Minor Football



Gary Prunty 086 8545100 (F)



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Match Reports

Minor football

22 May, 2014

Bray Emmet Minors played out a draw in an enjoyable and exciting encounter with St Oliver Plunkett(Dublin) at a damp Emmet Park on Thursday last .The Bray team, fielding 10 of last year's Minor finalist panel, dominated the possession stats in the first half, but failed to transfer this to the scoreboard with in particular some poor decision making in front of goals . Nothing between the sides at half time. On the restart, Plunketts enjoyed a ten minute purple patch, building a six point lead. But the Bray lads dug deep, shook off the early season cobwebs and finished the much stronger, with some excellent score-taking from man of the match Cathal McGee. A fair result on full time whistle with honors shared, reflecting the endeavor of both teams. Bray: 2-13 Oliver Plunketts :4-7 Team: Andrew Sutton, Sean O'Connor, Shane Lohan, Patrick Cunningham, Finn O'Duill, Donnacha O'Midheach, Ciaran Browne, Padraig Doyle, Ishmael Mnensa, Conor O'Doherty, Eoin McCormack, Conor Byrne, Bill Moorehouse, Cathal McGee, Cian Rowe. Sub: Liam Benville (Rowe)...

Minor Football Championship County Final Replay

27 October, 2013

Unfortunately, Bray Emmets tasted defeat in a County Final for the second week running after our Minor Footballers lost to St. Patrick’s Wicklow in the replayed County Final on Sunday, 27th October in Aughrim. The game was played as a curtain raiser to the Senior Final between Rathnew and Baltinglass and both games will be remembered for their dramatic finishes.Emmets stormed into an early lead thanks to a goal from Marc Lennon and aided by a strong breeze, further points were added by Eoin Mac Cormaic and Cathal McGee who raised the white flag three times. A four point half-time lead was being whittled down when Daire Henderson weaved his way through the St. Pats defence to score a fantastic goal. Cathal McGee added to his tally twice and Marc Lennon popped over a free but the sides could not be separated at the end of normal time; Bray Emmets 2-7 St. Patricks 1-10.In extra-time, Cathal McGee pointed again before Dunni O Midheach found the net and the Bray supporters were now dreaming of lifting the cup. The inevitable siege to the Emmets goal materialised in the second half of extra-time as St. Pats used the wind to their advantage and agonisingly, the winner came right at the death leaving Bray with little chance to respond. It was an absolutely heartbreaking  way to lose and the fact that both games were superb displays of football at it’s best will be of little consolation to Paddy Moynihan and his squad. However, everyone in the Club is extremely proud of the team and we know that this group of players will eventually get the success they deserve.Emmet Bhré: Padraig Doyle, Sean O’Connor, Shane Lohan, Seanie Maloney, Dylan Terry, Ishe Mnensa, Peter Conroy, Matt Thompson, Eoin Mac Cormaic, Daire Henderson, Dunni O’Mideach, Ben Mac Cormaic, Cathal McGee, Gavin Dowling, Marc Lennon. Substitutes: Patrick Cunningham, Dan Cody, Ciaran Barnes, Paul Moran, Hugh Armstrong, Shane Anders, Ryan Ashworth, Conor O’Doherty, Ciaran Browne, Jack Doyle Rennix.Management: Paddy Moynihan, Paul Barry, Matt Thompson Snr....

