Saturday 20 January 2018

Six players set to have big influence on intriguing clash

Brendan Furlong's Hop Ball

Brendan Furlong
Brendan Furlong

Gusserane O'Rahilly's will face Glynn-Barntown in this year's Tom Doyle Supplies Senior football championship final in Innovate Wexford Park on Sunday (3.30 p.m.).

Here we take a look at six players to keep an eye on.

Gusserane are backboned by a number of players who have featured inter-county both at under-age and adult levels.

Graeme Cullen: Graeme will line-out at centre-back and will captain the side. Having played for Wexford in all grades, his career has been somewhat interrupted through injury, but being injury free this year he has proved an inspiration to his side. Slotted in at centre-back, he is accomplished and tidy, while also bringing real talent to his game.

Páraic Conway: A player who has come up through the ranks having developed his talents in Good Counsel College, Páraic is a fast and accomplished attacker, with an ability to pick off crucial goals. The wing-forward has been prominent all through and will look to continue his form in this final.

Adrian Flynn: Flynn is one of his side's most experienced players and showed what he brings by scoring four points, three from play, out of midfield in the semi-final. He is in the engine room for his side and one can expect another impressive performance.

In their battle for a second Senior football title, Glynn-Barntown bring an ideal blend of youth and experience.

Michael O'Regan: The big attacker will be expected to dominate proceedings similar to that of the semi-final victory over St. Martin's. He contributed eight points, five from frees, of his side's semi-final tally of 2-12, an indication of his importance to the side. Will bring all his experience to the table in what is expected to be a tough battle for his side.

Robert Dempsey: The corner-forward can lay claim to be one of the most dangerous inside forwards in the championship. He will look to bring his speed and finishing flair to the game to trouble the opposing full-back line. Will be expected to make a big contribution to his side's bid for victory.

Michael Doyle: The tall midfielder is a rock at the heart of the Glynn-Barntown title bid. An accomplished footballer, strong in the air, and carrying an ability to bring the ball forward, the outcome of his duel with Adrian Flynn could have a real bearing on the eventual destination of the title.

The last weekend of September was a difficult time for the family along with our extended family with the passing of my niece, Niamh Cleary (nee Furlong), following a serious illness.

Daughter of Tony and Angela, Niamh a former pupil of Mayglass N.S. and Bridgetown Vocational College, played ladies' football with St. Fintan's, and later went on to develop a passion for motor rallying with her husband, Emmet, and four-year-old son, Josh.

As Niamh's uncle, I could not have been more proud at the manner in which the G.A.A. turned out in support of the families on such a sad occasion.

Everyone was shocked and saddened at the loss of a young life, as Niamh had just turned 30 on September 12 last. This was borne out in the huge crowds that attended the house in Ballymitty over the weekend and also at the funeral Mass on Monday.

The support received from each and every strand of people from the G.A.A. to neighbours and friends was so much appreciated in what was such a hugely sad occasion for everyone. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h-anam dílis.

An incident-free weekend can be attributed to the excellent handling of the major hurling games in Innovate Wexford Park. Certainly there seems to be an extra pep in the step of match officials, while one also noticed an immense improvement in the officiating of linesmen.

Gearóid McGrath handled the Oylegate-Glenbrien and Crossabeg-Ballymurn tie without any real fuss, giving him five out of five, while in the second semi-final Kilmore official Dan Crosby in his first major game also kept firm control, with four out of five.

Niall McDonald, a controversial penalty decision apart, was efficient in his handling of Oulart-The Ballagh and Ferns St. Aidan's, giving him four out of five. John Carton kept a tight hold of a teak-tough Cloughbawn/Glynn-Barntown semi-final with no controversial decisions of note, leaving him with five out five.

Wexford People

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