Prendergast on fire
A lovely morning and a fabulous playing surface helped produce a cracking game of football between these two teams. A game that was played with skill and manliness throughout, both teams threw the kitchen sink at claiming this Shield title.
The game kicked off with both teams feeling each other out, with Rathnew making the better of the early exchanges and dominating possession. They went two points ahead through Reece Doyle and an Eoin Doyle free. In this period the Village men kicked a number of wides, and it made one wonder – would they rue these missed chances?
At the 10-minute mark, the Greystones men kicked in to gear. Mark Hayden got his hands on the ball around the middle third, he floated a pass in to Joe Prendergast who finished to the net. Straight from the kick out, Éire Óg launched another attack. Colm Condron grabbed a ball at full forward, he managed to catch the Rathnew keeper off his line with an audacious chip shot, that could only be imagined by a young man full of confidence. Two goals in as many minutes, breathless.
True to form, the Rathnew men didn’t take it lying down. They answered straight away with two points.
Ross Quinn came storming in to the game and grabbed an impressive score. Eoin Doyle was the focal point of the Rathnew attack and he added a free. Again, Rathnew were dominating possession and needed to make it count.
After the water break, Greystones grabbed a score through Dylan Maher. The final 10 minutes of the first was hectic. Rathnew grabbed the initiative in the game when Eoin Doyle created a goal from nothing. As he stood over a 14-yard free, everyone in Avondale thought it was a tap over – not Eoin Doyle. He slammed it to the top corner of the net. Scott Devlin and Doyle added points for good measure.
Challenge accepted by the Éire Óg men. In the 28th minute, Colm Condron snook in behind the Rathnew defence, found Joe Prendergast who tapped his own rebound to the net. Prendergast added two frees, while Taylor
Sullivan got in on the act. A rapid finish from Éire Óg to leave them leading by 3-5 to 1-6 at the break.
The second half was a more end-to-end affair. Straight from the throw in, Joe Prendergast popped over a score. It was answered with aplomb by William Moorehouse for Rathnew. Eoin Doyle chipped over another free for Rathnew.
Greystones answered by grabbing their fourth goal of the day. Taylor O’Sullivan turned over the ball in the Rathnew half and delivered to Colm Condron who dispatched to the net. Rathnew dug in – they answered through Ross Quinn and an Eoin Doyle bomb of a free. They needed a goal and a goal they got. Ross Quinn took the ball from a kick out and sliced through the Greystones defence before slotting a shot to the bottom corner.
Water break number two – game on, three points in it. Rathnew substitute Ewan Culbert gets a score to make it a two-point game. We then entered a period of the game where all structure was abandoned and these teams went at it.
Rathnew were forced in to a change in goals early on due to injury, but the replacement goalkeeper Sam Healy earned his stripes with a string of outstanding saves, to keep the game alive. At the other end Fionn Melia took a ball from the goal line for the Greystones men.
Eoin Doyle pulled Rathnew to within two and they were pushing hard. The Greystones men were counter attacking at serious pace, lead by an impressive Joe Prendergast. He launched a ball in to Taylor O’Sullivan, who finished to the net. With seconds left on the clock, it was a death knell in this game.
Éire Óg the winners of a fabulously entertaining game.
Man of the Match: Joe Prendergast (Éire Óg Greystones).
ÉIRE ÓG GREYSTONES: Sean O’Neill; Spenser O’Connor, Max Scully, Fionn Melia; Mark Hayden, Conor O’Donovan, Colm Shortt; Chris Stewart, Dylan Potts; Oisin Shanahan, Joe Prendergast (2-3), Taylor O’Sullivan (1-1); Neil Burke, Colm Condron (2-1), Dylan Maher (0-2). RATHNEW: Christopher Doyle; Adam Byrne, Killian Clarke, Thang Tran Quoc; Callum Clarke, Ryan O’Toole, Ross Quinn (1-2); Ben Free, Charlie Cruise; William Moorehouse (0-1), Reece Doyle (0-1), TJ O’Neill; Josh O’Connor, Eoin Doyle (1-5), Scott Devlin (0-1). Subs: Sam Healy for Christopher Doyle, Sean O Meara for Josh O’Connor, Ewan Culbert (0-1) for TJ O’Neill.
REFEREE: Eugene O’Brien (Aughrim)