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A special day for the All-Ireland Junior hurling champions of 1971

Junior champs honoured in Tinahely and Aughrim

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The Wicklow Junior hurling team of 1971 being presented to the crowd at half-time in the county final in Aughrim.

The Wicklow Junior hurling team of 1971 being presented to the crowd at half-time in the county final in Aughrim.

Andy Byrne, Paudie O' Gorman and Sean O' Gorman at the special celebration for the All-Ireland Junior winning Wicklow team from 1971.

Andy Byrne, Paudie O' Gorman and Sean O' Gorman at the special celebration for the All-Ireland Junior winning Wicklow team from 1971.

Jason Walsh, Brian Delaney, Mary and John Berkery at the special celebration for the All-Ireland Junior winning Wicklow team from 1971.

Jason Walsh, Brian Delaney, Mary and John Berkery at the special celebration for the All-Ireland Junior winning Wicklow team from 1971.

Tommy and Ellen Kennedy in Tinahely at the special celebration for the All-Ireland Junior winning Wicklow team from 1971.

Tommy and Ellen Kennedy in Tinahely at the special celebration for the All-Ireland Junior winning Wicklow team from 1971.

Andy and Breda Byrne in Tinahely at the special celebration for the All-Ireland Junior winning Wicklow team from 1971.

Andy and Breda Byrne in Tinahely at the special celebration for the All-Ireland Junior winning Wicklow team from 1971.

Michael and Margaret O'Neill in Tinahely at the special celebration for the All-Ireland Junior winning Wicklow team from 1971.

Michael and Margaret O'Neill in Tinahely at the special celebration for the All-Ireland Junior winning Wicklow team from 1971.

Michale Connolly in Tinahely at the special celebration for the All-Ireland Junior winning Wicklow team from 1971.

Michale Connolly in Tinahely at the special celebration for the All-Ireland Junior winning Wicklow team from 1971.

John Kelly, Tony Reilly, Pascall O'Reilly, Tom Byrne and Andy Byrne in Tinahely at the special celebration for the All-Ireland Junior winning Wicklow team from 1971.

John Kelly, Tony Reilly, Pascall O'Reilly, Tom Byrne and Andy Byrne in Tinahely at the special celebration for the All-Ireland Junior winning Wicklow team from 1971.

Eddie Byrne, Sandra O'Shaughnessy, Tina Byrne and Jimmy Shaughnessy in Tinahely at the special celebration for the All-Ireland Junior winning Wicklow team from 1971.

Eddie Byrne, Sandra O'Shaughnessy, Tina Byrne and Jimmy Shaughnessy in Tinahely at the special celebration for the All-Ireland Junior winning Wicklow team from 1971.

Liam and Alice O'Loughlin in Tinahely at the special celebration for the All-Ireland Junior winning Wicklow team from 1971.

Liam and Alice O'Loughlin in Tinahely at the special celebration for the All-Ireland Junior winning Wicklow team from 1971.

Thomas and Audry Keenan in Tinahely at the special celebration for the All-Ireland Junior winning Wicklow team from 1971.

Thomas and Audry Keenan in Tinahely at the special celebration for the All-Ireland Junior winning Wicklow team from 1971.

Eamon Murray in Tinahely at the special celebration for the All-Ireland Junior winning Wicklow team from 1971.

Eamon Murray in Tinahely at the special celebration for the All-Ireland Junior winning Wicklow team from 1971.

Collette and John Doyle in Tinahely at the special celebration for the All-Ireland Junior winning Wicklow team from 1971.

Collette and John Doyle in Tinahely at the special celebration for the All-Ireland Junior winning Wicklow team from 1971.

Martin Fitzgerald wtih Laura O'Reilly in Tinahely at the special celebration for the All-Ireland Junior winning Wicklow team from 1971.

Martin Fitzgerald wtih Laura O'Reilly in Tinahely at the special celebration for the All-Ireland Junior winning Wicklow team from 1971.

Owen and Anne Lawlor in Tinahely at the special celebration for the All-Ireland Junior winning Wicklow team from 1971.

Owen and Anne Lawlor in Tinahely at the special celebration for the All-Ireland Junior winning Wicklow team from 1971.

Tom and Anne Carthy in Tinahely at the special celebration for the All-Ireland Junior winning Wicklow team from 1971.

Tom and Anne Carthy in Tinahely at the special celebration for the All-Ireland Junior winning Wicklow team from 1971.

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The Wicklow Junior hurling team of 1971 being presented to the crowd at half-time in the county final in Aughrim.

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Wicklow’s All-Ireland champions of 1971 were honoured at a special event in Murphy’s Hotel Tinahely last Sunday afternoon before being paraded in front of the crowd in the County Grounds in Aughrim at half-time in the Senior hurling championship final later in the day.

It’s 50 years since that incredible adventure unfolded that saw Wicklow secure wonderful victories over Louth, Meath and Kildare in Leinster, Monaghan in the All-Ireland semi-final and then Roscommon in the ‘Home’ final at Croke Park on September 12 (2-18 to 1-12).

After that great day the All-Ireland final proper was fixed for October 10 in Aughrim against Hertfordshire with the popular opinion on the day being that Wicklow were within touching distance of the big prize.

However, things were not to work out to smoothly. Dublin referee Donal Doody took charge of the game in Aughrim and and at the end of a competitive and pulsating 60 minutes the sides were level anmd the replay was fixed for Sundown Park in Luton with the same official at the helm.

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As in Aughrim, at the end of normal time the sides were level. After 65 minutes the game was still level.

After 70 minutes there was still no change with all eyes firmly and viciously on Mr Doody. Two and a half minutes later the shrill whistle sounded immediately after Herts had scored what everyone believed was the winning score.

With tensions high, the matter was brought to the boardroom and eventually a decision was made that the official was wrong not to play extra-time and a replay was ordered.

It was November 28 when that day rolled around, and Wicklow would emerge victorious on a score of 4-6 to 3-8 but the drama wasn’t finished just yet.

Herts objected to Eamon Murray who they said had played in a league game in London. After long meetings it was found that Eamon had every right to play that game as he had commenced in that competition before his transfer back to Avoca and was entitled to go back and finish it.

Finally, Wicklow were the champions!

Wicklow: Jim Byrne (Arklow Rocks); Liam O’Loughlin (Aughrim), Tony Reilly (Arklow Rocks), Jimmy Shaughnessy (Avondale); John Doyle (Donard-The Glen), Freddie Byrne (Kilcoole), Michael O’Neill (Glenealy); Paddy Reilly (Arklow Rocks), Paddy Berkerry (Glenealy); Pat Sheehan (Forestry), Tom McCarthy (Avoca), Tommy Kennedy (Carnew Emmets); George Delaney (Kilcoole), Eamon Murray (Avoca), Gerry Gibbons (Kilcoole). Subs: Andy Byrne (Arklow Rocks), Denis O’Sullivan (St Kevin’s), Pat O’Connell (Arklow Rocks), Tom Byrne (Arklow Rocks), Thomas Keenan (Aughrim), John Kelly (Arklow Rocks), Don Gorman (Glenealy), Pat Doyle (Glenealy), Michael Connolly (Glenealy).


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