Glenealy dig deep to earn an­other crack at Carnew

Bray People - - Bray Sport - Mark KENNEDY

Glenealy 1-12, Carnew 1-12: Arch hurl­ing ri­vals Glenealy and Carnew must meet again on Novem­ber 8 to de­cide which of them will be crowned Se­nior hurl­ing cham­pi­ons for 2008.

They have been the dom­i­nant forces in hurl­ing this decade, ti­tles al­ter­nat­ing be­tween them by the year, and when they met at Aughrim in Sun­day’s fi­nal there was not a puck of a slio­thar be­tween them at the end of an hour’s hard, un­com­pro­mis­ing hurl­ing.

Glenealy had a whirl­wind start to the match with a 1-1 lead in­side five min­utes, Carnew wrested the lead be­fore half-time and stayed in front most of the half, and then the reds hit back in the clos­ing min­utes to force the fi­nal to a re­play.

That in mi­cro­cosm was the tale of the 2008 cham­pi­onship de­cider, the ex­changes were tough but fair, no quar­ter was asked or given, and when Ed­die Leonard blew the fi­nal whis­tle on pro­ceed­ings most fans will agree that on bal­ance a draw was a fair re­sult af­ter a ti­tanic bat­tle be­tween the teams.

Mid­way through the sec­ond-half the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons Glenealy looked to be in se­ri­ous trou­ble.

Not alone had they lost their early first-half ad­van­tage but they had drifted five points be­hind fol­low­ing Don Hy­land’s goal for Carnew, who had al­ready beaten them this year on their way to the league ti­tle.

How­ever, Glenealy are not alone the hurl­ing aris­to­crats in Wick­low but their play­ers are also made of stern stuff. Like their op­po­nents Carnew, they never show the white feather, they never give up no mat­ter how dark the Oc­to­ber rain clouds are over­head.

In the fi­nal quar­ter, Glenealy’s play­ers dug deep into their re­serves and bom­barded the Carnew ram­parts.

On the other hand Carnew de­fended stoutly, their men equally res­o­lute and re­silient, mak­ing for a ti­tanic strug­gle be­tween th­ese two giants of Wick­low hurl­ing.

At the three quar­ter stage Glenealy lagged be­hind 1-12 to 1-7. Near­ing the last five min­utes they had cut that deficit to two, 1-10 to 112 thanks to the phe­nom­e­nal ac­cu­racy of mid­fielder Jonathan O’Neill from frees and one spec­tac­u­lar point from a 75 me­tre line ball.

Carnew backs were to the wall, Glenealy hopes and hearts were in their mouth. It was in­deed a nail-bit­ing fin­ish to a crack­ing, hard game of hurl­ing.

Cor­ner-for­ward Enan Glynn, show­ing for the first time since his sparkling start to the match, landed his third point on 53 min­utes and the mar­gin was down to a point.

In an ef­fort to work the or­a­cle to halt the slide, Carnew brought in Billy Rickerby for Gary Do­ran but Glenealy kept bomb­ing for­ward. With just a minute of nor­mal time left they won an­other long-range free on the right.

Mo­ments ear­lier Jonathan O’Neill had pulled a some­what sim­i­lar free wide of the Carnew posts.

Un­daunted O’Neill stepped up to the slio­thar again and showed great com­po­sure un­der pres­sure as his shot honed in on the cen­tre of the tar­get for the equal­is­ing point and a fit­ting draw.

De­fend­ing their ti­tle, Glenealy had a whirl­wind start to this match and that de­spite play­ing against the wind.

Team cap­tain Enan Glynn, who got the man of the match award 12 months ago af­ter ham­mer­ing home three goals in the de­feat of Kil­te­gan, looked as if he was go­ing to stage a reprise per­for­mance judg­ing from his early play.

As well as scor­ing the open­ing point af­ter three min­utes, he was caus­ing re­peated prob­lems for the op­pos­ing de­fence un­til Carnew took steps to close off the loop­hole by switch­ing Willy Collins to do the polic­ing job.

Min­utes later Alan Driver found the Carnew net, prof­it­ing from the work of MJ O’Neill, and the reds were 1-1 up af­ter five min­utes.

From the puck out Joe Mur­phy made one of his many high field­ing catches of the slio­thar and he put Carnew on the score­board.

And so the bat­tle royal was on in earnest. Der­mot Do­ran had a huge game at wing-back for Carnew as did Em­mett O’Sul­li­van at full-back, Joe Mur­phy at wing-for­ward, while Thomas Doyle, MJ and MA O’Neill were show­ing strongly for Glenealy.

How­ever, in the end of the day, this game came down to a con­test be­tween the re­spec­tive sharp­shoot­ers.

Again Don Hy­land and Jonathan O’Neill were on song for Carnew and Glenealy, con­tribut­ing largely in equal mea­sure to their teams with to­tals of 1-7 to 0-8 re­spec­tively.

Enan Glynn landed his sec­ond point, MA Neill and Jonathan O’Neill also got on the score­sheet, Hy­land coun­tered with three points on the trot and the sides were level af­ter 28 min­utes – 1-5 to 0-8.

Hy­land popped an­other shot over the bar and Liam Kennedy scored with a mighty ef­fort from 80 me­tres and Carnew re­tired for the in­ter­val break ahead by 0-10 to 1-5.

Brian Os­borne got the Carnew show on the road in the sec­ond-half with a point af­ter two min­utes and things were start­ing to look as bleak as the weather for Glenealy at the end of the third quar­ter af­ter Don Hy­land’s goal had stretched his team’s lead to five points – 1-12 to 17.

Even though both teams con­cen­trated in keep­ing play tight to min­imise open­ings for their op­po­nents, Glenealy kept plug­ging away at over­haul­ing their op­po­nents.

And it was Jonathan O’Neill who led the as­sault with his ra­zor sharp shoot­ing from frees and play.

One of his points from a line ball 75 me­tres out on the left flank, was truly a bril­liant score on 46 min­utes and near­ing the last five min­utes he had cut Carnew’s lead to just two points once more 1-10 to 1-12.

As Glenealy pressed re­lent­lessly to pull the game out of the fire, Carnew were not to score in the last quar­ter. On 53 min­utes Enan Glynn resur­faced in the spot­light again with a point and the mar­gin was down to one.

With one minute of nor­mal time left Glenealy were awarded an­other long-range free, a pres­sure puck for Jonathan O’Neill. Af­ter fail­ing to score from a free mo­ments ear­lier, O’Neill showed nerves of steel as he guided his shot straight be­tween the Carnew posts to put this fi­nal to a re­play on Satur­day week, Novem­ber 8.

The win­ners will be due to play in the Le­in­ster Club In­ter­me­di­ate cham­pi­onship the next day.

Scor­ers for Glenealy: Alan Driver (1-0), Jonathan O’Neill (0-8), Enan Glynn (0-3), and MA O’Neill (01).

Carnew scor­ers: Don Hy­land (17), Brian Os­borne (0-2), Joe Mur­phy, Seánie Kin­sella and Liam Kennedy (0-1 each).

Glenealy's An­thony Driver feels the pres­sure from the Carnew de­fence.

Don Hy­land’s hur­ley bends as he chal­lenges Glenealy's Robert Byrne.

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