Champs in control
Glenealy secure semi-final berth as Pat’s face Éire Óg
GLENEALY 4-9 ST PATRICK’S 0-12
CHAMPIONS Glenealy made one change to their selected line up prior to their meeting St. Patricks in the Lightning Protection Ireland Wicklow Senior Hurling Championship.
This game was the second played at Aughrim on Saturday last, August 31. Leighton Glynn came in at centre back and Danny Staunton dropped back to fullback in place of Warren Kavanagh, who dropped to the replacements bench.
This set up an interesting contest between Staunton and St. Pat’s talisman Andy O’Brien. The St. Pats man finished the game with his customary big haul from frees but Staunton would probably be happy to have restricted him to just one point from play.
Exchanges in the early stages of the first half were lack luster enough with St. Pats holding an advantage.
They played into the town goal with the aid of a stiff enough breeze. A point in the opening minute from John D O’Brien was followed by another from George B. O’Brien to leave them two points to the good by ten minutes.
Glenealy seemed to have a simple enough game plan. Defenders and mid-field were landing long ball in on their full-forward line at every opportunity.
In these early stages it wasn’t bearing fruit, but it did in the long run. Jonathan O’Neill (Snr) got them on the scoreboard when he pointed a free after 11 minutes.
Andy O’Brien responded with a St. Pat’s pointed free but within a minute Glenealy went ahead, if only for a short period. Jonathon O’Neill (jnr) plucked a high ball out of the sky, turned and gave Eoghan O’Mahony no chance to put the Reds 1-1 to 0-3 ahead. As the game progressed, O’Mahony would be the goal custodian called into action on a far more regular basis.
Andy O’Brien converted another free and when John D O’Brien picked up a broken ball and immediately popped it over the bar it left the Wicklow town side ahead by a point at the end of the first quarter.
Glenealy leveled again from an O’Neill free and their full-forward Alan Driver entered the scoring stakes when he benefited from another long delivery to finish off his first goal from close in.
The Glenealy strategy was beginning to pay dividends and they were now a goal to the good despite St. Pats making a lot of the running up to this point.
Leighton Glynn was having a steady, unfussed game at centre back, letting the ball do the work at all times.
Andy O’Brien scored a great free from close to the sideline but the lethal inside-line Glenealy forwards struck again. This time Gavin Weir hit the net with a great ground shot across goal into the net to the right of Eoghan O’Mahony.
Jonathon O’Neill (Snr) landed a great point from play from midfield to extend the Glenealy lead as half time approached. St. Pats finished the half with two further points – one from a free and the other a converted 65 just on the call of half-time.
Glenealy led by 3-3 to 0-8 and were looking comfortable. The object of the exercise for them was just to win thus ensuring a semi-final place and they were on target to achieve that goal.
The third quarter was played out at a low level of intensity. St. Pats, who needed to be putting on the pressure, didn’t score at all.
Glenealy, for their part, only added two points.
Garry Hughes pointed a free and Gavin Weir added another from play as the champions continued to play a containment game.
Andy O’Brien had his only score from play on 16 minutes but when Jonathan O’Neill (Jnr) pointed and was immediately followed by Alan Driver’s second goal after 20 minutes, the game was effectively over.
There was an air of the inevitable over the final ten minutes plus a couple of added time as Glenealy scored three further points through Garry Hughes, substitute Jack Kavanagh and Tommy Doyle.
For St. Pats, Andy O’Brien added a point from a free and converted another 65 to leave the final score line reading 4-9 to 0-12 in favour of Glenealy
Scorers - Glenealy: Alan Driver 2-0, Jonathon O’Neill 1-1, Gavin Weir 1-1, Jonathan O’Neill (Snr) 0-3, Garry Hughes 0-2, Jack Kavanagh and Tommy Doyle 0-1 each.
St. Patricks: Andy O’Brien 0-9, John D. O’Brien 0-2, George O’Brien 0-1
Glenealy’s Sam O’Dowd tries to keep tabs on Robert Moffatt of St. Pats.
Danny Staunton and Andy O’Brien renewed acquaintances on Saturday evening.
Ricky Quinn looks for options as Glenealy’s Matthew Traynor closes in.
No quarter asked or given by either side.