Late O’Con­nor goals seal win for Avon­dale

Wicklow People (Arklow) - - SPORT - RICHARD CLUNE at Bray Em­mets GAA Club

MI­NOR HURL­ING LEAGUE AT one stage it looked like Avon­dale Par­nells would win this by dou­ble dig­its; they led by seven points early in the sec­ond half.

Fif­teen min­utes later they were be­hind by two points, Davy Maloney, with a lit­tle help from Rory Lambe, drag­ging Bray back into the match. In the end a cou­ple of late goals from PJ O’Con­nor, one a great fin­ish, one for­tu­itous, was the dif­fer­ence be­tween the teams.

The lack of a ref­eree meant the game started half an hour late but once it did those in at­ten­dance were treated to a good game of hurl­ing.

On the Bray team reign­ing U17 hurler of the year and youngest of the Maloney brothers, Davy Maloney, set about dom­i­nat­ing the match though his marker Zach Cullen didn’t let him have it his way. In at­tack Avon­dale Par­nells were the bet­ter team with PJ O’Con­nor pun­ish­ing any in­dis­ci­pline while mid­fielder Torna Mul­croney hit two points in the first half.

O’Con­nor started the match with three points, two of them frees, be­fore Maloney con­verted a cou­ple of frees to get Bray on the score­board. Mul­croney picked up a loose ball and knocked it over the bar to re-es­tab­lish a two point lead though Maloney re­sponded with a cou­ple of points to level the match at four points each by the twelfth minute.

Avon­dale Par­nells be­gan to ex­ert their in­flu­ence on the match for the rest of the half and take con­trol of pro­ceed­ings, outscor­ing their north­ern coun­ter­parts by 1-04 to a point.

Mul­croney nabbed his sec­ond when the ball was half cleared by the Bray de­fence and then the rock solid Des Byrne stopped a dan­ger­ous look­ing at­tack at the other end of the field. The ball was moved up the field and cor­ner for­ward Rian Bar­don got his name on the score­sheet.

Maloney got the point for Bray, a free from his own 65, but Avon­dale Par­nells closed out the half with a goal and a point to to lead 1-07 to 5 at half time. O’Con­nor scored a very good in­di­vid­ual point be­fore full for­ward Con­nor Jame­son scram­bled the ball into the net af­ter Liam Somers’ shot dropped in around the square.

Nei­ther team will look back on the half with com­plete hap­pi­ness as they racked up eleven wides be­tween them that took a lit­tle bit of the st­ing out of the game.

Avon­dale Par­nells started the sec­ond half well, O’Con­nor and Zach Cullen push­ing their lead out to seven points, 1-09 to 5, but Bray dom­i­nated the next fif­teen min­utes. They scored 1-07 to take the lead for the first time.

Just be­fore half time Rory Lambe came on and he added an ex­tra di­men­sion to their game to com­ple­ment Maloney in mid­field. Don’t ex­pect him to start on the bench much longer.

He scored five of the 1-07 and started with a free. Maloney added a beauty off his left be­fore Lambe made the most a mis­take in the Avon­dale Par­nells de­fence. For his third to duo teamed up, Maloney hit the ball into space and Lambe turned his man on the end line be­fore cut­ting back in the field to create and an­gle and pop­ping the ball over on his left side.

For Lambe’s fourth, he re­peated the trick. O’Con­nor did con­vert a free to keep the Avon­dale Par­nells score­board tick­ing over but Bray were level with the next score. A Maloney shot was bat­ted out by the goal­keeper only for Brian Nes­bitt to pull on the ball into the back of the net. It was 1-10 each af­ter 45 min­utes.

Lambe and Maloney got the next two scores but they could only score once for the rest of the match as a cou­ple of late O’Con­nor goals sealed the win for Avon­dale Par­nells. His first was a beau­ti­ful fin­ish af­ter good work by Ross Kenny and Shane Browne while his sec­ond was a lit­tle for­tu­itous, his long range free evaded ev­ery­body and ended in the net.

He and Maloney traded one last free and Avon­dale Par­nells came away vic­to­ri­ous.

Scor­ers – Avon­dale Par­nells: PJ O’Con­nor (1-06f) 2-08; Con­nor Jame­son 1-00; Torna Mul­croney 0-02; Zach Cullen, Rian Bar­don 0-01 each.

Bray Em­mets: Davy Maloney (5f) 0-08; Rory Lambe (1f) 0-05; Brian Nes­bitt 1-00.

Avon­dale Par­nells: Daniel Reilly; Tim Byrne, Des Byrne, TJ Copeland; Shane Browne, Liam Dick­en­son, Ross Kenny; Zach Cullen, Torna Mul­roney; PJ O’Con­nor, Dy­lan Harper, Liam Somers; Bar­ney Bar­don, Con­nor Jame­son, Rian Bar­don. Subs: Oisin Kelly, Kealan Bracken, Michael Zeb­ski.

Bray Em­mets: Cathal Eddy; Daniel Flavin, Aaron O’Rourke, Jack Treacy; Eoin Holmes, Adam Bushe, Tadgh McCarthy; Davy Maloney, Peter Ahearne; Kevin Bushe, Rory Mulc­ahy, Conor Hardi­man; Brian Nes­bitt, Zack Collins, Ri­ain MacMaolin. Subs: Fionn Dougan for Kevin Bushe (22 mins); Aaron O’Dwyer Robin­son for Eoin Holmes (26 mins); Rory Lambe for Ri­ain MacMaolin (28 mins); Daniel Munro for Brian Nes­bitt (53 mins).

Ref­eree: Con O Ceadaigh

The Avon­dale Mi­nor hurlers who de­feated Bray Em­mets last week­end.

Bray Em­mets, who suf­fered de­feat to Avon­dale in the Mi­nor Hurl­ing League.

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