Gle­nealy lay down marker

Four­teen-man Bray Em­mets are put to the sword

Bray People - - SPORT -

GLE­NEALY BRAY EM­METS 1-17 1-7

GLE­NEALY lay down an early marker and de­feated the county cham­pi­ons of the last three years Bray Em­mets in this SHC group game at Joule Park, Aughrim last Thurs­day evening.

The game was swung in favour of Gle­nealy when Bray’s Luke Maloney was shown a straight red in the sec­ond minute but to Gle­nealy’s credit they even­tu­ally wore down the Bray men as a strong fin­ish saw them emerge com­fort­able win­ners in the end.

Bray fought valiantly and were up at half time but when Gle­nealy’s full for­ward Alan Driver struck to the net in the 39th minute it was al­ways go­ing to be a huge ask for them to over­haul the deficit with the man down.

All credit to Gle­nealy though and re­gard­less of whether they were against 14 men or not the in­ten­sity they showed in the sec­ond half will have most Wick­low teams on the ropes.

If they can re­main rel­a­tively in­jury free and bring a sim­i­lar level of in­ten­sity to the rest of their matches and in the later stages of cham­pi­onship it will take a mighty good team to stop them on their march to glory.

Bray will be might­ily dis­ap­pointed and I’m sure would rel­ish the chance to get re­venge later on in the cham­pi­onship. It will be a bit­ter pill to swal­low for the county cham­pi­ons but it is very early doors in this cham­pi­onship and I’m sure they’ll store the hurt in their locker and will be a formi- dable force and still the team to beat in the cham­pi­onship.

On a dull Thurs­day evening and in front of a very dis­ap­point­ing at­ten­dance (three men and a dog were the spec­ta­tors to be ex­act) it was Gle­nealy who elected to play to­wards the town end in the first half. They started the sharpest and from their first at­tack for­ward Jamie Byrne split the posts from a dif­fi­cult an­gle to give them the lead inside the open­ing 60 sec­onds.

A good start but Gle­nealy were to re­ceive a huge lift in the sec­ond minute. A long ball came in and Luke Maloney swung hard and wildly across the legs of Tommy Doyle.

All eyes were now on ref­eree John Keenan who made the cor­rect call and re­duced Bray to 14 men for the re­main­ing 58 min­utes of the match and you could sense from that mo­ment on that Gle­nealy knew they had a huge chance.

Diar­muid Master­son slot­ted in at cen­tre back for Bray, where he had a very solid game, but he was pow­er­less to stop the early on­slaught of scores as Gle­nealy raced into a four points to one lead af­ter ten min­utes.

Bray did en­joy a re­nais­sance of sorts and had their best pur­ple patch of the match for the mid­dle third of the open­ing half. Cian O’Byrne and mid­fielder Marc Len­non knocked over a cou­ple of points be­fore their only goal of the match ar­rived as Diar­muid Master­son’s long search­ing ball found the stick of O’Byrne who flicked to the net amidst a crowded goal­mouth to give the county cham­pi­ons a two point lead.

Gle­nealy had a mas­sive chance to can­cel out O’Byrne’s ma­jor as Jamie Byrne was sent through on goal af­ter good work from Gary Hughes and Alan Driver but un­for­tu­nately for him and Gle­nealy he was blown for over car­ry­ing. Gle­nealy did get back what they lost from the goal though as John Man­ley, Bosco and a Hughes free swung the lead back in their favour, 7 points to 1-3.

Then came two of the best scores of the match as firstly Padraig Doyle hit a peach af­ter be­ing ex­pertly picked out by Diar­muid Master­son be­fore Gle­nealy re­sponded in kind through full back War­ren Ka­vanagh who wacked it over from mid­field.

Bray added a fur­ther two points and looked to be in a great po­si­tion as de­spite be­ing a man down led by a point at the break.

What­ever was said in the Gle­nealy dress­ing room at half time worked as they seemed to up it two gears from the restart.

Bray were first on the board through a Cian O’Byrne free in the sec­ond minute of the half but in­cred­i­bly they would not score again for the rest of the half as Gle­nealy com­pletely took over from there un­til the end.

Gle­nealy’s Gary Hughes hit the point of the match as they reeled off a cou­ple of scores in a row be­fore the match defin­ing goal ar­rived in the 39th minute.

Alan Driver col­lected the ball in the full for­ward po­si­tion and from an acute an­gle he fired past Eoin Ma­son in the Bray goal to give Gle­nealy some breath­ing space.

To Bray’s credit they had worked tire­lessly with the man down and held their own but you could sense that when the goal went in and a bit of a gap opened up that it was al­ways go­ing to be a long way back and that they had used up most of the re­serves in the tank.

Gle­nealy added a flurry of points in the last 20 min­utes through the likes of Gavin Weir and Tommy Doyle to run out com­fort­able 10 point win­ners in the end as Bray sim­ply ran out of puff.

The send­ing off was def­i­nitely the undis­puted turn­ing point in the match but to Gle­nealy’s credit they didn’t panic when they were down at half time and played some bril­liant stuff in the sec­ond half, with huge per­for­mances from the likes of War­ren Ka­vanagh and John Man­ley, and will look to build on this vic­tory for the rest of the year.

Bray will be a wounded an­i­mal which is a very dan­ger­ous propo­si­tion for any team they face but the day be­longed to Gle­nealy.

Scor­ers: Gle­nealy: Gary Hughes 0-4 (0-3 frees), John Man­ley 0-3, Johnathan O’Neill 0-3 (0-2 frees), Alan Driver 1-0, War­ren Ka­vanagh 0-1, Emmet Byrne 0-1, Tommy Doyle 0-1, Gavin Weir 0-1, Jamie Byrne 0-1, Enan Glynn 0-1, Joey Driver 0-1.

Bray: Cian O Byrne 1-3 (0-2 frees), Marc Len­non 0-3, Padraig Doyle 0-1.

Gle­nealy’s Alan Driver is dis­pos­sessed by Bray’s Sean Maloney dur­ing the SHC in Joule Park, Aughrim.

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