All square in Minor County Final

13 October, 2013

The Bray Emmets Minor Footballers took on St. Patrick’s Wicklow in the County Final on Sunday, 13th October in Aughrim and as predicted, the game was a closely fought encounter between two excellent sides with nothing to separate them at the final whistle.Playing with the breeze, Daire Henderson opened the Bray account with a fine point before Marc Lennon danced his way through the Pats defence only to see his beautifully placed shot whistle past the post. St. Pat’s responded with an equalising point and then struck for a goal but Cathal McGee steadied the ship with his first point of the afternoon. Emmets were creating chances but frustratingly, weren’t getting the break of the ball in front of goal. Despite this, a late surge saw Marc Lennon, Dylan Terry and Daire Henderson add to the tally and at half-time, Emmets led 0-5 to 1-1.The second half began with St. Pats dominating the game and unsurprisingly, this was reflected on the scoreboard as they added three unanswered points to lead by two. Ben Mac Cormaic and Marc Lennon linked up well on the left flank to reduce the arrears before the sides exchanged frees, Bray’s courtesy of the boot of Cathal McGee. The tit-for-tat continued when Gavin Dowling blasted over after St. Pat’s had worked a good score at the other end. Looking for the equaliser, Emmets began to exert real pressure on the Wicklow defence and cometh the hour, cometh the man as Dunni O’Midheach, who covered every blade of grass in Aughrim, kicked the levelling score. In a breathless and frantic finish, Bray desperately sought the winner and laid siege to the St. Pats goal but they just could not find an opening. And in a truly dramatic finale, a wonder save by Padraig Doyle right at the death kept Bray in the tie before the resulting 45 sailed wide much to the relief of Paddy Moynihan and the rest of the Emmets sideline. The final whistle blew with the game ending in a draw: Bray Emmets 0-9 St. Patrick’s Wicklow 1-6.Best for Bray were Shane Lohan and Seanie Maloney in defence, Ishe Mnensa, Matt Thompson and Eoin Mac Cormaic dominated the middle while Daire Henderson, Dunni O Midheach and Marc Lennon were the standout performers up front. In a game as close as this, it is often small things that decide the outcome. And for me, watching a passage of play in the first half says so much about this panel of players. Dylan Terry bravely blocked a St. Pats shot at goal and in the process, received a cut to his head. Dan Cody replaced him as a blood substitute, won a ball and set up a badly needed point. He then rejoined the substitutes as Dylan returned to the field of play. His selfless cameo was small but vital and shows that from 1 to 28, this group play as a team.So, the two sides get to do it all over again, not that anyone watching such exciting football will complain! It is expected that the replay will be played before the Senior Football Final on Saturday, 26th October but that is yet to be confirmed.Emmet Bhré: Padraig Doyle, Sean O’Connor, Shane Lohan, Seanie Maloney, Dylan Terry, Ishe Mnensa, Peter Conroy, Matt Thompson, Eoin Mac Cormaic, Daire Henderson, Dunni O’Mideach, Ben Mac Cormaic, Cathal McGee, Gavin Dowling, Marc Lennon. Substitutes: Patrick Cunningham, Dan Cody, Ciaran Barnes, Paul Moran, Hugh Armstrong, Shane Anders, Ryan Ashworth, Conor O’Doherty, Ciaran Browne, Jack Doyle Rennix.Management: Paddy Moynihan, Paul Barry, Matt Thompson Snr....

Minor Football Championship

24 September, 2013

In front of a vociferous and enthusiastic support, Bray Emmets progressed to the Minor Football Championship County Final after a superb win over Blessington on Tuesday, 24th September at Newtown’s GAA Grounds. These two sides had already locked horns in an entertaining encounter in the Group stages when Emmets had emerged victorious and from the throw-in, it was obvious that Blessington were determined to avenge that defeat. They raced into an early three point lead as Bray struggled to cope with the greasy conditions. After surviving this opening blitz, Bray eventually settled into the game and the direct running of our forwards began to cause the Blessington defence lots of problems. Ben Mac Cormaic’s and Marc Lennon’s speed down the left flank meant that often, the boys in blue and white hoops had no other option than to drag them to the ground, resulting in Bray opening their account with two frees. Points were exchanged and both sides hit the crossbar before Blessington were reduced to fourteen men for a second yellow card. Bray took full advantage of the dismissal with Gavin Dowling finding the net and Daire Henderson scoring a fine long range point and at the break, Emmets led by 1-4 to 0-5. With Seanie Maloney deployed as the extra man and hoovering up any ball that went into the Blessington full-forward line, Bray hit a purple patch at the beginning of the second half. They dominated the exchanges and points from Cathal McGee, Gavin Dowling and Marc Lennon stretched their lead before Lennon bravely finished to the net. Six points and one man to the good, it looked like Emmets had one foot in the Final but Blessington, to their credit, never gave up and laid siege to the Bray goal as the game drew to a close. The final whistle sparked great scenes of celebration as Bray held on to the win on a scoreline of Bray Emmets 2-9 Blessington 0-11.  Emmet Bhré: Padraig Doyle, Sean O’Connor, Shane Lohan, Seanie Maloney, Dylan Terry, Ishe Mnensa, Peter Conroy, Matt Thompson, Eoin Mac Cormaic, Daire Henderson (0-1), Dunni O’Mideach, Ben Mac Cormaic (0-1), Cathal McGee (0-2) (1 free), Gavin Dowling (1-3) (3 frees), Marc Lennon (1-2). Substitutes: Patrick Cunningham, Dan Cody, Paul Moran, Hugh Armstrong, Shane Anders, Ryan Ashworth, Conor O’Doherty, Ciaran Browne, Jack Doyle Rennix. Management: Paddy Moynihan, Paul Barry, Matt Thompson Snr. Bray Emmets will now face St. Patrick’s Wicklow in the County Final and we hope that all Club members will be in Aughrim to support the boys....

