Pat’s deliver super second half to see off brave Éire Óg
ST PATRICK’S 2-16 ÉIRE ÓG 1-12
A stunning second-half performance by the hurlers of St Patrick’s saw them surge to a 2-16 to 1-12 victory over Éire Óg Greystones after anything but such a result seemed likely just before half-time in their SHC clash in Aughrim on Sunday afternoon.
With 30 minutes elapsed in this encounter it looked as if the men of Éire Óg Greystones were well on their way to bringing this fixture right down to the wire as they led the Dunbur Road outfit by 1-8 to 0-6 and were doing a fine job of holding county star Andy O’Brien who up to that point only had three points and all from frees.
All over the field the Greystones hurlers were in impressive form with Billy Cuddihy and Andrew Walsh combining to thwart the threat of O’Brien while Eoghan Potts, Kristin Flynn, Peter Keane, Anto Byrne, Leon Browne, James Cranley and Hugh O’Neill were all helping their side produce a very entertaining brand of hurling.
Eamonn Scallan’s side had hit Pat’s with a sucker-punch of a goal moments after Billy Cuddihy had blocked down Andy O’Brien at the other end. The ball was sent long and eventually found the hand of Anto Byrne who rampaged down on Eoghan O’Mahony’s goal before firing home to the back of the net to make it 1-2 to 0-3 at the end of the first quarter.
Better was to follow for the Éire Óg men when they rattled over six points to Pat’s three over the rest of the first half to lead by 1-8 to 0-6 with Pat’s looking stunned.
But balls down on top of Andy O’Brien will eventually pay dividends and one such delivery in the dying embers of the first half saw the county star pluck the ball from above Billy Cuddihy before firing past Dan O’Neill in the Éire Óg Greystones goal.
Shouts of ‘he played the hurl, ref,’ from the Éire Óg sideline and the appeals of full-back Billy Cuddihy that claimed that O’Brien did play his hurl as the Greystones defender went to bat the ball away from danger fell on deaf ears as John Keenan recorded the score in what was a massive moment in this game.
That score sent Pat’s in trailing by just two instead of five but that’s not to say what unfolded in the second 30 wouldn’t have unfolded anyway.
Pat’s introduced Chris Kavanagh and Terry Healy from the start of the second half and relocated full-back Gerry Connors high up the field, moving John Connors into the full-back position.
The impact of these changes and the ferocity with which Pat’s emerged from the halftime break had immediate impact.
Christy Moorehouse pounced on a fractionally delayed pick up by an Éire Óg defender and pointed. Gerry Connors walloped over two fine points before John ‘Dee’ O’Brien completed a superb recovery with a point to make it 1-10 to 1-8 for the Wicklow town men.
By the time Éire Óg scored again Pat’s would be leading 2-14 to 1-8 thanks to points from Andrew Conway, Moorehouse and 1-2 from Andy O’Brien (one free) as the Éire Óg challenge went into complete meltdown in the face of a fully fired up Pat’s brigade.
That first Éire Óg score of the second half arrived from half-back Kristin Flynn and was followed by two impressive James Cranley points but there was just no stopping St Pat’s as they eased to a 2-16 to 1-12 victory ahead of a very interesting clash with Glenealy still to come.
Éire Óg Greystones will look to bag their second win of the campaign when they face Avondale in their next outing.
Scorers – St Patrick’s: Andy O’Brien 2-7 (4f), Christy Moorehouse 0-4, Gerry Connors 0-2, Michael Connors 0-1, John ‘Dee’ O’Brien 0-1, Andrew Conway 0-1.
Éire Óg Greystones: James Cranley 0-5 (1f), Anto Byrne 1-1, Leon Browne 0-2, Hugh O’Neill 0-2, Nathan Unwin 0-1, Kristin Flynn 0-1.
ST PATRICK’S: Eoghan O’Mahony; Andrew Conway, Gerry Connors, John Connors; Michael Connors, Dale Quinn, Shane Doyle; George O’Brien, Ricky Quinn; James O’Brien, Noel White, Christy Moorehouse; John ‘Dee’ O’Brien, Andy O’Brien, George O’Connor. Subs: Chris Kavanagh for N White, Terry Healy for J O’Brien, John ‘Greengrass’ O’Brien for ‘Dee’ O’Brien, Mikey Griffin for S Doyle. ÉIRE ÓG GREYSTONES: Dan O’Neill; Brian Lawless, Billy Cuddihy, Dan O’Connor; Eoghan Potts, Andrew Walsh, Kristin Flynn; Peter Keane, Michael Walsh; Nathan Unwin, Anto Byrne, Leon Browne; James Cranley, Danny Salmon, Hugh O’Neill. Subs: REFEREE: John Keenan (Aughrim)