Pat’s power past Carnew

Wicklow People (Arklow) - - SPORT -

LAST Satur­day evening pro­duced some­thing of an in­evitable re­sult in Wick­low club hurl­ing when St Pat’s top­pled Carnew Em­mets in the Da­cia Cars Se­nior Hurl­ing Cham­pi­onship 2017 to leave last year’s beaten fi­nal­ists in a spot of bother.

With the Wex­ford bor­der side strug­gling for scores and lack­ing a cham­pi­onship sharp­ness in re­cent times, they were ripe for the pick­ing by a hun­gry St Pat’s out­fit who pos­sessed a lethal at­tacker in the form of Andy O’Brien and it was the county star, among many, who dis­man­tled a trou­bled Carnew out­fit in the sec­ond half of this clash in Joule Park, Aughrim.

It should be said that Carnew were miss­ing some key reg­u­lars ahead of this game but St Pat’s pro­duced such a dom­i­nant sec­ond half last Satur­day that the re­sult might well have been re­alised re­gard­less of who Carnew had in their ranks.

Key to the vic­tory was the awak­en­ing of Andy O’Brien af­ter a ter­ri­ble open­ing half for the Pat’s man who found a qual­ity neme­sis in the shape of An­drew Hughes, who him­self was aided by a shrewd de­fence in the open­ing 30. Such was Hughes’ dom­i­nance that O’Brien left the field at half-time in a foul hu­mour and giv­ing out to ref­eree Jimmy Kelly, his man­ager and mem­bers of the Pat’s back­room team.

If Pat’s were to turn the half-time score of 0-05 to 0-02 in favour of Carnew around they would need to un­lock that Carnew de­fence and buy Andy some space.

Eight first half wides cer­tainly didn’t help Michael Neary’s men but Carnew fully de­served their half-time lead. A shaky start where full-back Gra­ham Keogh fouled Andy O’Brien in the open­ing min­utes of the game pro­vided Pat’s with their open­ing score and Tom Darcy with his first po­si­tional switch of the day with An­drew Hughes re­treat­ing to full-back and Gra­ham Keogh mov­ing out the field.

With Martin O’Brien not avail­able for se­lec­tion, Padraig Do­ran donned the num­ber six jersey and he started well with a fine catch and burst up the field be­fore feed­ing to Dan Nolan who flicked on to Cor­mac Doyle who earned a 65 for his side. Enda Dono­hue fired wide but Carnew were show­ing a bit of bite.

One man in the mood for catch­ing and run­ning in the open­ing half was Robert Lam­bert and it was fine work from the county foot­ball goal­keeper that al­lowed Don Hyland fire a neat pass out to Gra­ham Keogh in space and the un­leashed full-back dropped over a lovely score to get Carnew off the mark.

An Andy O’Brien con­verted free af­ter five min­utes would be the Pat’s men’s last score of the half while Carnew went on to add points from Enda Dono­hue, one from a free and one from play, and a fine ef­fort from Robert Lam­bert af­ter good work by James Gre­gan and An­drew Hughes and a qual­ity score from Don Hyland.

Pat’s headed to the dress­ing rooms as a frus­trated bunch but re­turned af­ter a long break as a band of men in­tent on tak­ing the game to Carnew, but it was last year’s beaten fi­nal­ists who had the busier start with a wide each from Robert Lam­bert and Don Hyland.

A foul by Cor­mac Doyle on Ge­orge O’Brien pro­vided John Con­nors with the chance from a free from dis­tance and the full­back dropped over a mon­ster to give his side a ma­jor boost in the early stages of the sec­ond.

Two tremen­dous scores from Ge­orge O’Brien brought the Pat’s men level and then a con­verted free from Andy O’Brien sent them into a lead they would never re­lin­quish.

It was ob­vi­ous that Pat’s were

look­ing to un­leash Andy on the Carnew goal and a clever ploy of push­ing their in­side men out the field and leav­ing space in­side for the tal­ented county star was the key to un­lock­ing his goal scor­ing potential.

His open­ing ma­jor ar­rived when a long ball from Ge­orge ‘ Boo’ O’Brien trick­led past a col­lec­tion of bod­ies and was met by the gal­lop­ing O’Brien. With only An­drew Hughes for com­pany, O’Brien turned and headed for goal. The Carnew sup­port were out of place so O’Brien raced to­wards Michael Collins’ goal, weav­ing a path be­tween Gra­ham Keogh and Oisin Fur­long be­fore clev­erly re­leas­ing the ball and fir­ing a low shot to the bot­tom cor­ner of the net.

