Gle­nealy power on

Éire Óg can’t stop lethal at­tack as Laf­fan’s men tri­umph

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT - BRENDAN LAWRENCE at Pearse’s Park, Ark­low


THE reign­ing county cham­pi­ons saun­tered to their fourth vic­tory in five games as they look to re­tain the O’Donoghue Cup for the third year run­ning.

Fall­ing at the hands of Garry Laf­fan’s men on this oc­ca­sion was Ea­monn Scallan’s Éire Óg Grey­stones who bat­tled bravely through­out this game but who just didn’t pos­sess the fire­power or the strength in de­fence to hold off the power and panache of the Gle­nealy men.

With both man­agers know­ing each other ex­tremely well hav­ing bat­tled in the Wex­ford full-for­ward line on umpteen oc­ca­sions, most no­tably in the 1996 All-Ire­land fi­nal against Lim­er­ick, it was a shame that Éire Óg’s ob­vi­ous lim­i­ta­tions pre­vented this from be­ing a closer and more ex­cit­ing bat­tle that it turned out to be.

For 20 min­utes it was a right game with Gle­nealy only lead­ing by four and Éire Óg caus­ing them lots of prob­lems, but Matthew Traynor’s goal in the 24th minute af­ter a ball from Gary Hughes created a gap on the score­board that would never be closed and from there on in it was Gle­nealy who took con­trol of the game.

The afore­men­tioned Gary Hughes and club leg­end Jonathan O’Neill Snr sup­plied Gle­nealy’s open­ing two scores, ‘Bosco’ with the first of 10 points for his sig­nif­i­cant shift from mid­field.

Pe­ter Keane got Éire Óg off the mark af­ter five min­utes be­fore Matthew Traynor replied with aplomb from dis­tance.

James ‘Pooch’ Cran­ley was a sig­nif­i­cant fig­ure for the Grey­stones side and he re­duced the deficit to a sin­gle point af­ter eight min­utes from a free af­ter Danny Staunton was ad­judged to have fouled Eoin Dor­gan.

Gle­nealy were clearly the stronger out­fit even in th­ese early stages and points from Traynor and Tommy Doyle at cen­tre for­ward opened up a 0-5 to 0-2 lead af­ter nine min­utes.

Eoin Dor­gan got on the end of a break­ing ball from Nathan Un­win to point be­fore Andy Walsh drove an ef­fort from deep into the wel­com­ing hand of Cian Staunton in the Gle­nealy goal. Walsh was de­ployed at cen­tre back and proved busy and in­dus­tri­ous.

At the end of the first quar­ter Gle­nealy led by 0-7 to 0-3, a Jonathan O’Neill Snr free af­ter a foul on Hughes and a Gavin Weir sin­gle af­ter Gary Byrne had pilfered pos­ses­sion from Shaun Cran­ley and fed the Ash­ford man.

A ‘Bosco’ free put five be­tween the sides but Éire Óg pro­duced their best spell in the next few moments when James Cran­ley split the posts with two beau­ties (one free), the first a peach af­ter goal­keeper Dan O’Neill picked out Michael Walsh with a puck out, Walsh fed Cran­ley who steered over a stun­ner from deep. Gle­nealy de­fender Sam O’Dowd was con­victed of a throw ball moments later and Cran­ley did the nec­es­sary, 0-8 to 0-5 af­ter 17.

That was as good as it would get for Scallan’s side. Traynor’s goal af­ter 24 made it 1-10 to 0-6 and when Jonathan O’Neill Jnr got his hand to a long Gary Byrne ball af­ter 26 min­utes there was only one place it was go­ing and that was the back of Dan O’Neill’s net, 2-10 to 0-7, and few could see any way back for Éire Óg.

In fair­ness to them, they bat­tled on man­fully and had points from Nathan Un­win and James Cran­ley (free) ei­ther side of a Jonathan O’Neill Snr free af­ter a foul on Gary Byrne by Leon Browne.

Matthew Traynor closed out the half with a fine score to leave Gle­nealy lead­ing by 2-12 to 0-9.

‘Bosco’ Snr pushed Gle­nealy fur­ther in front with an­other free im­me­di­ately af­ter the restart be­fore two Leon Browne sweet­hearts left it 2-13 to 0-11 af­ter five of the sec­ond half.

Gle­nealy pushed for home from here on in. Gavin Weir from out near the side­line, ‘Bosco’ Snr (two, 1f, 1 65), ‘Bosco’ Jnr, and Danny Staunton (65) made it 2-18 to 0-11 af­ter 50 min­utes.

Nathan Un­win stopped the rot for Éire Óg with their last score of the game with eight to go but Scallan’s men drove hard for the line with sub­sti­tute James Byrne’s goal putting the ic­ing on the cake as the reign­ing county cham­pi­ons cruised to a 3-21 to 0-12 vic­tory to leave them sit­ting just be­low Bray Em­mets in the league ta­ble and al­most through to a semi-fi­nal berth.

Scor­ers – Jonathan O’Neill Snr 0-10 (9f, 1 65), Matthew Traynor 1-3, Jonathan O’Neill Jnr 1-1, Danny Staunton 0-3 (2f, 1 65), James Byrne1-0, Gavin Weir 0-2, Gary Hughes 0-1, Tommy Doyle 0-1.

Éire Óg Grey­stones: James Cran­ley 0-5 (4f), Eoin Dor­gan 0-2, Nathan Un­win 0-2, Leon Browne 0-2, Pe­ter Keane 0-1.

GLE­NEALY: Cian Staunton; Sam O’Dowd, Danny Staunton, Ro­nan Manley; Gary Byrne, War­ren Ka­vanagh, Joey Driver Jnr; Jonathan O’Neill Snr, Paul O’Brien; Gavin Weir, Tommy Doyle, Matthew Traynor; Gary Hughes, Alan Driver, Jonathan O’Neill Jnr. Subs: Jack Ka­vanagh for T Doyle (41), Liam De Ho­ran for G Hughes (51), James Byrne for Jonathan O’Neill Jnr (55), Ste­fan O’Brien for R Manley (59).

ÉIRE ÓG GREY­STONES: Dan O’Neill; Brian Law­less, Billy Cud­dihy, Dan O’Connor; Pe­ter Keane, Andy Walsh, Eoghan Potts; James Cran­ley, Michael Walsh; Leon Browne, Anto Byrne, Shaun Cran­ley; Eoin Dor­gan, Nathan Un­win, Hugh O’Neill. Subs: Gavin Parslow for P Keane, Kevin Byrne for S Cran­ley (51).

REF­EREE: Chris Cana­van (Avoca)

Gleenaly’s War­ren Ka­vanagh awaits an ap­proach­ing ball dur­ing the SHC clash with Éire Óg Grey­stones.

Gle­nealy’s Jonathan O’Neill Snr charges for­ward as Éire g’s Michael Walsh gives chase.

Gle­nealy’s Sam O’Dowd turns sharply as Eoin Dor­gan closes in.

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