Minor Footballers loose out

25 September, 2012

On a day that Bray and the east coast saw one of the worst rainfalls all year Bray Emmets minors made the long journey down to Annacurra for their Minor A Championship Semi Final vs. Blessington. Bray had qualified for the semi-finals after beating Baltinglass, St Nicholas and Eire Og to finish fourth in the group. Blessington finished second and this made for a mouth watering tie. Bray started this game at 100 miles an hour. After only 3 minutes they were 2 points to no score up with a Daire Lohan free and a nice Luke Maloney point from play. Bray then created a great goal chance, after a slick move ended up with Marc Lennon on his own with just the keeper to beat but his effort went narrowly wide. Bray kept the pressure up and got a 3rd point from a massive distance from play from inspirational captain Daire Lohan. After 15 minutes Blessington started to come into the game a bit more and were attacking the Bray defence but our full back line of Shane Lohan, Cathal Ó Dualachain and Seanie Maloney were magnificent to hold their full forward line to no scores at this stage of the game. The score was level after 20 minutes after Bray dominating. It was point for point after this for the remainder of the first half. Blessington took the lead for the first time and then Daire Lohan got another two points, another excellent one from play and one from a free. Marc Lennon scored a fine point from a tight angle and Blessington finished the scoring in the first half with two points from the right hand side to leave it all level at half time. 1-3 to 6 points. The second half started similar to how the first half ended. Blessington started to take control now and scored 2 points on the trot. Bray were competing well and were putting in some excellent balls into our full forward line. Blessington tacked on another point to put them 2 points up. The score after 45 minutes was Blessington 1-5 Bray 6 points. Then came the killer blow - a well worked move up the left wing found the right half forward for Blessington in space for him to coolly slot the ball into the corner of the net. If there were major doubts cast over their first goal there were no complaints for their second. Bray replied with a point from another Daire Lohan free but again Blessington responded with 2 fine points. 6 points in it with 6 minutes left. Bray battled in search of goals and eventually were awarded a penalty which was converted with ease by Daire Henderson. Just a goal was the margin with two minutes left and Bray almost got that goal with the last kick of the game but Daire Lohan's effort was well blocked by the Blessington defence. After 42 seconds of injury time was played the ref blew the final whistle to the despair of the battling Bray Emmets team. Final score was Blessington 2-7 Bray 1-7. This was a heartbreaking result for this great minor team that worked so hard all year to get to this stage of the championship. It will take this team a while to recover from this but with 2/3's of the panel eligible for minor next year the future is bright. For those who are now finished at minor level they will hopefully taste some sort of success with our Senior or Junior teams in the club in the near future. Other massive performances on the night came from Ishe Mnensa and Matt Thompson in the half back line and Enda Molloy and Ben McCormack who both worked tirelessly on both wings up front. This was Bray's best performance of the year and if factors were different we could be now looking forward to preparing for a county final. Team: P Doyle, S Lohan, C Ó Dualachain, S Maloney, H Armstrong, I Mnensa, M Thompson, D Lohan, D Henderson, E Molloy, D Coady, B McCormack, L Maloney, J Doyle, M Lennon Subs: D O'Midheach for D Coady, P Conroy for H Armstrong, S Anders, R Treacy, L Morgan, L Gorman Scorers:D Lohan (0-5) (3 frees), D Henderson (1-0) (pen), L Maloney (0-1), M Lennon (0-1) ...

Minor Footballers prevail over St Nicholas

5 September, 2012

Minor Championship Round 3 Bray Emmets 1-10 St Nicholas 1-7 This again was another must win game for our minors at home on Wednesday evening under lights in conditions that couldn't have been any better for championship football. To date we had won one game and lost one. Bray came straight out of the traps and registered the first two scores of the game from Daire Lohan, one from play and one free. For the rest of the half Bray maintained that two point advantage. St. Nicholas got one back and then Ben McCormack who was running the St Nicholas defence ragged throughout scored a fine point from play. St Nicholas replied with a point from a close range free and we responded with an excellent individual point from Cian O'Byrne where he twice dummied the St Nichs defence to calmly slot the ball over the bar. Back came St Nichs with a good point themselves from play which we followed up with a long range score from Lee Brandon who was also doing well at centre forward for his first start of the season. At times our defence were under pressure with the pace at which St Nichs were moving the ball but coming towards the end of the half Cathal Ó Dualachain, Shane Lohan and Ishe Mensa were all getting the better of their markers. We started the second half with a close range free from Cian O'Byrne. For the next ten minutes both defences were on top with no scores from either side but then St Nichs came storming back into the game scoring an excellent goal making it all square for the first time. We responded with a free from Daire Lohan which was the result of good work from Dan Coady, Ben McCormack and Cian O'Byrne. St Nichs replied again with a point and then we got another good score from play from Lee Brandon to put us one point up. It was just score for score at this stage and again St Nichs came down the pitch to work a good score. And then came the match decider. Luke Maloney on as a sub collected the ball on the 40 and took on the St Nichs defence before delivering an inch perfect pass to Jim Doyle who went around the keeper but was rugby tackled to the ground for his troubles. A certain penalty that St Nichs would have no arguments over and it was coolly slotted to the bottom right hand corner by Lee Brandon. Three points in it and 8 minutes left. St Nichs increased the pressure in search of a goal but as with the previous week against Baltinglass our defence were magnificent not to concede a goal. Pádraig Doyle pulled off a point blank save in the final few minutes that must have deflated the St Nichs team as they realised there was no way through the Bray defence. St Nichs got a point which we responded with another fine Lee Brandon point to finish the game 3 points on top. If Brays senior win on the weekend against Rathnew was the game of the week well then surely this was next in line. This was real quality championship football from both teams that was played in a sporting manner. Bray had injuries to key players in this match when Hugh Armstrong limped off injured in the first half and then Donnacha O'Midheach in the second, who were both doing well until forced off. Other good performances in defence came from Enda Molloy and Matt Thompson. Daire Henderson and Daire Lohan definitely got the better of the midfield battle and up front Dan Coady put in a tireless effort when moved to wing forward. Shane Anders and his replacement Liam Morgan worked hard in the corner. Round 4 is next Wednesday (12th Sept) in Wicklow town vs. St Pats and throw in is at 6.45pm. The team is building up a nice gathering of support and it would be great to see them all down to support us in this vital away game. ...

