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Bray People - - Sport -

Eire Og 5-16, Balt­in­glass 4-8: In the county grounds in Aughrim Eire Og’s Ju­nior foot­ballers un­der the as­tute guid­ance of Sea­mus Ah­ern, Janey O’Halloran, Billy Long and Tom Sher­lock fi­nally came of age.

Their tran­si­tion to Se­nior ranks was hard fought by a gal­lant Balt­in­glass side who bat­tled to hold back the Blue and White tide.

The game started with Rosie Keogh, who was to be a con­stant thorn in Eire Og’s side, scor­ing Balt­in­glass’s first point. How­ever this was negated by a sim­i­lar score from the boot of Janet Nolan.

This score was the cat­a­lyst for an avalanche of scores from Siob­han O’Rior­dan, Lau­rie Ah­ern, Ni­amh Kelly and So­phie Nolan which en­sured that the Grey­stones out­fit led 1-5 to 0-5 af­ter 15 min­utes.

Then a de­lib­er­ate trip by the Balt­in­glass cen­tre-for­ward Anne Marie Do­ran re­sulted in the half-for­ward re­ceiv­ing a yel­low card and with it a pe­riod of ten min­utes on the side­line.

Strangely this spurred on the Slaneysiders and in what was their best pe­riod of the match they scored 2-4 to a lone re­ply from Ah­ern. The scores had come from Geral­dine Nor­ton (0-2) who was fi­nally able to shake off the in­domitable Lorna Fus­cia­rdi, Rosie Keogh (2-0) and Sinead Fisher (0-2).

The goals re­sulted from great work out­field by Ann Marie Do­ran but Eire Og side fin­ished the half on the up with scores from Ah­ern and O’Rior­dan to leave the half­time score 3-5 to 1-10 in Balt­in­glass’s favour.

The sec­ond-half be­longed to Eire Og and with a plen­ti­ful sup­ply of ball pre­sented to the for­wards the in­flu­ence of Ah­erne and Deeney (who had up un­til half-time been held in check by a hard-work­ing Balto de­fence) was to be seen to its fullest.

Les­ley Anne Long prof­ited with two goals and when Caoil­fhionn Deeney was put through by Janet Nolan the flame-haired for­ward buried past Grace Driver in the Balt­in­glass net to put the game be­yond Damien Pat­ter­son’s girls.

At the other end the Grey­stones de­fence mar­shalled by Gemma Kiely and Ni­amh Sher­lock were in no mood to give up scores eas­ily, a goal by Karen Moore be­ing all the green and whites had to show for their pres­sure. The fi­nal score read 5-16 to 4-8 in favour of Eire Og.

Best play­ers in a strong Eire Og side in­cluded Gemma Kiely, Lorna Fus­cia­rdi, Lau­rie Ah­ern, Siob­han O’Rior­dan, Caoil­fhionn Deeney and Les­lie Ann Long while for Balt­in­glass Rosie Keogh, Louise Byrne, Sinead Fisher and Geral­dine Nor­ton tried hard­est to wrest the tro­phy from the grasp of Eire Og.

In the af­ter­math of one of the best Ju­nior fi­nals in re­cent years the sense of re­lief in the Eire Og camp was pal­pa­ble. This team who had lost the last two Ju­nior fi­nals had been de­ter­mined not to let this one slip and it seemed to be that fac­tor which car­ried the day over a tough Balt­in­glass team who tried valiantly un­til the end.

How­ever, it was not to be and Ann Caulfield rep­re­sent­ing the late Kath­leen O’Neill pre­sented the tro­phy for player of the match to Siob­han O’Rior­dan (who in­ci­den­tally has rep­re­sented Le­in­ster in rugby) and the cham­pi­onship cup to Lau­rie Ah­erne.

Then it was off back to their club­house in Grey­stones while Balt­in­glass licked their wounds with a meal pro­vided by their proud spon­sors, Enda Hal­la­han in the Judges Inn.

Eire Og Grey­stones, win­ners of the Ju­nior foot­ball cham­pi­onship fi­nal.

Balt­in­glass, beaten fi­nal­ists in the Ju­nior cham­pi­onship.

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