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Wicklow Hurling Blitz

14 June, 2008

This Saturday we had our first outing of the year in the Wicklow U10 hurling blitzes. As usual we split into 2 teams and Aoife returned from the girls team for the day to make it 8 players per team. The report this week is from the green team. Confidence is a bit fragile at the moment with this team as they have taken some big beatings in matches recently so there was mixed expectations as we lined out for the first match.

Eire Og were our first opponents and unfortunately for them this turned out to be one of those matches when every thing we touched just seemed to go right. The Bray lads ripped into this game with some fabulous first touch hurling which kept the opposition on the back foot throughout the match. Philip and Owen mastered the midfield and feed a huge supply of ball into our forward line of Oisin and Mark. They pounced on everything and poached some marvellous scores. When the unfortunate defenders managed to parry out some shots Fintan was charging in to punish the breaking ball. When the opposition broke forward Conan and Liam were rock solid in defence. Ryan whose goalkeeping confidence is growing each week kept a clean sheet. Best score of the match was from Philip when he lifted a ball driven in low from the midfield to his hand and turned to blast over the crossbar from a tight angle.

Our second opposition was against Kilcoole. This match was only about 2 minutes in when Mark, sensing a goal opportunity, went in to block down the 'keepers clearance but was accidentally caught full force across the forearm by the hurl. At first glance this looked like a very nasty injury, and Mark left the pitch after some first aid to play no further part on the day. This incident seemed to upset the Bray lads and unsettled their play as they seemed unsure of themselves in the tackle for the rest of the match. However, Stephen and Jimmy came on as subs and Jimmy steadied the ship in defence and cleared several vital balls. The Bray lads started to get back on top and the score of this game came when Ryan, playing in the forwards got the ball into his hand and cheekily hand passed backwards over his head for Stephen to hammer the loose ball to the back of the net. Bray won by the narrowest of margins.

Our final match was against Roundwood. As we were down a player and they had extra lads they loaned us two players (who played very well) and a terrific hard fought end-to-end match ensued. A couple of early lapses in our defence gave the opposition an early lead but we eventually steadied with Ryan and Oisin getting on top in defence.  Phillip's booming puck outs shifted the momentum back to Bray. Conan was ruling midfield and batting down lots of ball, twice Owen put in superb hooks to thwart the Roundwood midfield. Bray won a couple of sideline balls and Fintan drove these right into the goalmouth from which Liam poached 2 goals. The score of this match was to give Liam a hat trick. He picked up on a breaking ball from our midfield and scored while hitting the ball on the run from the right side of the pitch to level the match.

This was a good day out for this team and will be a nice confidence boost to encourage them to keep up the effort at hurling. Meanwhile, reports from the Kenny household are that Mark, although sore and badly bruised is making a good recovery and is very keen to get back out on the pitch. All his team-mates wish him well and look forward to his return.