Confusion as absorbing battle ends all square
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)