Con­fu­sion as ab­sorb­ing bat­tle ends all square

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT - KIERAN WHE­LAN

L’KEN/K’BRIDE 1-14 ÉIRE ÓG 2-11

WHETHER or not this match to go to ex­tra-time was the big­gest talk­ing point of the JAFC rel­e­ga­tion bat­tle be­tween Éire Óg and Lacken-Kil­bride as the sides fin­ished all square at the fi­nal whis­tle with the score­board read­ing Éire Óg 2-11, Lacken-Kil­bride 1-14.

With nei­ther side sure of the next steps the ques­tion was asked of the ref­eree, Trevor Cul­bert from Ratnnew, if the game had to fin­ished on the day and his re­sponse was, ‘I re­ceived no email or mes­sage to say that it was to be fin­ished to­day’, so both sides made their way to the dress­ing room and togged in.

Now back to the game it­self. Lacken-Kil­bride got off to the dream start with a goal in­side the open­ing minute af­ter a short kick out gets in­ter­cepted and the full-for­ward Neil Too­lis drives the ball to the back of the net.

A dream start for the men of Lacken-Kil­bride. Un­for­tu­nately for them it was men from Éire Óg who would get the best of the open­ing half as they ran hard at the Lacken-Kil­bride de­fence and they reg­is­ter the next six points on the trot.

Andy Walsh was a win­ning the ma­jor­ity of the aerial bat­tle around the mid­dle which was mak­ing it hard for the Lacken-Kil­bride men to get the ball out of their own half.

To their credit they when they got the ball up to their for­wards, they were caus­ing se­ri­ous dam­age and they reg­is­tered two points of their own. A bit of con­fu­sion as to whether Andy Walsh had been fouled or if a mark was given meant that for time de­lay the ball was thrown up.

Lacken-Kil­bride win the re­sult­ing throw up and an­other white flag is raised this time from the boot of Jerry McDon­ald.

With the half com­ing to a close Éire Óg were to hit an­other spell of dom­i­nance as they reeled of 1-2 in a five-minute spell, the goal com­ing af­ter a well worked moved saw Niall Deeney gather pos­ses­sion on the cen­tre line, he plays a de­light­ful low ball into his cor­ner-for­ward James De­lahunty who is out in front of his man and he in turns lays it off to Bran­don Byrne who drives straight through the heart of the Lacken-Kil­bride de­fence and buries the ball into the top cor­ner of the net.

Lacken-Kil­bride were to reg­is­ter the fi­nal score of the half with a point from Jerry McDon­ald af­ter great work by Char­lie Clarke.

The half-time score read Lacken-Kil­bride 1-4, Éire Óg 1-8.

Lacken-Kil­bride got the sec­ond half start just as they would have wanted with a sweet score from Neil Too­lis. The full-for­ward was caus­ing all sorts of prob­lems to the Éire Óg de­fence and he reg­is­tered some of the finest score you would see any­where in the coun­try.

This game looked to be put to bed in the tenth minute when Éire Óg reg­is­tered their sec­ond goal of the game from their cen­tre for­ward Eoghan O’Lon­aigh. A great run from their cen­tre back Wil­lie O Ha­gan who laid the ball off to Eoghan who played a neat one-two with Daniel Salmon and he slid the ball un­der the keeper.

With noth­ing to lose the men from Lacken-Kil­bride threw cau­tion to the wind as they went for broke. The di­rect run­ning of their de­fend­ers was caus­ing Éire Óg all sorts of prob­lems and they quickly reeled off three points to re­duce the gap back to four points.

With their tails now up and the Éire Óg de­fence look­ing to be tir­ing the men from Lacken-Kil­bride reg­is­tered the next three points to put this game down to the min­i­mum as we en­tered the last three min­utes of nor­mal time.

This is the time when cools heads are re­quired and with the Lacken-Kil­bride play­ers push­ing up on the Éire Óg kick out, Andy Walsh out jumps ev­ery­body to claim a mark and re­lieve the pres­sure on his de­fend­ers.

All the bet­ter for Éire Óg was the ball was worked down the field and just as Sean Ma­son is about to pull the trig­ger, he gets a push in the back and it’s a free straight in front of the posts on the 21.

Up strolls Wil­lie O’Ha­gan from the cen­tre back line to eat up time to slot the ball over the bar. Surely game over but, no, the Lacken-Kil­bride men were not go­ing out with­out a fight and that man Neil Too­lis put the min­i­mum be­tween the sides again with an ab­so­lute mon­ster point off his right.

The next kick out was go­ing to be crit­i­cal and Éire Óg gath­ered pos­ses­sion but they just turned and kicked it deep down the field. Timmy Broe gath­ered pos­ses­sion and sets off up the field where he runs di­rectly at the Éire Óg de­fence and he is pulled to the ground, surely this is the last kick of the game. A free to level the game. Conor O’ Toole steps up and slots the ball over the bar. The kick out is taken and the fi­nal whis­tle sounds.

Scor­ers – Lacken-Kil­bride: Jerry McDon­ald 0-8, Neil Too­lis 1-3, Conor O’Toole 0-2, Niall Keogh 0-1, Sean Ma­son 0-1.

Éire Óg Grey­stones: Eoghan O’Lon­aigh 1-1, Bran­don Byrne 1-1, Wil­lie O’Ha­gan 0-3, Daniel Salmon 0-2, James De­lahunty 0-2, Andy Walsh 0-1. LACKEN-KIL­BRIDE: James O’Neill; Mick Byrne, Timmy Broe, Luke Smyth; Richard Ward, Eoin Cripps, Niall Keogh; Si­mon Phibbs, Sean Mur­phy; Daniel Grif­fith, Matthew Cripps, Char­lie Clarke; Jerry McDon­ald, Neil Too­lis, Conor O’Toole.

ÉIRE ÓG: Eoin English; Conor O’Dono­van, Dar­ragh Browne, Eoghan Potts; David Pren­der­gast, Wil­lie O’Ha­gan, Eoin O’Neill; Jon Deeney, Andy Walsh; Niall Deeney, Eoghan O’Lon­aigh, Bran­don Byrne; Sean Ma­son, Daniel Salmon, James De­lahunty. Subs: Vinny Raughton, Tom O’Brien.

REF­EREE: Trevor Cul­bert (Rath­new)

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