After the excitement of last week, another large crowd travelled from Bray to watch the Minor Hurling Championship Final replay between Bray Emmets and Carnew Emmets on Sunday, 17th November in Arklow.
This was the third year in a row that the Minor Hurling Final had gone to a replay but it’s safe to say that none of those games matched the drama of this encounter.
Padraig Doyle opened Bray’s account with a point from an early free and the good start continued when Cathal MacAodh managed to find the net. However, the response from Carnew was strong and after drawing themselves level, they went two points ahead. As the half-time break approached, Padraig Doyle scored a massive point from the near the sideline and this left the minimum between the sides as they headed to the dressing-room: Carnew Emmets 1-4 Bray Emmets 1-3.
Bray worked hard in second half with Marc Lennon and Ben MacCormaic chipping in with early scores but as the game entered the closing stages, the men in green and navy were chasing the game. Bray needed a goal and somehow managed just that as corner forward Cathal MacAodh registered his second goal of the afternoon to draw the teams level: Carnew Emmets 1-10 Bray Emmets 2-7. The seconds ticked away before the referee blew the whistle for the end of full time and the crowd drew a breath as we headed for extra time.
There was no issue with tiredness as Bray came out all guns blazing and delivered some brilliant hurling in the first ten minutes. Ben MacCormaic helped himself to two fantastic points from frees and at the break in extra time Bray had built up a four point lead: Carnew Emmets 1-11 Bray Emmets 2-12.
Amazingly, Carnew came back again and began to close the gap. After Shane Lohan had scored a superb point, Bray entered the final moments leading by two, that most dangerous of leads. Carnew duly gained possession and goaled and, as in the Football Final, it looked like more heartbreak for our Minors.
But to their credit, Bray never gave up and from a high dropping ball sent into the Carnew goalmouth, Captain Marc Lennon made a connection and deflected the ball into the net. An unbelievable response scored in the most dramatic of fashions. Bray were now one point up with only seconds left. Eventually, the final whistle blew, bringing to an end a hugely thrilling encounter.
The final score at the end of extra time was Bray Emmets 3-13 Carnew Emmets 2-14.
Club President Jackie Napier was asked by the County Chairman to present the Tom Cooney Cup to team captain Marc Lennon while Peter Conroy received the Man of the Match award.
Congratulations to all players, their families and team management on one of the Bray’s most memorable victories in recent times.