Late O’Connor goals seal win for Avondale
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.