Éire Óg grab late equaliser against Reds
Greystones men hold Glenealy
GLENEALY ÉIRE ÓG 1-17 2-14
ÉIRE ÓG’S centre forward picks up the ball in space 55 yards out in the opening minutes of his side’s SHC clash with Glenealy last weekend.
There’s only one thought on the big centre forward’s mind, to split the posts and get his side off the mark after going behind early on thanks to a Jonathan ‘Bosco’ O’Neill score.
He strikes the ball well but doesn’t muster the required distance and it drops short, into the grateful hand of Glenealy goalkeeper Keith Snell. Snell quickly picks out a team-mate and play moves on with Éire Óg yet to open their account. Or have they?
A flash of green behind the goal and all eyes are on umpire Tommy Redmond as he signals to referee John Keenan that the sliotar had, in fact, crossed the line. A brave call and a seemingly contentious one at that, yet the awarding of a goal to Éire Óg is met with little or no opposition from the Glenealy men.
Only those in close proximity to the incident will know for sure whether the sliotar did in fact cross the line but the umpires were convinced and that is all that matters.
Suddenly the game has taken on a whole new complexion. Éire Óg, have a spring in their step and manage to raise another green flag within a matter of moments, this time with little doubt over the decision. A high ball in is expertly fielded by Michael Walsh and the spearhead of the Éire Óg attack shows the presence of mind to pick out the run of team-mate James ‘Poochie’ Cranley. Cranley finishes emphatically and suddenly Éire Óg have two goals and a significant advantage over their opposition early on.
This was not the last positive impact Cranley would have on the game, with his clever movement and creativity proving incisive for Éire Óg throughout.
Glenealy are on experienced side and if these early setbacks fazed them, it certainly didn’t show. Indeed, the men in red had pulled a goal back in no time after Jonathan O’Neill Jr. broke through a crowded Éire Óg defence before sliding the sliotar low past the onrushing Dan O’Neill.
Not content with a mere reduction of the deficit, Glenealy pulled themselves back to level by halftime before taking advantage of this momentum to pull ahead in the second half with a Gavin Weir point from a tight angle the pick of the Glenealy scores in the second half.
Glenealy were working well together in attack, interchanging at will. One particular score saw Weir, Gary Byrne and Jonathan Bosco O’Neill link up before laying on for Jonathan O’Neill Jr. to expertly split the posts with a shot over his shoulder.
However, Éire Óg were by no means out of this game. Some key interventions from Stephen Kelly at the back and the industry of James Cranley among others going forward paved the way for Éire Óg to go into injury time just one point behind.
The pressure was well and truly on but a sideline on the Glenealy 21-yard line presented a glimmer of hope for the Greystones men.
Courage and skill were required in equal measure and this was provided by none other than Gavin Parslow, the wing forward collecting the sideline cut before levelling the scores with the final puck of the game from the tightest of angles.
This left Éire Óg as the first team to take points off Glenealy in this year’s SHC, and will no doubt spur them on as they attempt to catch up on the teams above them in the standings, including Glenealy who currently lead the way.
Scorers – Éire Óg Greystones: James Cranley 1-07(0-03f), Anthony Byrne 1-03(0-01f), Gavin Parslow 0-02, Leon Browne 0-01, Hugh O’ Neill 0-01.
Glenealy: Jonathan O’ Neill Jr. 1-03(0-01), Jonathan O’ Neill 0-07(0-05f), Alan Driver 0-02, Robert Byrne 0-01, James Manley 0-01, Gary Byrne 0-01, Emmett Byrne 0-01, Gavin Weir 0-01.
Dan O’Neill, Mike Arrigan, Stephen Kelly, Daniel O’Connor, Sean Hughes, Billy Cuddihy, Peter Keane, Kristin Flynn, Shane Nolan, Gavin Parslow, Anthony Byrne, Leon Browne, Hugh O’Neill, Michael Walsh, James Cranley. Subs: Mark Barry, John Deeney, Martin Joyce, Shane Mulford, Danny Nolan, Daniel Salmon, Andrew Walsh, Ger Whyte, Sean Lawless, Conal Deeney.
Keith Snell, Ruairi O’Neill, Warren Kavanagh, Lee Kavanagh, Gary Byrne, Danny Staunton, Thomas Doyle, Jonathan O’Neill, John Manley, Gavin Weir, Robert Byrne, Emmet Byrne, James Manley, Alan Driver, Jonathan O’Neill Jr. Subs: Gary Hughes, Cian Staunton
Eire Og’s Anthony Byrne gets his shot away despite the efforts of Glenealy’s Ruairi O’Neill. Photos: Garry O’Neill
Eire Og’s Shane Nolan has his shot blocked by Warren Kavanagh.