Champs in con­trol

Gle­nealy secure semi-fi­nal berth as Pat’s face Éire Óg

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


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.

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