Éire Óg beat Avondale ahead of quarter-finals
ÉIRE ÓG GREYSTONES 1-19 AVONDALE 0-15
ÉIRE ÓG and Avondale served up a proper end-to-end championship encounter in Pearse’s Park in Arklow on Saturday evening last.
With only pride left at stake for the Dales they were not found wanting when it came to this battle with Eamonn Scallan’s Éire Óg who will take on St Pat’s in the quarter-final of this year’s championship.
Avondale fired over the opening point of the game through corner-forward Ross Ward. Éiré óg responded in kind with a score of their own from opposing number 13 Shaun Cranley.
Avondale stalwart Eamon Kearns opened his account for the evening moments later, firing over from play, before James Cranley responded for the opposition with a great score to maintain parity.
The Dales then managed to score three frees in a row, two of these coming from Eamon Kearns before midfielder Zach Cullen hit a dead ball over from his own half.
James Cranley managed to stop the Avondale scoring, dissecting the posts from close range.
Avondale added to their lead through midfielder Gearoid Murphy from play before Kearns fired over another free.
The younger of the Cranleys, Shaun, scored again from play. Avondale hit their final score of the half through centre forward Dean Gahan.
Éiré Óg hit a purple patch heading towards the break, scoring five unanswered points; four of these coming from that man Shaun Cranley again, one from play and the others coming from dead balls.
Corner-forward Hugh O’Neill added the other score to leave the minimum between the sides at the break.
Éire Óg flew out of the box at the start of the second half. Centre back Andy Walsh won a high ball in his own half and lashed a ball over the bar.
Not to be outdone by his brother, midfielder Michael Walsh lashed over another long-range point.
Kearns responded with another free before sharpshooter Shaun Cranley got two more points, one from a dead ball, before he added another from play.
With both sides going full blooded to gain control of the ball, this led to a bit of a ruck which ended up with the referee sending off two players after a dispute arose over a sideline decision.
Éire Óg midfielder Kristin Flynn and Avondale wing forward Paul Gahan were the men given their marching orders.
When all had settled down, Avondale midfielder Zack Cullen fired over another score to narrow the margin.
Éire Óg then went to finish the game off which they duly did through bustling centre forward Anto Byrne who managed to break through the opposition defence to bat the ball into the net with Cranley hitting a fine point from play immediately afterwards.
Kearns yet again responded with a clever score from play.
The Éire Óg forwards were clinical with both corner forwards scoring from play. The first came from Cranley before Hugh O’Neil slotted another score. Wing forward Cranley weaved his way through the defence to put another ball over the bar. Kearns was doing his level best to keep Avondale in this game, scoring three more quick fire points, one from play and two dead balls.
Byrne, Cranley and O’Neill hit Éire Óg’s last three points of the game to finish the game off as a contest.
Avondale lashed over a final consolation score through Ryan Nolan to bring an end to a very entertaining battle.
Scorers - Éire Óg: Shaun Cranley 0-10 (4f), James Cranley 0-4, Anto Byrne 1-1, Andy Walsh 0-1, Michael Walsh 0-1, Hugh O’Neill 0-2.
Avondale: Eamon Kearns 0-9 (5f), Ross Ward 0-1, Zack Cullen 0-2, Gearoid Murphy 0-1, Dean Gahan 0-1, Ryan Nolan 0-1.
Avondale’s Niall Heffernan clears the danger during the SHC clash with Éire Óg Greystones.