FALLERS AT THE LAST
Bray Emmets beaten by Erins Own in Leinster decider
ERINS OWN (CW) 2-18 BRAY EMMETS 0-12
IT may have been defeat for Bray Emmets in this Leinster League Division 2 final at Abbotstown last Saturday evening, but the biggest losers of the whole affair could be their opponents in the fast approaching Wicklow Senior hurling championship as John Henderson’s men will now look to make swift amends for this stinging loss to a fully fired up Erins Own of Carlow.
This defeat, and the manner of it, will not sit well with the Bray hurlers.
It could be seen in the closing stages of this game and in the immediate aftermath. This hurt. This needs to be rectified.
On the whole, despite a few decent spells, Bray Emmets were out hurled and outfought and that hasn’t happened to these hurlers for some time. And chances are it won’t happen again for a long time. It won’t be allowed, certainly not within their own county borders at least.
Bray were without several big names such as Arran Murphy, Daire Lohan, and Paul Cunningham for this clash and their absence, certainly that of Murphy, was telling. His energy and drive would have been most welcomed by the Wicklow side in the fantastic campus in Blanchardstown that needs to be seen to be believed.
Their cause took a major blow in the opening stages of this game as Erins Own came out of the blocks in flying form and were soon 1-02 to 0-01 up thanks to a Craig ‘Styler’ Doyle goal after the centre-half forward collected a pass from Daron Crooks. Doyle was immense for Erins Own, especially from placed balls. He was a pleasure to watch.
Doyle from a free and a point from play from Liam Galway de- spite the best efforts of Cathal O Dualachain made it 1-04 to 0-01 before a long distance effort from Christy Moorehouse and an Eoin McCormack effort from play reduced the deficit as Bray Emmets settled somewhat in key positions and looked to come to terms with the ferocity of the Erins Own play.
Craig Doyle from a free and another from play put Erins Own back in the driving seat, but, despite settling somewhat, Bray still struggled to get up to the pace of their opponents and then they lost Luke Maloney to injury with Willie Keane coming in and Daire Henderson shifting back into the corner.
The burly Eoin Minchin increased Erins Own’s lead to 1-08 to 0-03 before a contained Diarmuid Masterson made it 1-08 to 0-04 and then Christy Moorehouse benefited from hard work from the aforementioned Masterson to bring Bray’s tally to 0-05 in front of a decent but vocal crowd.
Daire Henderson was making life difficult for the Erins Own attackers and he cleared well under pressure and at the other end Christy Moorehouse started to break free of the shackles and he made it 1-08 to 0-06 in what was a very good spell for John Henderson’s men.
In fact, it could have been an even better spell had Willie Keane finished to the back of the Erins Own net shortly afterwards when he took a pass from full-forward Liam Kenny but his shot was saved and the danger cleared.
Marc Lennon sent over a beauty to reduce the lead to four points and then Bray’s wide tally started to increase with misses from Lennon and Moorehouse, from a free, just before the break.
The Carlow side started the second half superbly. Minchin pointed immediately but Eoin McCormack hit back after he picked up a nice ball from Mikey Lee. Moorehouse pointed a humdinger before Craig Doyle sent over another free to make it 1-10 to 0-09 after three minutes while John Henderson sent in Paddy Lee to the action.
But it was the ability of the Erins Own players to hurl under pressure, and also their ability to put pressure on the Bray players, that was a critical difference between both teams with a fine example of that being James Doyle’s point in the fourth minute when he had Diarmuid Masterson and Karl Lacey breathing down his neck. Immediately prior to this, Bray had two chances of a score and were closed down. Small margins.
An outstanding Craig Doyle point from a free stretched that Erins Own lead again to 1-12 to 0-09. Bray went wide from a placed ball moments later. Padraig Doyle was dispatched to the edge of the square with Liam Kenny out to centre-half forward and Padraig Doyle picked out Moorehouse with a sweet pass but the Bray and Wicklow star fired wide with 10 minutes on the second half clock.
Masterson attempted a free from distance but could only watch as it missed its target and a John Henderson clearance to Padraig Doyle was smashed from Doyle’s grip in the air as Erins Own proved relentless in defence.
Erins Own came hunting but Peter Kiely showed real class at the back and the game was still there in many ways for the Bray men but they needed something special and something quick. Alas, that didn’t come. In fact, the opposite arrived. A long Craig Doyle ball reached corner-forward James Clarke who got away from Daire Henderson and he fed the full-forward Eoin Minchin who fairly rifled home past Peter O’Reilly to make it 2-12 to 0-09 after 15 minutes of the second half.
Bray sent in Sean Maloney for Padraig Doyle and the influential Craig Doyle popped over a lovely point followed by another from Brian Doyle after wonderful play from the Carlow men who were now in merciless mood all over the field and they made this tell on the scoreboard with further points, two from Minchin, who profited from class defending at the back by Mark Cummins for his first, and then substitute Jamie Whelan made it 2-17 to 0-09 with 21 minutes on the second half clock and the game was done and dusted.
Moorehouse added two from frees and another from play but it was curtains way before this and Erins Own were deserving winners by 2-18 to 0-12.
Plenty of food for thought for the Bray Emmets players and managers after this game. How they react to the defeat will have major consequences to their push for another championship. Judging by their demeanour after this game they will come out with all guns blazing and woe betide any team who doesn’t do likewise.
Bray Emmets: Peter O’Reilly; Cathal O Dualachain, Peter Kiely, Luke Maloney; Daire Henderson, John Henderson, Karl Lacey; Phillip Collins, Eoin McCormack; Christy Moorehouse, Padraig Doyle, Diarmuid Masterson; Mikey Lee, Liam Kenny, Marc Lennon. Subs: Willie Keane, Gearoid Murchú, Paddy Lee, Sean Maloney.
Erins Own: James Carroll; Martin Cummins, John Rogers, Thomas Maher; Andrew Casey, James Geogehan, Alan Corcoran; Brian Doyle, Mark McDonald; James Doyle, Craig Doyle, Daron Crooks; James Clarke, Eoin Minchin, Liam Galway. Subs: Jamie Whelan, David Galway.
Bray’s Liam Kenny has few options as he’s crowded out by a wall of Erins Own defenders during the Leinster league final. Photos: Dave Barrett (www.davbar.com).
Marc Lennon runs into an ambush from John Rogers, Alan Corcoran and Thomas Maher.