Wonderful Willie on fire for Éire Óg Greystones
GAA BOOM PLATFORM HIRE JAFC
ÉIRE ÓG ST PATRICK’S 0-07 0-05
THIS Boom Platform Hire Junior A Football Championship in Rathnew was one that was heavily influenced by a severe wind blowing straight down the pitch.
These conditions meant that the game was always going to be decided by which side could deal with the wind more effectively, both offensively and defensively.
In the end, this turned out to be Éire Óg but the game was very much in the balance for the vast majority of proceedings.
Despite the low scoring on show, this was a truly entertaining match throughout with some ferocious, and fair, hits going in throughout and both teams playing with a real freedom in attack when the opportunity presented itself.
St. Pat’s played with the breeze at their backs in the opening period but for much of the first half it felt as though this was more of a hindrance to the Wicklow town side’s forwards.
Both umpires behind the Éire Óg goal were afforded multiple opportunities to work on their technique for signalling a wide to the referee as St. Pat’s saw chance after chance drift outside the uprights.
St. Pat’s spent much of the first half in Éire Óg’s half but a combination of poor shot selection and inaccuracy meant they failed to take advantage of their territorial dominance.
Éire Óg had brought Willie O’Hagan back to play as a sweeper and this proved effective, with many of the St. Pat’s efforts on goal coming under pressure from one or more Éire Óg defenders.
In fact, it was Éire Óg who opened the scoring when Fintan O’Shea drilled over from 30 yards.
It could have been even better for Éire Óg moments later when Anto Byrne made a barnstorming run up the middle of the field, rampaging through multiple tackles to create a goal opportunity for himself, only to see his shot roll harmlessly past the far post.
St. Pat’s drew level midway through the first half through a Hugh Hurnby free before Simon Bouchier sent his side into the lead.
Bouchier’s score came off the back of some fine play under pressure in the corner from Adam Cox.
St. Pat’s did extend their lead before half-time through Jack Kelly but this was as good as it got. Going in at half-time, St. Pat’s had seen an incredible 11 shots go wide or drop short and one could not help but feel that this would be their downfall come full-time.
However, Éire Óg suffered similar woes in front of goal in the opening stages of the first half.
A series of wides in the opening minutes of the first half cranked up the tension a notch as St. Pat’s’ two-point lead continued to remain intact.
However, in their side’s hour of need a number of Éire Óg players, including Willie O’Hagan, stepped up to be counted.
Playing higher up the field in the second half, O’Hagan nailed a long-range effort to double his sides tally after a surging run forward from Conall Deeney who really enjoyed an excellent game.
Moments later O’ Hagan was at it again, this time converting a free he had won himself before issuing a roar of encouragement to his team-mates.
James Cranley was beginning to have more and more of an influence on proceedings, cutting out numerous attacks deep in his own half before setting up counters for his side with some superb passing and support running.
O’Hagan and Pats wing back Colin O’ Toole traded scores to leave the sides level at 0-05 apiece before Adam Cox saw a goal chance well saved by Conor Browne.
This save would prove crucial as, perhaps in response to seeing their side go three points down, Éire Óg lifted their tempo a notch.
This increased intensity reaped dividends and, with James Cranley the conducting the orchestra, Éire Óg moved into the lead.
A monster effort from David Behan way out on the left wing sent the Greystones men into the lead before the lead was doubled with the score of the day.
Cranley broke out of defence in possession on the right wing and played a perfect pass down the line for Willie O’Hagan who held up well before hand-passing back to Cranley who had made up significant ground.
The wing forward found Andrew Walsh who switched the play for the marauding Conall Deeney.
Without a moments hesitation, Deeney took aim and stroked the ball over the bar from 40 yards out to cap off a fine performance.
Cranley added a late point for Eire Og to cap off a hard fought victory in what was a genuinely entertaining game despite the low scoreline.
Scorers - Éire Óg: Willie O’Hagan 0-03(0-02f), Fintan O’ Shea 0-01, David Behan 0-01, Conall Deeney 0-01, James Cranley 0-01.
St Patrick’s: Hugh Hurnby 0-01(0-01f), Simon Bouchier 0-01, Jack Kelly 0-01, Colin O’ Toole 0-01.
Conor Browne, Mick Dunne, Dominic O’Brien, Conall Deeney, James Woods, Matt Maguire, Eoin McTague, Anto Byrne, Andrew Walsh, Jack Tanner, Fintan O’ Shea, David Behan, Rory Doyle, James Smullen, Willie O’ Hagan. Subs: Daniel Byrne.
Ian Murphy, Aidan Dunne, Lorcan Smullen, Christopher Kavanagh, Colin O’ Toole, David Byrne, Ronan Connolly, Joe Quinn, Bill McHugh, Simon Bouchier, Bosco Guinan, Matthew Traynor, Adam Cox, Jack Kelly, Hugh Hurnby. Subs: Paul Earls, James Kavanagh, Shay Dunne.