15 June, 2009

It was Bray Emmets against Carnew in the second game of the Wicklow Hurling Championship in Arklow. A number of players from both clubs had been part of the Wicklow U12 Development Squad so they knew each other quite well.

Both teams gave an excellent display of skill, determination and excitement and for most part of the game there was very little between them. The Carnew duo of Enda Donahoe at centre back and Billy Connors at centrefield were playing exceptionally well and even though they had the better of us in both areas, scores from Michael Boland and Conor O'Doherty left the half time score of 2-1 each. At that stage it really was anybody's game.

Early in the second half we were dealt a severe blow when Padraig Doyle, our full back, was forced off with a hand injury. Conor Byrne moved to fill his position and did a superb job. He was ably assisted by Dylan Brady and Oisin Donegan in the full back line. Thomas Foley was having a sound game when moved to centre back and made some fine clearances. Conor Prendergast and Sean O'Connor cleared the wings on numerous occasions and gave little away to the Carnew forwards. At centre field Michael Boland's free taking was superb and ended up scoring 2-2. Patrick Michel had obviously learnt much from the Kilkenny trip and used his hurley to great effect putting constant pressure on the midfielders. Conor McNally was gaining in confidence as the game progressed and now landed good long puck outs away from Carnews' danger men.

The turning point in the game was when Padraig Doyle came back on, not at full back, but at centre forward where we were having some problems. He immediately made a huge impact and not only stemmed the flow of ball to the Carnew forwards but ploughed his way twice through the Carnew defence to score two great goals. Things were now definitely in our favour and with Liam Benville, Cormac Foley and Jack Fitzgerald making some good breaks and runs up along both wings and some lovely first touch hurling by Conor O'Doherty at full forward the pressure put on the Carnew defence for the remainder of the game worked really well.

We finished on a strong note and won by 6-2 to 3-3 which now gets us to the final on June 29th.

All support would be greatly appreciated