Minor Footballers defeat Baltinglass

29 August, 2012

Minor Championship Round 2 Bray Emmets 2-09 Baltinglass 1-9 29/08/2012 in Old Conna This was our second group game of phase two of the minor championship. We were beaten easily by a good Blessington team the previous week down there so this was a must win game. We started this game well and went into an early 5 points to 3 lead with good points coming from Cian O'Byrne, Mark Lennon, Liam Morgan (free), Dara Lohan and Ben McCormack. In this early part of the game we were putting some nice moves together and the overlap been created by our two midfielders Dara Lohan and Dara Henderson was paying dividends for the likes of Mark Lennon and Cian O'Byrne who were causing all sorts of problems for the Baltinglass defence.Bray Emmets were on top for most of this half and stretched their lead to go in at half time 1-8 to 6 points up. The other scores came from Luke Maloney, which was a well worked move involving 4 or 5 players and resulting in him tapping it over the bar, two frees from Dara Lohan and an excellent goal from Dara Henderson who took on the Baltinglass defence and stuck it in to corner of the onion bag. In the second half things started to turn in Baltinglass' favour slightly and they showed great heart to keep eating away at the Bray lead. They scored 3 points on the trot with no reply but it could have been a lot more only for good defensive work from the likes of Enda Molloy, Cathal O' Dualachain and Matt Thompson. Then after 15 minutes we finally got our first score of the 2ndhalf and what a score it was too. Started off by Hugh Armstrong with a delicate flick up into his hands he hand passed the ball to Dara Henderson who ran straight at the Baltinglass defence and released the ball to Mark Lennon for the coolest of finishes. This would have demoralised most teams but not Balto. They kept the pressure up and 5 minutes later they had a goal themselves to leave the score at 2-9 to 1-8 with 8 minutes left. We then got a fine score from play from Dara Lohan and our defence stayed strong for the remaining minutes to not concede anymore scores. This was a much improved team performance and in addition to the players mentioned above there were also excellent performances from Shane Lohan, Ishe Mnensa and Dan Coady who was out in front of his marker all day. Again Pádraig Doyle spread himself for a couple of great saves and pulled the ball down from going over the bar at a vital time in the first half. Round 3 is next Wednesday (5thSept) in Old Conna vs. St Nicholas and throw in is at 7pm. All support against Baltinglass was appreciated by the team and hopefully we can get even more down for this crucial match next week. Team: P Doyle, E Molloy, H Armstrong, S Lohan, M Thompson, C Ó Dualachain, I Mnensa, D Lohan, D Henderson, L Morgan, L Maloney, B McCormack, C O'Byrne, D Coady, M Lennon Subs: P Conroy, S Anders, L Brandon, D O'Midheach, R Treacy Scorers:D Lohan (0-4), M Lennon (1-1), D Henderson (1-0), B McCormack (0-1), C O'Byrne (0-1), L Morgan (0-1), L Maloney (0-1) ...

