Éire Óg grab late equaliser against Reds

Grey­stones men hold Gle­nealy

Bray People - - SPORT -

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

John Keenan

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.

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