MAN­LEY’S THE MAN

Gutsy Gle­nealy edge out Bray Em­mets by a point

Wicklow People (Arklow) - - SPORT -

WHEN Gle­nealy and Bray Em­mets meet in any grade of hurl­ing they both bring their sport­ing ri­valry to the play­ing fields and it was very ev­i­dent when the sides met in the In­ter­me­di­ate Hurl­ing cham­pi­onship round 2 in Grey­stones on Fri­day evening last.

The game pro­duced a ding­dong bat­tle be­tween two evenly-matched sides and the end re­sult saw a five-star per­for­mance from full-for­ward James Man­ley who scored five points from play and no doubt that his over­all per­for­mance in­spired his team mates to rise to the oc­ca­sion to clinch vic­tory by a sin­gle point in what was a sport­ing con­test in a high scor­ing game, which saw the sides level on five oc­ca­sions.

The game was also a his­toric oc­ca­sion for vet­eran Jonathan O’Neill as he played along­side his son Jonathan ju­nior with both form­ing a mid­field part­ner­ship.

From the start both teams showed they were fired up for the oc­ca­sion, and they showed the abun­dance of tal­ent they have at their dis­posal with a nice blend of youth and ex­pe­ri­ence.

Bray Em­mets, play­ing with the aid of the breeze, opened the scor­ing with a point from mid­fielder Dara Maloney af­ter two min­utes, which brought a quick re­sponse from the red and whites with two points in row from Aaron Meade and im­pres­sive full-for­ward James Man­ley.

Tom Cash, who has made a wel­come re­turn to the Bray colours, replied with a point to bring the sides level at 0-2 each af­ter six min­utes.

Af­ter both sides missed scor­ing chances a Bray at­tack re­sulted in a free af­ter Pa­trick Lee was fouled but on this oc­ca­sion ace free-taker Tom Cash was off tar­get from the puck out.

Wing-for­ward Wil­lie Keane won pos­ses­sion as he slot­ted over a long-range point which in­spired his team mates.

Tom Cash from a free and mid­fielder Ben McCor­mack added a point each to give the chal­lengers a 0-5 to 0-2 lead.

Gle­nealy, renowned for their bat­tling qual­i­ties, upped the tempo which re­sulted in Alan Con­yard, James Manle and that man Jonathan O’Neill land­ing a point each in a row to bring the sides level at 0-5 each.

Bray Em­mets con­tin­ued to dom­i­nate in var­i­ous sec­tors around field but were un­able to break down a solid de­fence which left scores scarce.

Also Tom Cash was off tar­get from a free, at this stage mid­fielder Ben McCor­mack showed what a fine hurler he is when he won pos­ses­sion and split the win­ners’ de­fence to score point from play

From the puck out he eluded the clutches of Jonathan O’Neill to score his third point, which gave the Bray side a two-point cush­ion, 0-7 to 0-5 af­ter twenty min­utes.

The hurl­ing was hon­est and fair be­tween two com­mit­ted sides which saw no more that a puck be­tween two evenly-matched sides and not for the first time in the game the win­ners re­sponded with a points from James Man­ley and Jonathan O’Neill to bring the sides level once more at 0-7 each.

Bray Em­mets con­tin­ued to keep their noses in front and hit a golden spell which saw them record three points in row.

The first came from a 65 by Tom Cash while Luke O’Reilly and Dan Sweet­land also got their name on the score­sheet to in­crease the lead once more, 0-10 to 0-7.

Bray Em­mets were the better side be­fore the in­ter­val which saw the add 1-2,

Full-for­ward Brian Dug­gan, who has proved to a be prob­lem for many de­fences in the past with his goalscor­ing abil­ity, cracked home the first of his two goals while Tom Cash added two points, one from play.

A typ­i­cal Gle­nealy rally saw them re­ply with a point each from two play­ers who caused havoc in the Bray de­fence in the open­ing half, Garry Hughes and James Man­ley, while a chip off the old block saw Jonathan O’Neill Ju­nior get his name on the score­sheet to close the first half scor­ing, which saw Pat Lee’s side lead­ing 1-12 to 0-10.

Af­ter the break cen­tre for­ward Gary Hughes re­duced the deficit with a point and fol­low­ing a Gle- nealy at­tack which re­sulted in Alan Con­yard win­ning a free which would prove costly with Jonathan O’Neill in such form as he pointed.

The win­ners keep the pres­sure on, which saw Jonathan O’Neill add an­other point fol­low­ing a foul on James Man­ley.

