Awe­some Avon­dale

Dales pro­duce at­tack­ing masterclas­s against Balt­in­glass

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT - LIAM O’LOUGH­LIN

IT has been said and writ­ten of Avon­dale in the re­cent past that the day they brought the sum of their un­doubted ta­lents to­gether on the same pitch, in the same game and on the same day, they would shake up the cham­pi­onship.

Whether that day was Sun­day last is de­bat­able but there is no doubt that they dis­played on this oc­ca­sion that they have the ca­pa­bil­ity to com­pete with the best.

They laid a marker straight from the beginning with Conor Byrne bring­ing a great save out of Mark Jack­son in their first at­tack. The county net min­der saved bril­liantly knock­ing the ball onto an up­right and over the bar.

Full-for­ward Oisin McGraynor was show­ing well early on and added the sec­ond point. Sean O’Brien did have a pos­si­ble goal op­por­tu­nity after three min­utes for Balt­in­glass but he pulled a ground shot across goal and wide.

Avon­dale con­tin­ued to run hard at the Slaneyside­rs’ de­fence and won a penalty after five min­utes. Sean McGraynor took the kick and even though Mark Jack­son got to the shot, he was un­able to pre­vent the ball get­ting to the net.

Conor Byrne at wing for­ward was turn­ing up all over the field and was caus­ing all sorts of prob­lems for Balt­in­glass with his di­rect run­ning at pace. He pointed again after eight min­utes and it took an­other three min­utes for Balt­in­glass to reg­is­ter their open­ing point from a Mark Jack­son trade­mark free on 45.

The score stood at 1-3 to 0-1 at this stage. Avon­dale were grow­ing fur­ther in con­fi­dence and con­tin­ued to keep up the pres­sure. Ian McDon­ald and Barry Shee­han were han­dling a lot of ball in the mid­dle third of the field and the half backs Mark Baker, Eoin Baker and Eu­gene Dunne were get­ting for­ward at ev­ery op­por­tu­nity.

Conor Byrne raced through again and punched over a point. Oisin McGraynor pointed again be­fore Adam McHugh got the sec­ond Balt­in­glass point from a free.

Oisin McGraynor im­me­di­ately tacked on an­other Avon­dale point from a free after 17 min­utes to leave them ahead by 1-7 to 0-2 at this stage.

Mark Jack­son pointed an­other Balt­in­glass free but back came Conor Byrne to slot over an­other Avon­dale point.

Peadar Burke fisted over the only Balt­in­glass point from play of this half. The Dales fin­ished off the fi­nal few min­utes of the first half in a dev­as­tat­ing fash­ion.

Mark Baker scored an­other point and with two min­utes left in the half Cian O’Han­nain got through for goal num­ber two.

Straight from the kick-out, Conor Byrne waltzed his way through the de­fence and stuck an­other goal in the net.

The only Balt­in­glass re­sponse was a Johnny Keogh pointed free in the sec­ond minute of time added. Avon­dale led by 3-8 to 0-5 at half time.

Balt­in­glass had been hit with a tor­nado and it was go­ing to take some come­back to re­cover.

Avon­dale al­most scored a fourth goal in the sec­ond minute of the sec­ond half when Oisin McGraynor fly kicked a ball over the bar. It would prob­a­bly have been eas­ier to take con­trol of the ball and fin­ish from his hand. How­ever, it was an­other point ahead.

Johnny Keogh pointed an­other Balto free, but Ross Ward re­sponded with a con­verted Avon­dale free.

Barry Shee­han fisted over an­other Dales point and 15 min­utes had elapsed be­fore the next Balt­in­glass score – a goal punched home by Jor­dan Deans.

Balt­in­glass were bat­tling hard to make some im­pres­sion but were com­ing up against a massed Avon­dale de­fence where everyone was now a de­fender. Conor Byrne and Chris Heaslip ex­changed points. Mark Baker got an­other, and Chris Heaslip re­sponded with two for Balt­in­glass –one from a free.

Mark Jack­son pointed a 45 and then Oisin McGraynor crowned off a great per­sonal display by rac­ing through with two min­utes left to score his sec­ond goal.

Balt­in­glass fin­ished the game with a goal from a penalty by sub­sti­tute Stephan Heaslip to bring their fi­nal tally to 2-10, a de­cent score on any other day but not enough on the day your op­po­nents’ score 4-13. Thus ended an ex­tra­or­di­nary game with a re­sult few if any could have pre­dicted.

Scor­ers - Avon­dale: Oisin McGraynor 2-4, Conor Byrne 1-4, Cian O’Han­nain 1-0, Mark Baker 0-3, Ross Ward and Barry Shee­han 0-1 each.

Balt­in­glass: Mark Jack­son 0-3, Chris Heaslip 0-3, Jor­dan Deans 1-0, Stephan Heaslip 1-0, Johnny Keogh 0-2, Adam McHugh and Peadar Burke 0-1 each.

Oisin McGraynor of Avon­dale gets away from Tom Burke of Balt­in­glass.

Balt­in­glass goal­keeper Mark Jack­son is beaten from the spot.

Mark Baker of Avon­dale keeps his eye on the ball as Paddy Whe­lan of Balt­in­glass closes in.

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