REDS ROCK ON!
Glenealy reach Leinster semi-final
GLENEALY DELVIN (WESTMEATH) 2-12 1-07
COUNTY CHAMPIONS Glenealy made the trip to the Bray Emmets club grounds on Friday night last to play hosts to Westmeath club, Delvin, in the last round of the Leinster Club Hurling League Division 2.
The four-in-a-row champions had to win to keep their hopes alive in this year's competition and with six Wicklow clubs already through to the knockout stages of various divisions, it was important that Seamus Murphy's side should prevail and as their arch rivals Carnew Emmets and Bray Emmets have being drawn against each other in the other half of the draw which means if the red and whites come through their remaining games we will see an all Wicklow final.
The end result in this clash saw Glenealy emerge victorious with an eight point winning margin which means they are involved with Offaly side Ballyskenagh/Killavilla in a play off to see who goes through to the knockout stages of the competition.
When the sides clashed in Glenealy a couple of weeks ago the they finished level in a high scoring game at 3- 10 to 4-07.
From the start, it was the winners, who were playing against a stiff breeze, who took the game to the opposition. Glenealy raced out of the traps early and were rewarded with a goal from James Manley after three minutes.
From the puck out the winners launched another attack, a move involving a number players that ended with James Manley slotting home his second goal to give his side a six point lead after five minutes which left the visitors shell shocked and chasing the game from an early stage.
After both sides missed scoring chances, Alan Clune opened the Delvin scoring with a point after seven minutes which brought a response from the Wicklow side. They launched another attack after good work by dual player, John Manley, who found Glen O'Gorman with a perfect pass which saw him fouled but the usually reliable Alan Conyard was off target with his shot.
With both defences on top and the rain teaming down scores were hard to come by but a point each were exchanged by ace free taker Alan Conyard and Dara Clinton which saw the winners leading on a score 2-01 to 0-02 after 20 minutes.
The remainder of the half saw both sides enjoy periods of dominance. James Manley, in his new role, added a point which brought a quick response from the Westmeath men after impressive wing forward Dara Clinton split the Glenealy defence and his shot deceived goalkeeper Joey Driver for his side's only goal.
As the opening half ticked away the visitors outscored the home team by three points to two with Delvin's top scorer, Dara Clinton, score two 65s while midfielder, Colm Fitzsimmons, added a point from play.
And it was only fitting that Alan Conyard should complete the first half scoring with two points, one from a free and one from a 65, which saw the winners leading on a score of 2-04 to 1-05 at half time.
Just as they did in the opening half, Glenealy took the game to their opponents after the break, as their defence batten down the hatches and with Tommy Doyle and Nigel Driver controlling midfield and the Manley brothers causing trouble in the forward line, it was only a matter of time before scores would come which resulted in the winners scoring seven unanswered points.
Alan Conyard showed what a class act he is as a free taker as he popped over four long range points, while James Manley, Aaron Nugent, and John Manley added a point each which saw the winners leading on a score of 2-11 to 1-05 at the end of the third quarter.
A brief rally by Delvin saw they point two frees from impressive wing forward, Dara Clinton, to reduce the deficit and should have scored a goal when Alan Clune found himself inside the defence, but his rasping shot produced a wonderful save from Joey Driver which made up for his mistake in the opening half.
The remainder of the game proved to be only shooting practice for the red and whites and John Manley closed the scoring with a point which left Glenealy worthy winners in a better all round team performance and in doing so keep their Leinster Club League ambitions alive and well.
Scorers For Glenealy: James Manley 2-02, Alan Conyard 0-07 (4f, 2 65), John Manley 0-02, Aaron Nugent 0-01.