Minor Championship V Tinahely

18 July, 2012

Tinahely 1-08 Bray Emmets 1-11 18/07/2012 in Tinahely Our Minor team travelled to Tinahely on Wednesday with 17 players available for selection to take on the home team in Round 3 in the Championship. To date we had beaten Newtown and lost to Blessington so this was a must win game. Bray started the better of the two teams in the first ten minutes taking 3 points to 1 lead thanks to points from Cian O'Byrne, Daire Henderson and Dan Coady. We then took the foot off the pedal and Tinahely went into a 5-3 lead with 10 minutes remaining in the first half. It swung back in our favour for the rest of the half thanks to excellent first half performances from Ben McCormack and Cian O'Byrne up the left wing. They were out in front of the markers for every single ball that went in and were causing all sorts of havoc up front. Meanwhile in defence Hugh Armstrong was marshalling the full back line to great effect with our half back line of Matt Thompson, Cathal Ó Dualachain and Ishe Mnensa dominant throughout. We tacked on four more points from Andy Bartley, Luke Maloney, Ben McCormack and a fine effort from Daire Henderson from the left foot whilst been fouled by a Tinahely player to lead 7-5 at half time. The second half started how we finished the first. An early point from Cian O'Byrne from a free was followed up shortly afterwards with an excellent point from play from the same player. With Bray now dominating their opponents we snatched a good fisted goal from our big midfielder Andy Bartley which was assisted by great work from Dan Coady to get the ball into him. It looked like we were just going to finish off the job at this stage with a 1-9 to 5 point lead but Tinahely had other ideas. They replied with 2 points which we followed up with one from Ben McCormack.Then came a Tinahely goal a from long range free which made for a nail biting final 8 minutes with only 2 points in it. For these final few minutes the entire team including our two subs Paul Moran and Ryan Treacy who came on at a difficult time when Tinahely started to take over, showed great heart and worked hard not to concede anymore scores. This was a good team performance where our defence stood strong and in both corners Enda Molloy and Sean Maloney kept their men quiet throughout. Luke Maloney led the forward line to great effect with Shane Anders and Liam Morgan working hard on the right wing to create opportunities for others. Cian O'Byrne had the final say with a free in front of the goal that was won from hard work from Ishe Mnensa. A lot of positives for the team to take from this result and plenty of areas to work on also. Finally I think two players deserve special mention. Cathal Ó Dualachain travelled back from Carrick on Shannon to make this game and played a captains role throughout inspiring everyone around him in the absence of Daire Lohan. Pádraig Doyle made his debut in goal for the minors and pulled off two point blank saves in the first half and surpassed those saves in the 2nd half using his long frame to stretch up and save the ball from going over the bar at a vital time when Tinahely were getting on top. Surely a rarity at minor level and even rarer for a player who is still under 15. Last group game is against Rathnew at home. Date and time to be confirmed. Team: P Doyle, E Molloy, H Armstrong, S Maloney, IMnensa, , M Thompson, C O'Dualachain , A Bartley, D Henderson, S Anders, L Maloney, B McCormack, L Morgan, D Coady, C O'Byrne Subs: P Moran for L Morgan and R Treacy for D Coady Scorers: C O'Byrne 4pts (2 frees), A Bartley 1-1, B McCormack 2pts, D Henderson 2 pts, D Coady 1pt, L Maloney 1pt ...

Bray take the Minor Football Shied

23 October, 2010

Bray Emmets 2.07 -St. Kevin's (Hollywood/Valleymount) 6pts. Our boy's minor footballers got some consolation for their defeat in the championship when theywon the minor shield on Saturday 23rdOctober in Laragh. Bray made a good start in the game but were guilty of some poor finishing. Two converted 45s by Arron Murphy , a fine goal and two points by Bray's 'man of the match' Nicholas Sweeneygave them a 1.04 to 3pts lead at half time.Bray got another goal early in the second half from Daniel Molloy which gave them a 7 points lead.St. Kevin's chipped away at Bray's lead with their centre forward, Paul Miley scoring 3 points from frees. Bray had 2 more points fromArron Murphy and one from Adam Conway to keep them ahead at the end.Arron Murphy accepted the shield on behalf of his team and Nicholas Sweeney received the 'man of the match' award.All the Bray team played well, led by their captain Arron Murphy, Eoin O' Dea, Philip Haughton,Cillian Molloy, Nicky Sweeney, Adam Conway and John Henderson.Team: Tadgh Dornan, Philip Haughton, Eoin O' Dea, Cathal O Dualleachain, Enda Molloy, Arron Murphy, (4pts), Cillian Molloy, Daire Lohan, Nicky Sweeney,(1.02) Adam O Conway,(1pt) David Sullivan, Daniel Molloy,(1gl) Harry Stephenson, John Henderson, Daragh Maloney, Dan Mc Cann. Thanks to all the players, and their mentorsMichael O' Dea, Chris Masterson and Liam Mc Graynor for their commitment during the year. The boys still have the minor hurling championship to complete. We play Carnew in the championship next Sunday 31stOctober in Arklow at 12.30pm. ...

Minor Football Championship win

21 July, 2010

Bray Emmets 1.12 -St. Kevin's (Hollywood/Valleymount) 4pts. This was a second win for our boys minor footballers when they beat St. Kevin's in Old Connaught on Wednesday 21st July. The game had a late start when the appointed referee failed to show up but Ciaran Gaskin, of Eire Og was a very able replacement. Bray made a good start and scored some fine points but as in the Baltinglass game a week previously, there was some poor finishing to the many chances created. St. Kevin's came more into the game and scored some nice points. The Half time score was 5pts to 2pts in Brays favour. Bray kept the pressure on their opponents in the second half and picked off some lovely scores. A John Henderson goal midway through the second half gave Bray a good lead which they held to the end of the game. Bray lost their fine midfielder Adam O Connor through injury in the second half. The team and management wish Adam a speedy recovery. This was a good team performance with some excellent individual displays from Eoin O Dea, Philip Haughton, Aaron Murphy, Alan Cleary, Adam O Connor and John Henderson. Team: Tadgh Dornan, Ciaran O' Connor, Aaron Murphy, Eoin O' Dea, Paddy O' Toole, Diarmuid Masterson, Philip Haughton, David Sullivan(2pts), Adam O' Connor (1pt), Alan Cleary (2pts), John Henderson (1.01), Harry Stephenson , Nicky Sweeney (2pts), Mikey Lee(1pt), Daniel Molloy(1pt), Patrick Tunney(1pt), Dan Mc Cann(1pt) , Enda Molloy. The next game is at home against Luke O' Toole's on Wed 28.7. ...


