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Wicklow GAA thread

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Replying To Hawkeye2:  "I've long been of the view and have aired it on here a few times in the past, that as a county there is far greater potential for us to make progress in Hurling than in Football. The Hurling pyramid is more evenly structured across the country compared to football and within the 5 hurling tiers we have consistently competed at the upper end of Tier 3 or Christy Ring, competing in a number of finals and looking for a while like we could break into that second tier.
This was all done against the backdrop of general apathy bordering on contempt that the County Board have shown to hurling over numerous decades. For some unjustifiable reason, the powers that be in Wicklow have considered us a football county and have consistently dedicated the vast majority of focus, resources & budget to this code to the detriment of Hurling.
As another poster points out, several hurling strongholds in the county have regressed sharply in the last 20 years - Arklow, Aughrim, Barndarrig, Kiltegan, Avondale are all operating at levels way below what they would have been in the 80s/90s. Hurling seems to have completely disappeared in Avoca, in favour of Football. Even in Carnew, the conveyor belt doesn't seem to be producing the same quantity of hurlers as in times past.
There are some areas of hope with Kiltegan looking like they might once again come to the fore, adult Hurling back in Aughrim after an absence of a number of years, Arklow starting to show promise at underage with their feile team this year. Bray and Eire Og have stepped up to fill the void left by some of the traditional hurling clubs over the past 15-20 years and Western Gaels have brought hurling to an area that was under serviced for Hurling.
I get that the clubs need to have the wherewithal to help themselves first and foremost, but I have seen very little by way of action from the county board to correct the regression of hurling.
With some focused attention to help the former hurling strongholds coupled with helping the standard bearers like Glenealy, Bray and Carnew to keep moving forward there is no reason why we couldn't be aiming at winning Christy Ring again within 5 -10 years."
I don't think it serves the county well if we pit football against hurling on an on-going basis. I'm not going to try to defend nor condemn the county board in this discussion as i don't know the figure but i would imagine that there is a larger number of people playing football in the county than play hurling; am i correct? This might expain the argument around resources. I am glad to hear that there are new clubs being formed in parts of the county offering young people an opportunity to play hurling. This is an option that wasn't available to me and others when i was in that age group. Hurling as a game has changed significant over the last 30 years as has football: my observation is this - as a county we are always behind the curve and slow to change how we coach and administer the games which is the single biggest factor why we are where we are in both hurling and football.

wicklowsupport (Wicklow) - Posts: 1701 - 14/09/2022 12:20:47    2440633

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Attended the semi final between Baltinglass and An Tochar today. Entertaining game with no blanket defense to spoil the game. A couple of missed frees that were scoreable plus a couple of wrong choices at critical moments cost An Tochar. If they can comecagain next year and build on this experience then they can win a championship. Baltinglass areca solid outfit, nothing flash but when the game was there to becwon they produced. Kevin made some astute switches at half time and the players played with a different attitude in second half. Will be a close final with Pats.

wicklowsupport (Wicklow) - Posts: 1701 - 18/09/2022 19:26:10    2441064

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Replying To wicklowsupport:  "Attended the semi final between Baltinglass and An Tochar today. Entertaining game with no blanket defense to spoil the game. A couple of missed frees that were scoreable plus a couple of wrong choices at critical moments cost An Tochar. If they can comecagain next year and build on this experience then they can win a championship. Baltinglass areca solid outfit, nothing flash but when the game was there to becwon they produced. Kevin made some astute switches at half time and the players played with a different attitude in second half. Will be a close final with Pats."
I made Aughrim today too and agree with your assessment, Wicklowsupport. It was an interesting and entertaining game on a great afternoon for football played in front of a good sized crowd. I am satisfied that my long time favourites for Mikey are still in the hunt. You could see Kevin O'Briens stamp on the game, particularly in the second half. However, had An Tochair converted half of the chances they created in the last 10 minutes or so or taken other options I think we might have had a different result. In the Intermediate game Eire Og made a clear statement as to where they want to be next year. I can't see them being stopped now. I think that Laragh will be hard to beat in the Jun A. Junior B final should be a cracker and I think that Bray will be too strong for their neighbours in that game. I had thought that Avoca were looking good here.
Jun C - I think this might be a rematch between Blesso and Ashford.

