Gach dea-ghui (all the best) to the countys hurlers and footballers who are involved in championship games at the week-end. Na h-iomanaithe play Carlow in the semi-final of the Christy Ring Cup in Dr. Cullen Park on Saturday while na peileadoiri play Louth in the Leinster Championship in Parnell Park On Sunday. The consensus is that with Carlow playing in their own backyard Wicklow must be classified as underdogs. However if the teams respective performances against Kildare are used as the touchstone Cill Mantain is definitely in with a chance. Wicklow scored 3-18 in their recent quarter final against Kildare while Carlow only managed the equivalent score against the same opposition shorn of some key players. Unfortunately the football teams showings have not been great of late and are far from the heady days of Mick ODwyer so their prospects against Louth who have gained promotion to Div.2 are not rated highly. So supporters will be travelling to Parnell Park in the hope that the team will play with pride in the jersey and will put it up to Louth. A number of Eire Og players will be part of the panels for these matches: Peter Keane, Chester Kelly, Anto Byrne and James Cranley in the hurling with Chester Kelly (captain) and Darren Hayden travelling with the footballers. Certainly a busy week-end for Chester.
There has been much discussion recently on the poor, if any, exposure afforded in the media to major events in ladies sports and indeed it has to be admitted that the ladies are in their rights to complain about their shabby treatment. Popularity of events in sport has much to do with hype, personality cult, promotion etc. and then as Hamlet said in another context appetite will grow by what it is fed on. That the promotors of the Lions tour to New Zealand are well aware of this power of publicity is illustrated in the intense campaign already in train advertising it across all media.
If ones interest in sport is in its essence, one would have been fully rewarded if one had attended any of the 4 Ladies League finals, down even to Div.4 in which Cill Mantain played Longford. All these games were extremely closely contested, two ended in draws, and in all of them the ball and its pursuit was central, there was scoring a-plenty and athleticism was on spectacular display. Div.1, in which Corcaigh beat Dun na nGall by a point, was a wonderful display of the grace and beauty which lie in the sport.
The excellence shown in these games required a high level of self-discipline and good refereeing. Unfortunately these sine qua non of an enjoyable spectacle were to quite an extent absent from our ladies recent league game against the locals in Manor Kilbride. As mentioned before many of the players on the Eire Og team are new to the sport and others have just been promoted from u-16 so for them the game was in the nature of being a battle-hardening encounter. Thankfully, overall they were none the worse for their experience. One would hope that as the season progresses there would be a greater adherence to the rules and spirit of this great sport.
Foireann: Aisling Leonard, Keeva Potts, Eva Moore, Wendela Zegers, Eva Roche, Catherine Clear, Aoife McTague, Claudia Randles, Katie Lawless, Kelly Ryder, Ellen Prendergast, Rachel Garvey, Ellie ONeill, Isobel OMalley, Lisa Murphy.
Best for Eire Og were Ellie ONeill, Katie Lawless, Isobel OMalley, Aoife McTague and Eva Roche.
U-11 Eire Og had a comprehensive win over St Pats Wicklow in their top of the table clash in the u-11 league. The competition had the usual 2 match accumulated score format. Much of the credit must got to the defences in both teams which between them limited Pats to a single major between the 2 games. On the other hand our forwards notched up 10 goals. A particularly interesting feature of the evening was that both of the Eire Og teams contributed exactly the same score to the total. The half-time scores in both games gave little indication of the final outcome. Thus St Pats were 3 points up against Team 1, and Team 2 were a mere point ahead at that stage. The 2nd period in each game took on the same pattern with Eire Og very much in the driving seat in both.
TEAM 1: Tomas OConnell and James ODowd manned the rearguard and allowed the opposing forwards little access to the danger zone while in the half-back line Daniel Burns and Tom OMahony (who did a spell between the posts) policed their markers with determination. Cillian Goff kept his lively opponent on a tight leash and Eoghan Duddy was instrumental in disrupting many attacking movements.
Team: Kirby Cathal, O’Dowd James, Burns Daniel, Nolan Charlie, Caffrey Jack, Shanahan Darragh, Duddy Eoghan, O’Connell Tomas, Goff Cillian, Kearney Tom, Balfe Dean, Bartek Alec,
TEAM 2: Nathan Donnellan, Charlie Fox, Charlie Grogan, Charlie Keogh and Liam Finn were stalwart in defence and allowed their opposite numbers little room for manoeuvre. Gavin kept a clean sheet in goals and delivered his kick-outs with intelligence. The forwards had the Pats defence in all sorts of trouble with persistent hassle and clever passing movements.
Team: Connerty Daniel, Lincoln Gavin, Owens Robert, Healy Piaras, Donnellan Nathan,
Finn Liam, Cunningham Sam, Baines Austin, Ovenden Ryan, Goff Alex, Keogh Charlie,
Grogan Charlie, Fox Charlie.