16 October, 2008

Bray minor footballers produced a whirlwind start which saw them through in the Wicklow final against a very well coached Blessington side on a scoreline of 2-6 to 1-6, thus completing a great double with the hurlers who had already won the County Championship. The victory completed a magic trip by this squad who have won all the championships from U-10 (North), U-12,U-14, U-16 and U-18 on Sunday. What makes the feat special is the team also won the All Ireland Feile in Tyrone four years ago, which gives them an unique place in the history of Wicklow football. The group came together in 1999 as eight and nine year olds and it was as much this long and enduring camaraderie and friendship which won out at Aughrim on Sunday as any great play on the day. Having had a dream start in which they were 2-4 to 0-1 up after 16 minutes, Bray then missed a series of chances with the light wind in their back and by giving away a penalty and two pick-up frees late on, opened the door for Blessington to resurrect themselves on the changeover. The West boys stormed into contention with four unanswered points in the second half which left just the minimum between the contenders as they headed down the final straight.It was then that the Bray lads rallied each other and the fact that they didn't let the ball pass the half way line for the last five minutes was testament to the blood and guts approach which said: "We will not be beaten.". With Man of the match David 'Gigo' Haughton scything through the defence with strength and pace and Jordan Egan dominating midfield, it provided the platform for big John Breslin to race through and score a brilliant point which lifted the siege. With time almost up, Gearoid O Murchu won a wonderful free with sheer persistence which refused to allow Blessington comfort on the ball and Paul Cunningham slotted over the free to signal a cherished victory.Bray though know only too well that it was that first quarter when they played a perfect game of intense football which closed down Blessington at every turn which won the day. That and the tactic of finding both Cunningham and Breslin with long balls had the losers in all sorts of trouble from which they never fully recovered. Two frees from Cunningham and then an exquisite pass from him to Gigo saw the centre-forward draw first blood with a goal at the second attempt. Moments later the marauding Egan cut through the defence for the umpteenth time and his handpass left Cunningham in the clear to slot home Bray's second strike. The placing of Egan - the best minor midfielder in the county - at right half forward was a master stroke by the Bray bench as most of the damage came from the fact that he lorded it in the air and then had the pace to cut ribbons through the Blessington defence. Mark Nolan was magnificent until shipping an accidental high tackle and Aco Keating's industry directly led to the first goal. With ten minutes to go to half-time, Bray's sprint from the blocks began to sag and they plainly had not the fitness to go all the way with the intense game set out for them. This saw Blessington come storming back and it was then that the Bray management had to thank their backs for the amount of covering and harassing they put their bodies through in the cause of the Bray jersey. Sean Byrne was magnificent at fullback, pitted against no less an opponent than Dean Siney, who had scored 3-6 in the semi-final against Luke O'Tooles. Byrne's performance of strength, speed and pure skill kept a tight rein on Blessington's talisman and when he won one particular head to head duel midway through the second half which saw the forward having to foul him, it was a seminal moment in the game's many turnings. Eoghan Wogan was another hero. What's new? He not just won ball deep in Bray territory but had the presence of mind to travel with it until he could give a telling pass. The two Murphys - Cailean and Aaran were again magnificent and Adam Benson fought a chest infection to give his all and in the end two of his ball from defence carried a lot of weight further up field. Captain Conor Power held the high ground against an array of opponents and under his leadership, Bray didn't know the meaning of the word lose. Conor Thomas had been this team's goalie for six years but played outfield in the first half because of his outstanding catching ability. This gave Stephen Carton his chance between the sticks and when he got injured making a brilliant save just before half-time which affected his vision, Bray were lucky to have Thomas to revert to the No 1 position. And he produced one great save at a crucial time to keep out a certain goal. In the forwards, Gigo's performance on no less an opponent than Ronan Doyle was magnificent as he kept his team going forward and ended up with 1-1 to his name. When Gigo gets that look in his eye, other teams should watch out. And he had it yesterday. So too had Egan who missed the semi-final win over St Pats. Now here was a man who played two games rolled into one for Bray on Sunday and with a little luck, his runs could have yielded a goal or two to his personal account.O Murchu worked and foraged in a role unfamiliar to him to allow the long ball into the deadly duo of Cunningham and Breslin. The front two are hard to mark and in fairness Blessington had two great players on them - Paul McLoughlin and Niall Keogh - who fought for every ball as if their lives depended on it. In the end though, the Bray lads held sway and had their enormous commitment to the cause rewarded. Bray were forced to lline out without two first team stalwarts - the dashing Fergal Devlin in defence who broke three ribs playing rugby and the high fielding Ronan Cunningham in attack, who dislocated his shoulder in training. On the day the Emmets were lucky to have Sean Prendergast to come in, for he saw a lot of ball and was unlucky not to get at least two or three scores. With Aaran Murphy injured, Devlin showed great bravery in going on and playing brilliantly, carrying a series of attacks to the Blessington team from deep. Robin O'Sullivan strength and coolness on the ball was vital in those final ten minutes when he won and kept possession to great effect as a third midfielder. The Bray Management of PJ Cunningham, Pat Wogan and Frank Devlin would like to thank the subs which weren't used, Dylan Kavanagh, Chris O'Connor, Niall McCague, James Talbot, Ross Murphy (Injured), Ronan Cunningham (Injured) for the way they supported the team right through. And they would also like to thank Darragh Scully for his expert input from outside and that of John Henderson, Liam McGraynor and Dave Barry for their commitment from within the club to ensuring the Bray minors ended up as champions. As Peter Keogh said afterwards - Double champs,because earlier this summer, the hurlers won their minort championships. BRAY EMMETS - S Carton; C Murphy, S Byrne, E Wogan; A Murphy, A Benson, C Power (Capt); A Keating, M Nolan; J Egan, D Haughton (1-1), G O Murchu; P Cunningham (1-4, 0-3 f), J Breslin (0-1), C Thomas. Subs S Prendergast for S Cartopn (inj). F Devlin for A Murphy, R O'Sullivan for M Nolan. ...