Freethinker (Wicklow) - Posts: 607 - 18/09/2022 20:10:06    2441074

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Replying To Freethinker:  "I made Aughrim today too and agree with your assessment, Wicklowsupport. It was an interesting and entertaining game on a great afternoon for football played in front of a good sized crowd. I am satisfied that my long time favourites for Mikey are still in the hunt. You could see Kevin O'Briens stamp on the game, particularly in the second half. However, had An Tochair converted half of the chances they created in the last 10 minutes or so or taken other options I think we might have had a different result. In the Intermediate game Eire Og made a clear statement as to where they want to be next year. I can't see them being stopped now. I think that Laragh will be hard to beat in the Jun A. Junior B final should be a cracker and I think that Bray will be too strong for their neighbours in that game. I had thought that Avoca were looking good here.
Jun C - I think this might be a rematch between Blesso and Ashford."
Agree with you. An Tochar created the chances in the last quarter but they didn't take them which is very disappointing as they were converting those chances in their previous games. Club games in Wicklow are open games which is great to watch for the neutral. I would imagine that Oisin won't want the county team playing this style as it leads to too many scores. Eire Og should win the Intermediate as they are a class apart. They shouldn't really be in this grade. Dunlavin lost to Kiltegan in the first game of the relegation playoff. Tinahely and Donard are the two other teams. Will probably be between Dunlavin and Donard for the relegation spot based upon recent form.

wicklowsupport (Wicklow) - Posts: 1701 - 19/09/2022 10:29:16    2441146

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Replying To wicklowsupport:  "Agree with you. An Tochar created the chances in the last quarter but they didn't take them which is very disappointing as they were converting those chances in their previous games. Club games in Wicklow are open games which is great to watch for the neutral. I would imagine that Oisin won't want the county team playing this style as it leads to too many scores. Eire Og should win the Intermediate as they are a class apart. They shouldn't really be in this grade. Dunlavin lost to Kiltegan in the first game of the relegation playoff. Tinahely and Donard are the two other teams. Will probably be between Dunlavin and Donard for the relegation spot based upon recent form."
I was also in Aughrim yesterday i what was a good turnout. I really enjoyed the game, My thoughts after was i thought An Tochar left it behind them but i think experience won through in the end plus Baltinglass seemed to have a stronger bench. Be interesting few year for An Tochar if they can stay together get more experience at the level and maybe some more youth coming through

StrandedinWW (Wicklow) - Posts: 10 - 19/09/2022 14:46:16    2441213

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Replying To StrandedinWW:  "I was also in Aughrim yesterday i what was a good turnout. I really enjoyed the game, My thoughts after was i thought An Tochar left it behind them but i think experience won through in the end plus Baltinglass seemed to have a stronger bench. Be interesting few year for An Tochar if they can stay together get more experience at the level and maybe some more youth coming through"
You make a good point, Baltinglass's substitutes made a much greater impact than An Tochar's bench. I hope An Tochar can regroup and come back stronger next year as the county needs new teams coming through alongside clubs who are always to the fore. I would hate to see them go the way of Tinahely who were in a similiar position to An Tochar in 2020 after they were beaten in the county final and were being talked about as the club most likely to break through. Two years on they are scrapping it out in the relegation playoff.

wicklowsupport (Wicklow) - Posts: 1701 - 19/09/2022 16:53:51    2441248

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They were 2 interesting semi-finals in the senior championship this weekend. Both AGB and An Tochar started off well and were leading at half time but Pats and Balto turned it around in the second half. You'd have to say Pats were more impressive the way they disposed of AGB so easily in the end. Both teams have plenty of experience to draw on and both have been at the business end of a number of championships over the last number of years. My early thoughts are that St Pats will get their turn to lift Miley this year. Balto just seem too heavily reliant on McGrath still and he played a huge part on the scoreboard directly and indirectly on Sunday. While Pats at times can rely on Kelly they do have a few more players who can contribute. Looking forward to all the build up over the next few weeks and hearing the various opinions.

neutralfan (Wicklow) - Posts: 214 - 19/09/2022 21:46:43    2441262

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The semifinals last weekend produced two attractive fast open and clean games of football which were enjoyable to watch for both neutrals and supporters alike.
AGB, a team I had expected to have a county title by now produced some great football but the loss of Andy Maher early on plus the turmoil created by the black card and the goalkeeper substitution seemed to upset the early momentum of AGB as they attacked in waves. Pats weathered the storm as established teams tend to do and bit by bit turned the screw and ran out deserving winners as AGB s efforts fizzled out. I just hope that AGB can eventually get over the line as it would be good for Wicklow football but it is proving difficult and one wonders will time run out for this group of talented footballers.
I felt as a Baltinglass supporter that we got out of jail as An Tochar tore us to shreds in the first 20 minutes dominating almost every position on the fied with their determined running and clever passing.However as the half progressed the evergreen John McGrath wove his magic to help Balto close the gap. An Tochar would not have been flattered by a lead of at least 7 points at the half hour and could have been realistically out the gate but ominously only led by one.
Two things were crucial at half time. Would O Brien be able to restructure the team as the loss of Johnny Keogh and the injury to Sean Doody during the warm ùp appeared to unsettle the team Would An Tochar be able to sustain the constant pressure they displayed in the first half.
O Briens introduction of subs from the bench had an impact and An Tochar began to make mistakes,pick the wrong options and kick some important free kicks wide which sucked the energy from the team. Balto like Pats displayed calmness and experience when it was badly needed to just get over the line.
The An Tochar players and management and supporters though disappointed should feel immensely proud of their achievements. They play honest clean and skillful football and will undoubtedly be a force in Wicklow football in future years provided this talented group can be kept together.
My hope is that the players selected from the 4 semi finalists will answer the call to represent their county next year.

