Éire Óg de­liver the goods

The Corkman - - SPORT - NOEL HOR­GAN Pairc Uí Rinn

IT wasn’t a game that will linger too long in the mem­ory, but that won’t bother Éire Óg, who ran out com­fort­able win­ners over Glen Rovers at Pairc Ui Rinn last Fri­day evening.

Their re­ward is a place in the quar­ter-fi­nals of the county IHC where they’ll square up to highly-rated Sars­fields, and they won’t need to be told that sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment on this show­ing will be re­quired in or­der to ne­go­ti­ate their next ob­sta­cle.

In fair­ness, Éire Óg’s prepa­ra­tions weren’t ideal, given that foot­ball com­mit­ments took pri­or­ity in the club over the past few weeks and they got the job done in con­vinc­ing style in the end.

They were cer­tainly the bet­ter team in the sec­ond half when the in­put from Kevin Hal­lis­sey, switched from wing-for­ward and the ever-in­flu­en­tial John Cooper at mid­field was a key fac­tor in en­abling them to gain the up­per-hand.

Their de­fence, in which Ai­dan O’Con­nor, Der­mot O’Herlihy and Brian Cor­co­ran were es­pe­cially res­o­lute, es­tab­lished firm con­trol as well, so much so that the Glen, hav­ing drawn level through a point from a placed ball by Paul Virgo in the 40th minute, didn’t add to their tally un­til Andy Evans blasted in a goal from a free deep in stop­page time.

In the in­terim, Éire Óg had put 1-8 on the board, with Hal­lis­sey chip­ping in with a couple of ex­cel­lent scores from play, and John Di­neen, Eoin O’Shea and sub­sti­tute Brian Hur­ley also bag­ging points be­fore O’Shea, who achieved most up front over­all, com­pleted their pur­ple-patch with a goal in the dy­ing min­utes.

There was lit­tle to in­di­cate in the first half that Éire Óg would even­tu­ally coast home, not least be­cause of their prob­lems in the full-back line where Paul Virgo car­ried the main threat for the Glen.

At the other end, Éire Óg strug­gled to make head­way for much of the open­ing pe­riod, al­though they did man­age to hit the front for the first time, 1-2 to 0-3, af­ter Daniel Gould­ing latched on to a de­liv­ery by wing­back Fionn O’Rourke to grab a goal in the 12th minute.

They were forced to go 12 min­utes with­out a score af­ter that, how­ever, and they had rea­son to be thank­ful for the sharp­ness of ‘keeper Dy­lan Des­mond, who saved well from Glen wing for­ward David Browne mid­way through the first half.

They had slipped two points adrift be­fore Kevin Hal­lis­sey ended their bar­ren-spell from a free, and, aided by late scores from Ro­nan O’Toole and Eoin O’Shea, who posted a brace, they re­gained the lead be­fore Paul Virgo earned the Glen par­ity, 1-6 to 0-9, at the in­ter­val.

Hal­lis­sey drew first blood for Éire Óg on the turnover, but it took an­other su­perb save by Dy­lan Des­mond to pre­vent Virgo from restor­ing the ad­van­tage to the Glen in the 39th minute.

Virgo brought the Glen back on terms from a free a minute later, but Éire Óg came up with most of the an­swers af­ter that, and the man­ner in which they raised their game in all sec­tors was most en­cour­ag­ing, even if their over­all per­for­mance left a bit to be de­sired on this oc­ca­sion.

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