Good work by a quick think­ing O’Neill who found Tony Doyle with a per­fect pass which saw a long de­liv­ery to Alan Con­yard who scored his sec­ond point to re­duce the deficit to a sin­gle point, 1-12 to 0-14.

Both sides recorded two wides each be­fore hard-work­ing mid­fielder Dara Maloney landed a point from play, while Jonathan O’Neill replied with a point.

With both teams fo­cused on the task ahead that lay ahead the con­test con­tin­ued to be com­pet­i­tive.

Ace free-taker Tom Cash landed a point from a free which brought a quick re­sponse from the win­ners with a point from Alan Con­yard.

An­other at­tack from Gle­nealy re­sulted in Aaron Meade be­ing fouled and it was only fit­ting that Jonathan O’Neill should bring the side level on a score of 1-14 to 0-17 with ten min­utes went to play.

The next three min­utes saw real drama with two goals be­ing scored. In a move that was started in their own de­fence Aaron Meade scored the win­ners’ only goal to give them a three-point lead, which stunned the Bray men but in fair­ness they re­sponded and af­ter good work sub­sti­tute Jim Doyle set up Brian Dug­gan to score his sec­ond goal.

Both teams ex­changed a point each to bring the sides level once again on a score of 2-15 to 1-18 as time ticked away.

Not for the first time in the game Tom Cash and Jonathan O’Neill ex­change a point each and at this stage the talk around the ground was that a draw was a pos­si­bil­ity.

Af­ter both teams had given ster­ling per­for­mances the end re­sult was in doubt right up to the fi­nal min­utes.

One last ef­fort from the win­ners re­sulted in a free be­ing awarded and it was only fit­ting af­ter giv­ing a whole-hearted dis­play that Jonathan O’Neill should close the scor­ing from a free to give his side vic­tory.

Both teams de­serve credit for pro­vid­ing such a clas­sic with ev­ery player step­ping up to the mark.

The con­test saw bril­liant chas­ing and block­ing and hook­ing and dis­pos­ses­sion of play­ers com­bined with some great in­di­vid­ual per­for­mances and some great scores be­ing recorded which must have left re­spec­tive man­agers Ea­mon Es­mond and Pat Lee happy with their troops per­for­mances in a game that was a sport­ing con­test and on this dis­play in­ter­est­ing times lies ahead in the cam­paign. Judg­ing by the dis­play of both teams they have sent out a warn­ing to all other cham­pi­onship con­tenders.

Foot­note: Ref­eree Jimmy Kelly de­serves credit for his han­dling of the game as he used com­mon sense and no doubt he con­trib­uted to a great oc­ca­sion.

Gle­nealy scor­ers: Araon Meade (1-1), Jonathan O’Neill (0-9, eight frees), James Man­ley, (0-5), Alan Con­yard (0-2), Gary Hughes (0-2), Jonathan O’Neill ju­nior (0-1).

Bray Em­mets scor­ers: Brian Dug­gan (2-0), Tom Cash (0-8, five frees, one 65), Ben McCor­mack (0-3), Dara Maloney (0-2), Luke O’Reilly (0-1), Dan Sweet­land (0-1), Wil­lie Keane (0-1). GLE­NEALY: Cor­mac Ger­aghty, Colm O’Neill, Wesley Man­ning, Stephen O’Brien, Cian Staunton, Matthew Traynor, Tony Doyle, Jonathan O’Neill se­nior, Jonathan O’Neill ju­nior, Aaron Meade, Gary Hughes, Bren­dan Hawes, Alan Con­yard, James Man­ley, Shane Keogh. Subs. - Glen O’Gor­man, for Shane Keogh, Dean Franey for Bren­dan Hawes, Robert Brown for Tony Doyle.

BRAY EM­METS: Eoin Ma­son, Conor O’Do­herty, Sean Maloney, Karl Lacey, Jor­dan Lee, Michael Walsh, Enda Forde, Dara Maloney, Ben McCor­mack, Wil­lie Keane, Pa­trick Lee, Dan Sweet­land, Tom Cash, Brian Dug­gan, Luke O’Reilly. Subs: Jim Doyle for Wil­lie Keane in­jured, Wil­lie Robin­son for Dan Sweet­land, Craig Brack Sin­nott for Pa­trick Lee. REF­EREE: Jimmy Kelly (Knock­ananna).

OUT­NUM­BERED: Ben McCor­mack of Bray Em­mets is chased by Tony Doyle, Alan Con­yard, Stephen O’Brien and Jonathan O’Neill of Gle­nealy.

Matthew Traynor of Bray Em­mets is tracked by Luke O’Reilly of Gle­nealy.

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