Enda Dono­hue (two frees), and Don Hyland pointed to pull Carnew back to a de­cent po­si­tion at 0-08 to 1-06 with 13 gone but then a gor­geous ball from Ed­die Kelly flew in over the head of Wil­lie Collins and into the hand of Andy O’Brien who turned and ri­fled home past Hughes and Collins for what was the killer score.

O’Brien could have had a third mo­ments later. Drew Brennan pointed for Carnew be­fore Christy Moorehouse launched a bomb down on top of O’Brien who caught su­perbly in a crowd be­fore turn­ing and fir­ing over a rasper that brushed the top of the Carnew cross­bar on its way.

Enda Dono­hue made it 2-07 to 0-10 af­ter 23 min­utes but a stun­ning trio of points from John ‘Dee’ O’Brien put paid to any slim hopes of a Carnew re­cov­ery de­spite Enda Dono­hue driv­ing low to the back of Eoghan O’Ma­hony’s net and two sweet scores from sub­sti­tute Timmy Collins.

A fi­nal score of 2-12 to 1-12 pro­vided Pat’s with a sweet vic­tory over the men of Carnew with Andy O’Brien’s rapid fire 2-01 be­ing a ma­jor turn­ing point. The mid­field per­for­mance from Ed­die Kelly and Ge­orge O’Brien was a mas­sive fac­tor in this win with O’Brien’s dou­ble early in the sec­ond half serv­ing to boost the Pat’s morale at a key mo­ment.

John ‘ Dee’ O’Brien’s mag­nif­i­cent hat-trick of points drove Neary’s men on at an im­por­tant stage and fine work from the Pat’s de­fence, apart from the late con­ces­sion of 1-02, helped them record a very sig­nif­i­cant win.

Carnew needed the in­jured Timmy Collins much ear­lier in the game but his heav­ily strapped leg sug­gests that his in­tro­duc­tion had to be man­aged care­fully. Their lack of scor­ing threat is in­cred­i­bly wor­ry­ing. The re­turn of Conal McCrea and Wayne Kin­sella may help in this re­gard but they are a team in a dif­fi­cult place at this mo­ment in time.

Pat’s power on. Their re­liance on Andy O’Brien may even­tu­ally be their down­fall but if he finds space he will score goals and no team is safe when that hap­pens.

Scor­ers – St Pa­trick’s: Andy O’Brien 2-06 (3f), John ‘Dee’ O’Brien 0-03, Ge­orge O’Brien 0-02, John Con­nors 0-01 (f).

Carnew Em­mets: Enda Dono­hue 1-05 (4f), Timmy Collins 0-02, Don Hyland 0-02, Gra­ham Keogh 0-01, Robert Lam­bert 0-01, Drew Brennan 0-01.

St Pa­trick’s: Eoghan O’Ma­hony; Michael Con­nors, John Con­nors, An­drew Con­way; Dale Quinn, Terry Healy, Christy Moorehouse; Ed­die Kelly, Ge­orge O’Brien; James Byrne, James ‘Bon­ner’ O’Brien, Ge­orge ‘ Boo’ O’Brien; Ge­orge O’Con­nor, Andy O’Brien, John ‘Dee’ O’Brien. Subs: John O’Brien for G ‘Boo’ O’Brien, James O’Brien for G O’Con­nor, De­nis ‘Ta’ O’Brien for C Moorehouse.

Carnew Em­mets: Michael Collins; Wil­lie Collins, Gra­ham Keogh, Oisin Fur­long; Aaron Kin­sella, Padraig Do­ran, Daire Fo­ley; An­drew Hughes, Enda Dono­hue; Robert Lam­bert, Dan Nolan, James Gre­gan; Drew Brennan, Don Hyland, Cor­mac Doyle. Subs: Liam Kennedy for D Nolan, Timmy Collins for J Gre­gan.

Ref­eree: Jimmy Kelly (Knock­ananna)

Carnew’s Robert Lam­bert and St Pat’s Christy Moorehouse com­pete for pos­ses­sion dur­ing their SHC clash in Joule Park.

Pic­tures: Garry O’Neill

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