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