Sports

Selector Dunphy did a Joe Kernan at half time when he produced a 1984 county medal

Thursday, 12 October 2017

ROSCREA minor hurling selector Liam Dunphy introduced a county Minor Hurling medal won in 1984 during the half time break at the County Minor Hurling A final clash against Moycarkey Borris at Templemore last Saturday. And similar to the half time break in the 2002 All-Ireland final day when Armagh manager Joe Kernan produced his All-Ireland senior football losers medal which he won in 1977, Armagh won in 2002 and Roscrea won last Saturday and a very delighted Liam Dunphy suggested that every stone was turned to make sure that Roscrea were winners for the first time in 33 years. That number 33 was steadfast in the players minds in the dressing room.
“I said to the lads at half time. In 1967 (the second last time Roscrea won a county minor hurling final) we had twenty three players who won a county minor medal. We produced the medal won by Roscrea in the 1984 county final at half time. Those medal are a scarce piece of jewellery in Roscrea.. Now we have twenty seven more of them coming in 2017," said a delighted Dunphy.
His team had prepared since last February for this win.
“We are preparing for this since last February. It's eight months today. We played about twenty or twenty two matches this year between championship and challenge games. We won an awful lot of them to be honest, but played ten championship games and won all of them," said Dunphy.
“It's huge for us. We trained hard. There were games in the championship when we could have eased off a bit but we tried to keep the winning mentality going and I think it stood to us at the end. There are twenty seven good guys. You know the guys from one to fifteen get all the plaudits but it was the guys from jersey number 16 to 27 that won it for us," said Dunphy who had Stephen Ahern, Donie Kealy, David Buckley and Liam Spooner alongside him as fellow selectors.
This present team lost to Nenagh Eire Og in the North Under 16 A hurling final 2015. Roscrea were fancied to win and perhaps the loss that day was to make the team more determined than ever to win both North and county.
"To be honest I think most underage teams that leave Roscrea have potential to win a North championship. We can unfortunately lose a few of them. Our under 16s were beaten by Nenagh in the semi final this year but the under-age structure is good in Roscrea and I must compliment the lads that had these fellows (today's winning minor teams) at underage. These lads are most skilful and that begun when they were eight years old. They have the basics, the touch and they can hurl with both sides,"
“You drive down through Roscrea any day and you will find many young players walking down the street with hurls and a ball in their hands. We can't be letting the young players slip away to soccer or rugby or any other sport. Granted I have nothing against those sports. We want players to win championships like this," said Liam.
Looking more closely at some of the players that led to the victory over Moycarkey, the manager was fulsome in his praise for the players. He began with the effort that goalkeeper Graham Fahy made in increasing his fitness over the last two or three years.
“It's all down to diet. Nothing is wrong. We went to the field six or seven times doing goalkeeper sessions. Graham is constantly looking for work on the field.
The work of Jay Culleton in his new position at full back while other such as Luke Cashin, Jason Gilmartin, the Tynans and Vladislav Bodrovs did wonderful work.
“I rang Jay last week and told him I had a job for him. You are marking Anthony McKelvey. He said no problem. He just rises to the occasion. Luke Cashin is down in the field every night of the week. Vladislav just epitomises what we are looking for in this team. Sheer workrate! He may not be the best hurler but I told him a hundred times this year, just get the ball and go for goal. He came up with two goals today. His attitude is unbelievable," said Liam.

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