11 August, 2008

Bray 1-11 Baltinglass 1-7 Nothing, they say concentrates the mind like a hanging. And Baltinglass knew that if they lost to Bray in Stratford last Wednesday, they would be drawn and quartered as well, as far as this year's minor championship was concerned. So the westerners, a team which had shipped heavy beatings over the first four games of the league system, came out with all guns blazing determined to give it their best shot. With the wind in their backs, they went route one and when the Bray defence gave them a few presents early on, they decided to keep playing in the area where it suited them best - the opposing goal area. Bray were immensely obliging by allowing themselves to be blocked, failing to hold onto the ball and kicking balls out over the sideline. It charged up the home fans and for all the world it looked as if Baltinglass had found some new players such was the transformation in their display from previous outings. Despite losing by 1-4 to 0-2, Bray still showed a lot of courage to face down this adversity and by halftime, inspired by Jordan Egan at midfield, they had reduced the deficit to a goal. Indeed with a bit of luck Egan would have added a penalty but his shot just shaved the post in going wide. Forced to lineout without three of their normal forwards, Paul Cunningham and Ronan Cunningham, both injured and Gearoid O Murchu due to holidays, Bray stuttered to find a fluency in this sector, but two points from Robin O'Sullivan and three from Egan kept them in touch. The arrival of Paul Cunningham put some pep into the Bray attack on the turnover and within two minutes they had tacked on two points through an Egan free and a John Breslin point. Breslin then reacted quickest around the goalmouth to lash the ball home and put Bray into a lead they would subsequently hold til the end of the game. Cunningham put over points with either foot to put daylight between the sides and Egan weighed in with two more placed ball, one from a 45 to see Bray home on a 1-11 to 1-7 scoreline. Mark Nolan was outstanding in the Bray defence, not just blotting out his man, but clearing ball after ball. After a shaky start Sean Byrne settled in to have a strong second half and Conor Power returned to something like his old swashbuckling self with a number of high catches and long clearances. Egan ruled the roost in midfield for the entire hour with the forwards showing up inconsistently except for the efforts of Dylan Kavanagh and John Breslin, who made a great block at the other end of the field near the end, when Baltinglass were looking for a goal to get them back into the game. BRAY EMMETS: S Carton; S Byrne, M Nolan, C Murphy; E Wogan, A Benson, C Power; J Egan (0-5), A Keating; R O'Sullivan (0-2), D haughton, F Devlin; S Prendergast, J Breslin (1-1), D Kavanagh. Subs, P Cunningham (0-2), C Thomas, A Murphy, R Murphy, N McCague. ...

St Pats

4 August, 2008

Bray minor footballers were busy last week with two games within two days which resulted in a 2-11 to 0-5 win over St Pats and a 3-18 to 2-2 victory over Luke O'Toole's, both games in Old Conna. The one major difference between the two matches was Bray's profligacy in the Pat's match where they recorded twenty wides in the course of the hour, many of them unforced errors. That put enormous pressure on the team despite the midfield monopoly they enjoyed through Jordan Egan and Aco Keating. Indeed despite all the possession, it was Pats who scored first on their first excursion up the field. Gearoid O' Murchue, fresh from his man of the match award in the county hurling final, luckily showed up after that and his 1-1 on top of Egan's opening point and Robin O'Sullivan goal, gave Bray a 2-2 to 0-2 half-time lead, but wind assisted. As often happens though, Bray dominated even more against the elements and with four defenders, Adam Benson, Sean Byrne, Conor Power and the irrepressible Cailean Murphy all marauding up field to score, the team settled and while continuing to miss a lot, they played much better. Best for the team on the night were Cailean Murphy, Fergal Devlin, Egan and Keating as well as O Murchu who ended up with 1-3 to his credit. John Breslin won a lot of ball at full-forward and hopefully will begin to use his size and strength more and more to the team's advantage. If he does, he will take a lot of watching from opponents. ...

