Won­der­ful Wil­lie on fire for Éire Óg Grey­stones


Bray People - - SPORT -


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.

Dar­ragh Byrne

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