Optimisticobserver (Wicklow) - Posts: 117 - 21/09/2022 20:37:35    2441480

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Opinions for the weekend ?

Mileythedog (Wicklow) - Posts: 16 - 22/09/2022 10:04:51    2441512

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Replying To Mileythedog:  "Opinions for the weekend ?"
As I have said in earlier posts, Bray should still have the measure of Glenealy. I don't think that the Glens have brought any new talent through for the last year or so which means that it will basically be the same teams as contested the last few finals / semis and to my mind and rumour has it that they might have an injury or two. Bray are good enough for another one or two titles - at least. The intermediate to me is a sad affair. I'm not sure why Kilcoole haven't moved up to senior ranks already and what effect if any they would have on the senior scene if they did. This is not to disrespect Kilcoole but I have watched them over the last 2/3 years and wonder. Bray winning it - while it would be great for the club to win both, I'm not sure it would do a whole lot for raising the standard of hurling in the county. This is where we would need to see the Rocks, Avondale, Barndarrig and Aughrim or one of those western outfits slugging it out.

Freethinker (Wicklow) - Posts: 607 - 22/09/2022 11:31:54    2441530

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Be a statement for all three bray teams to win this weekend

Mileythedog (Wicklow) - Posts: 16 - 23/09/2022 11:07:49    2441626

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Another sub standard final. Stop start all through with a whistle happy referee. Players looked baffled at some of the frees. Bray will win replay easily. Glenealy blew it.

heavyheart19 (Wicklow) - Posts: 67 - 25/09/2022 20:34:12    2441842

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Replying To heavyheart19:  "Another sub standard final. Stop start all through with a whistle happy referee. Players looked baffled at some of the frees. Bray will win replay easily. Glenealy blew it."
I wasn't at the match but I believe that one the best referees in Leinster was doing linesman ?? Who makes the decision to appoint referees for our showpiece games ?? and on what basis are they assessed as being capable. Is it just because it becomes one's "turn" or a reward for being a "good servant". I fully realise that referees are scarce and that it can be a thankless task, but, to my mind, if there are only one or two referees in the county capable of doing the big games, then it's a no brainer. Either way my money will be on Bray again in the replay.

Freethinker (Wicklow) - Posts: 607 - 26/09/2022 08:34:49    2441853

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Agree that some overly fussy refereeing took from the quality of the game. I get however that you need to give newer referees exposure to big games in order to bring them along. Hopefully John Keenan gets the replay and we'll get a better spectacle.

Hawkeye2 (Wicklow) - Posts: 90 - 26/09/2022 10:25:27    2441881

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Replying To Hawkeye2:  "Agree that some overly fussy refereeing took from the quality of the game. I get however that you need to give newer referees exposure to big games in order to bring them along. Hopefully John Keenan gets the replay and we'll get a better spectacle."
Wont be John anyway

Mileythedog (Wicklow) - Posts: 16 - 26/09/2022 11:35:28    2441898

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Replying To Mileythedog:  "Wont be John anyway"
And why is that?

dubarra (Wicklow) - Posts: 519 - 26/09/2022 13:31:32    2441922

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He is unavailable

Mileythedog (Wicklow) - Posts: 16 - 26/09/2022 14:10:51    2441930

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Replying To dubarra:  "And why is that?"
Seems strange if a referee of the standing of John Keenan can be dismissed so definitely. Maybe he us away or something like that.

Freethinker (Wicklow) - Posts: 607 - 26/09/2022 14:52:07    2441940

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Not sure why Keenan wont get the replay. I did hear a well placed county board official and member of one of the competing teams yesterday saying outside the building after the game that the same referee will do the replay or perhaps an outside referee which Bray are on for.

heavyheart19 (Wicklow) - Posts: 67 - 26/09/2022 15:33:05    2441945

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Replying To heavyheart19:  "Another sub standard final. Stop start all through with a whistle happy referee. Players looked baffled at some of the frees. Bray will win replay easily. Glenealy blew it."
By all accounts, it reads as though hurling in the county is beyond fixing: poor standard of play, players sub standard, few hurling clubs up to scratch, poor refereeing, no county team to talk about, no plan for hurling..... is there anything else right or am I reading right - there is nothing right with hurling at the moment? Pretty depressing any time the subject of hurling is raised on here. At least football seems to have a couple of things to be optimistic about!!!

wicklowsupport (Wicklow) - Posts: 1701 - 26/09/2022 15:47:05    2441948

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