Luke O'Toole's

4 August, 2008

Bray Emmets 3-18Luke O'Toole's 2-2 Against Luke O'Toole's, there was less squandermania about and from the off Paul Cunningham was causing all sorts of trouble to a visitor's team missing two of their best players in county minors Robert Lambert and Stephen Dillon. And when O'Toole's scored a goal to cut Bray's deficit to three points midway through the half, it seemed as if the home side would face a real fight. However with Keating in particular showing county minor midfielder Brian Walsh a clean pair of heels time and again and Ronan Cunningham catching everything around the middle, Bray had the lion's share of possession and when Paul Cunningham goaled five minutes from half-time to bring his first half tally to 1-5, it was the tonic Emmet's needed to lead 1-11 to 1-0 at the interval. With Egan getting stronger as the game progressed and David Haughton winning a huge amount of breaks, Bray kept on the front foot and goals by Haughton and Keating early on killed off the game as a contest. The one black spot on proceedings was a late leg injury to Ronan Cunningham who was the man of the match with the possession he gained for his team, scoring two points as a bonus from the half forward line as well. Stephen Carton saved a penalty in the game but was not as lucky when the referee ordered a retake. Mark Nolan steadied the ship at fullback and Cailean Murphy was outstanding in the first half where time and again he emerged with the ball from deep in defence. The forwards played well but still have to click as a unit. But there is a huge improvement from game to game and that is what the management want from them at this stage. This Wednesday, Bray travel to Baltinglass and then have three weeks off before their last group match, away to Newtown. ...

Eire Og

16 July, 2008

Bray minor footballers got back on winning way with a comprehensive win over neighbours Eire Og at Old Conna last Wednesday. Traditionally these matches have always been close and competitive but Bray got off to a flying start and were twelve points up within ten minute, thanks to some marauding running from midfielders Jordan Egan and Aco Keating which resulted in each player raising the green flag.With the wind literally at their backs, as well, Bray went on to build on this whirlwind start and in the end ran out 4-22 to 0-4 winners. Greystones knew their fate long before the end but it's to their credit that the fought gamely to the final whistle against a Bray side who were stung by their previous week's defeat in Blessington. There were a series of great performances around the team with captain on the night Adam Benson leading from the centre-back position where he was simply magnificent. Not far behind was Cailean Murphy who stormed out of defence time and again to set up a series of attacks. It was also good to see Mark Nolan patrol his square with the authority of old alongside the powerful Sean Byrne. With midfield dominant the attack functioned very effectively with Robin O'Sullivan leading the way with 1-5 to his credit. Others to shine included John Breslin and Sean Prendergast, who scored 1-2 when introduced. Lineout: S Carton, C Murphy, M Nolan, S Byrne (0-1); F Devlin, A Benson (0-1), A Murphy; A Keating (1-0), J Egan (1-1); R Cunningham (0-1), D Haughton (0-2), D Kavanagh (0-1), R O'Sullivan (1-5), J Breslin (0-4), G O'Murchu (0-3). Subs S Prendergast (1-2), N McCague (0-1) ...


9 July, 2008

Our minor footballers got off to a bad start in the quest for glory by losing the first of their championship games, played on a league basis, to a very well-drilled Blessington team, away last Wednesday. The losing margin 1-12 t0 0-8 could have been less except the side elected to go for goals in the last ten minutes to bring them back into the game, but overall they played second-fiddle to the west side right through the field It was obvious that while the Bray lads have sat back on their laurels over the past few years, other teams have caught up or passed them out. There were some mitigating circumstances with four of the original team having to pull out through illness, injury and unavailability. But from the word go, it was the home side who dictated the pace of the game and were well worth their half-time lead of 0-7 to 0-4. Bray's one flash of genius saw a great run by Jordan Egan ending when he was tripped going though. Paul Cunningham's penalty had the goalkeeper going the wrong way but unluckily for Bray, it tipped the crossbar and went over instead of under. With the way the game was balanced, a goal was always going to be decisive. Aarron Murphy brought a great save from the opposing keeper before Blessington got the all important score after ten minutes of the half, a Dean Siney centre not being dealt with in the full-back line. Bray showed commendable courage by refusing to throw in the towel and battled gamely to the end. Cunningham had a chance but the ball flashed over the bar again when a goal was needed, Aco Keating's great run ended with the ball going well wide of the target and Aaron Murphy senior was just a little shy of getting onto a ball for a flick into an empty net. A time for soul searching on and off the sidelines then for this group. They now can either knuckle down to the task at hand or watch as other take on the mantle of best team in this grade. ...