Pat’s de­liver su­per sec­ond half to see off brave Éire Óg

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT - BREN­DAN LAWRENCE


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)

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