonders for the game over the last few years.

Jackie also thought that we should have mentioned some more of the great Bray Emmets men who played for Dublin. How could you forget the great Bill Sherry' a man who won all Ireland medals in 1898 and '99 before playing on the Bray Emmets team in 1902', he asked?. Then there was Stephen Mulvey and Anthony (Toe) Dunne who could drive a ball a mighty distance (A pity PJ Cunningham hadn't the Kick Fada going then).

Then of course there was the captain in 1902 the man who brought the cup to the Dargle Road (I don't think it was the Sam Maguire at that time) but of course he was a Wexford man who lived most of his life in Bray.

Others mentioned by Jackie included David Brady, Willie Casey, Andy Wall and Tim Leggett.

After winning the Dublin SFC in 1902 Bray Emmets , which was their privilege at the time could, and did selected players from other Dublin clubs for the All-Ireland series.

For the record the team that beat London in the final was Jack Dempsey (Captain); S. Mulvey, D. Brady, W. Casey, W. Sherry, A.Wall, J. Brennan, P. Weymess, PD Breen, J. McCann, T. Errity, J. Fahy, J. Grace, J. Keane, P. Brady, E. Brady, P. Daly.

Other interesting facts about that team were the T. Errity listed was a Rathdrum man Dati' Errity, at that time playing for Parnels in Dublin; The P.D Breen was a Wexford man who went on the become President of the Association while one of the Brady's listed was grandfather of soccer legend Liam Brady.

Handball

With two of Wicklow's most prominent handball personalities stepping down from key posts at national level around now we thought it might be a good time to take a look at the ancient game in the county.

Richard Willoughby, a leading figure in the great upsurge of the game in Coolboy stepped down as president of the Leinster Council after three years in office recently.

It will not mean of course that Richard will be leaving the game he loves so much. More likely it will see him spending even more time promotion the game in Coolboy and Wicklow.

Tom Walsh from the Bray Emmets Club had served as National President of the Handball Association for three years and only stepped down at the Convention in Roscommon on Sunday, to be replaced by Roscommon man Tony Hannon.

Tom had also served three years as President of Leinster Council.

Tom has to be one of the longest serving officials in Wicklow. Between Chairman of the County Board, Secretary and Treasurer he was at the top table for 25 years

Thanks to Richard Willoughby we also got our hands on a copy of the Irish Handball Yearbook and I must say from a Wicklow point of view it makes good reading.

In fact I would go further and say that it is one national publication that all Wicklow followers should read.

In it we found records of Wicklow people winning trophies, not just at All-Ireland level but also on the international stage in the past year.

Shauna Hilley from Coolboy has won trophies on both sides of the Atlantic; so has Keith Kavanagh from the same club.

Gerry McGrath, an uncle of new football star John McGrath won a Senior Masters Doubles title, partnered by Tom O'Malley. Gerry , from the Donard Club was also the runner-up in the Masters singles final.

Michael Lennon and Pat Quaile brought an All-Ireland Junior Club title to Coolboy.

Johnny Willoughby won the Mens A Singles title while his brother Jerome was a Mens B Doubles winner in the US.

Space has caught up with me this week but I hope to return to the handball scene again.

Get Well

This week we send get well wishes to a number of G.A.A. people who have been un-well recently.

Thomas Cullen

Young Laragh Footballer Thomas Cullen is just home from hospital and we wish him a full recovery and hope to see him back in the Laragh jersey before long.

Thomas is also the Treasurer of the Club.

Liz Timmins

Liz is unwell and is in Tallaght Hospital at present. She is wife of the County Irish Cultural Officer John Timmins but is also a well known personality in ladies football.

When the first Ladies County Board was set up back in 1988 Liz (Byrne) was the first Treasurer. She was also a good footballer and played on the Kiltegan team in that first championship, and for some years after. We hope to see her out and about soon.

Mick Mangan

Kerryman Mick who in the President of the Bray Emmets Club is now confined to his house and is sadly missed at the many functions and matches he would normally attend.

Mick O'Dwyer was inquiring about you on Sunday Mick, and like all of us he wishes you a speedy recovery and when he holds his next training session in Bray he hopes to see you there.

Gerry Farrell

County elector Gerry Farrell got a little knock recently and has missed some of the action.

Get well quick Gerry, the training camp is not the same without you.

U-14 Hurling Development Squad

Michael Neary is quite pleased with the turn out for the U-14 Hurling Development squad over the past two weeks.

Over fifty boys attended at a training session in Kilcoole on Saturday and it is now hoped to combine this group with a schools under fourteen and a half team and continue the training

ScÓr

No Luck for Wicklow at the Leinster Scor finals down in Ballymore, Westmeath on Sunday.

The Carnew Ballad Group and the Annacurra Instrumental Music Group were representing Wicklow, having won through in the semi-finals at the same venue.

While both performed well they failed to get the nod from the judges

Live on Air

The draw for the Wicklow Championships will be made at an Activities Committee meeting in Lynham's Hotel in Laragh on Monday night and will be broadcast live on Air by East Coast Radio.

Men behind the venture are Activities Chairman Mick O'Hagan and East Coast Sports presenter Michael Sargent.

The draw for all football adult championships will be made on the night but only the top three grades will feature in the broadcast.

The Senior hurling championship will also be broadcast live.

There will be two panels to access the draws one for football and one for hurling.

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