St. Patrick’s see off sturdy chal­lenge of Eire Og Grey­stones at home

Bray People - - SPORT -

THIS YEAR'S Le­in­ster Club Hurl­ing League has proved to a ma­jor suc­cess for Wick­low clubs with a num­ber of teams qual­i­fy­ing for the knock out stages of the var­i­ous di­vi­sions.

Wick­low town was the venue on Sun­day evening last when St. Patrick's played hosts to last year's Intermediate hurl­ing cham­pi­ons, Eire Og Grey­stones, in the quar­ter-fi­nal of the Le­in­ster Hurl­ing League Di­vi­sion 3.

The prize at stake would be a home game in the semi-fi­nals.

Both sides fielded a num­ber of play­ers from Casey O'Brien's panel who were in­volved in the Na­tional Hurl­ing League vic­tory over Down the pre­vi­ous day, with Billy Cud­dihy lin­ing out for the seasiders, while Andy O'Brien started for the home side and there was a ex­tra in­cen­tive, apart from brag­ging rights, as the win­ners would have a home game against Ring­town from West­meath in the semi­fi­nal.

Games be­tween these two clubs al­ways bring out the best in each other and this lat­est en­counter proved to be an­other hard fought game which saw St. Patrick's emerge vic­to­ri­ous with a five point win­ning mar­gin

The win­ners made ev­ery use of home ad­van­tage and, al­though play­ing against a stiff breeze that was blow­ing into the town goal, they got off to dream start with a point each from Mick and John O'Brien in­side the open­ing three min­utes.

A re­sponse from Eire Og saw them launch a at­tack which re­sulted in Shane Nolan be­ing fouled and ace free taker James Cran­ley opened the seasiders ac­count with a point.

The vis­i­tors dom­i­nated the next 10 min­utes but they failed to con­vert their dom­i­nance into scores and were left to rue a num­ber of scor­ing chances that went a beg­ging as the Grey­stones out­fit hit a to­tal of six wides in row leav­ing the even­tual win­ners leading 0-02 to 0-01 af­ter 12 min­utes.

At this stage St. Patrick'supped the tempo which saw dual play­ers Brian Coen and Shane Doyle take con­trol of mid­field which gave a good sup­ply to the for­wards.

Andy O'Brien, fresh from his role with the county team the day be­fore, in­creased the lead with a point from play and the home side con­tin­ued to cause havoc in the Grey­stones de­fence who were forced to foul which was to prove costly as Andy O'Brien showed his abil­ity as a free taker by addin a goal and point from frees which left the hoe side leading 1-04 to 0-01 af­ter 20 min­utes.

Af­ter both sides missed scor­ing chances, Jim O'Brien and Brian Coen in­creased the lead with a point each which brought a re­sponse from the chal­lengers fol­low­ing a foul on Billy Cud­dihy which re­sulted in a free, but, not for the first time in the game, their shoot­ing let them down.

But then the Eire Og cor­ner back, Kris­tan Flynn, showed his team mates were the posts were when he landed a point from play.

That score lifted the Grey­stones team all round and they were re­warded with a goal from Dan Nolan and fol­lowed up with points from James Cran­ley (free), Kevin Byrne, and Ger Flynn to re­duce the deficit to a sin­gle point 1-06 to 1-05 with five min­utes left on the clock.

The win­ners showed they meant busi­ness with two points from frees from Andy O'Brien to close the fist half scor­ing which saw the Wick­low Town leading 1-08 to 1-05 at half time.

Af­ter the break home side piled on the pres­sure which brought two good save from a save from Dan O'Neill which re­sulted in the Grey­stones crew up­ping their game and they went on hit a golden spell with thee points in a row, two from James Cran­ley from frees, and one from im­pres­sive wing for­ward, Ger Flynn, which proved to be their last score which saw the sides level on a score of 1-08 at the end of the third quar­ter. The re­main­der of the game saw the win­ners bat­ten down the hatches and went on to add five more points through Con­way (2), O'Brien (2), and Coen (1).

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