Dunne drives deadly ‘Dales
Midfielder ‘must have had Ready Brek’ says manager
AVONDALE ÉIRE ÓG 1-17 1-10
AVONDALE manager David Burke was in seventh heaven after his charges put Eire Og to the sword in their Division 1A League clash at Greystones on Friday night.
As well as avenging the home first round defeat by the Greystones outfit, the result sealed promotion to the top tier of football in the county for next season for the Rathdrum side.
‘Since we were relegated two years ago our ambition has been to get back to Division 1 as quick as we could, and we are delighted that we have succeeded in doing that,’ remarked Burke in the wake of his side’s seven-point success, which was embellished by a fivepoint haul by midfielder Eugene Dunne.
‘And it’s even more satisfying that we have won promotion even though we have two games left in the League. After tonight’s game, we still have to play Carnew and Annacurra.
‘The lads put in a tremendous effort this year and hopefully we are in a good place going into the Championship which gets under way early next month.
‘A lot of lads got a chance today and they showed up really well, and Eugene Dunne at midfield had a fantastic game, scoring five points.
‘Judging by the quality of his performance, I think that Eugene must have had his Ready Brek this morning.
‘Eugene wouldn’t be renowned as a scorer for us, but he certainly had his shooting boots on today.
‘Also, Liam Kinsella had a great game at full-back, and Conor Byrne made a big contribution for us at centre-forward,’ added the buoyant Avondale supremo, whose side were reduced to 14 players after right corner-back Kevin Fitzpatrick was sent off after firstly receiving a yellow card and subsequently a black card seven minutes into the second half.
Like Avondale, Éire Óg were missing a number of regulars, including county star Darren Hayden, the son of team boss Paul Hayden, and the home side suffered additional blows by striking the crossbar and missing a penalty.,
After 20 minutes, half-back Conal Deeney lashed the ball against Avondale’s woodwork, and 17 minutes into the second half, his corner-forward teammate Sean Cranley had his penalty saved by opposition goalkeeper Brian Burke.
However, Eire Og made the brighter start to the contest, scoring the first two points through Cian O’Flaherty and Danny Woods, only for Avondale to hit back strongly with a 1-3 return between the sixth and ninth minute, the goal coming from Conor Byrne after he outpaced a number of defenders.
Midway through the half, Sean Cranley pointed for Éire Óg, but the visiting side responded with six unanswered points in the space of seven minutes before carrying a 1-10 to 0-5 lead into the halftime break.
On the restart, Avondale tightened their grip on the game, adding a quick three points, the first from Eugene Dunne following his four point haul in the opening half.
Cranley provided Éire óg with a glimmer of hope, with a point, and after Ross Ward had cancelled that out for the opposition, the home side enjoyed their best period in the contest, by shooting three points without reply between the 12th and 20th minutes of the second half.
However, any hope of a dramatic recovery by Éire Óg was thwarted by the fact that their opponents registered three of the last five points scored before the final whistle.
Éire Óg manager Paul Hayden said: ‘Once we conceded the goal we dropped our head a bit, but we had a lot of young lads out there tonight, and they will have benefited from the experience.
‘Our county lads were missing and we also have a number of lads on holidays.’
Scorers - Avondale: Eugene Dunne 0-5, Ross Ward 0-4 (2f), Conor Byrne 1-1, Donal McGraynor 0-3, Eoin Baker, Dean Gahan, Karl Phelan, Cian O Hannain 0-1 each.
Éire Óg Greystones: Danny Woods 1-2, Sean Cranley 0-6 (4f), Andrew Walsh, Cian O Flaherty 0-1 each.
Brian Burke; Eoin Fitzpatrick, Liam Kinsella, Conor Sheehan; Aonghus O Briain, Zach Cullen, Paddy Kinsella; Eoin Baker, Eugene Dunne; Dean Gahan, Conor Byrne, Karl Phelan; Donal McGraynor, Cian O Hannain, Ross Ward. Subs: Seamus McGraynor for Donal McGraynor (40), Cathal Doyle for Phelan (51).
ÉIRE ÓG GREYSTONES:
Conor Browne; James Woods, Dominic O’Brien, Darragh Devine; Craig Smullen, Michael Cannon , Conal Deeney; Andrew Walsh, Danny Woods; Matt Maguire, Cian O Flaherty, Gavin O’Shea; Sean Mason, Michael Walsh, Sean Cranley. Sub: Willie O’Hagan for Cannon (46). REFEREE: Eddie Leonard (St Patrick’s).
Éire Óg’s Cian O’Flaherty puts pressure on the unstoppable Eugene Dunne.