Junior A team start with win

November 7, 2018

Our Junior As, by their victory over Knockananna in Pearse Park in Arklow, have cleared the 1st hurdle in their championship campaign. Our lads put in an excellent performance and the final score 1-15 to 1-8 was quite an accurate measure of their dominance. If the squad could avoid having some of its stronger players siphoned off into senior ranks and if they could maintain this kind of form Éire Óg should be there or thereabouts in the play-off stages of the competition.

This victory was achieved without the assistance of the so-called 16th man i.e. the energising effect of the urgings of a team's enthusiastic and vocal support. If such was involved it certainly would not have been on the Greystones side – its paltry vocal support was drowned out by that of the opposition.

The Éire Óg team was a nice balance of youth and experience, the 'auld' (in a footballing context) heads of Paul Doherty, Eoin O'Neill, Willie O'Hagan, Kenny Naughton, Brian O'Sullivan and Eoin English blending well with the youthful ardour of the likes of James Cranley, Liam McGuire, Anto Byrne, Seán Lawless, James Delahunty and James Smullen.

It seems to be de rigueur for Éire Óg teams to be slow off the mark in their games and this proved to be the case also on this occasion. In the period leading to their 1st score, on the quarter hour, Greystones were possessed of a lethargy and their position was, to say the least, precarious. Knockananna were afforded a number of goal-scoring opportunities but luckily for us they failed to capitalise on them. In the 2nd period of this half things clicked into place for our lads and they had built up a 4 point lead at the break. Shortly after the resumption victory was more or less assured when Billy Norman tapped the ball down into the path of the inrushing Kenny Naughton who duly delivered it to the back of the Knockananna net. During the game Billy used his height to great advantage and created many openings for the other forwards.

In what was a very satisfactory display overall by our lads, the performance of young Seán Lawless stood out. He helped himself to no less than 6 points from play of which 3 or 4 merited the epithet 'spectacular'. Leon Browne was an astutely solid full-back while Paul Doherty showed mature leadership at centre-forward. Peter Keane in the half-back line and Anto Byrne at centre-field showed the same fire and determination they display on the hurling field.

Mid-week matches which require teams from one end of the county travel to the other end can hardly be described as 'player friendly'. No one was surprised then that Éire Óg had difficulty in assembling a team of hurlers to travel to Kiltegan for their Wednesday night league game against the locals – the bare 15 and missing some of the better players. We lost by only 2 points eventhough because of an injury we finished with only 14. A tight encounter throughout , the score stood at 1-6 to 0-6 at half-time with all Éire Óg points from play – Hugh O'Neill (0-3), Martin Joyce, Daniel O'Connor and Ciarán Goff (0-1 each). A Martin Joyce free and a goal early in the 2nd half from Hughie brought the score to 1-8 to 1-7. Thanks to 3 points from Thomas Ryder and one from Hughie O'Neill we drew level. Disaster struck almost immediately. The sliothar bounced around the Éire Óg goal area, the backs failed to clear, Kiltegan possession, mis-hit shot from 30 yards found its way slowly and inexplicably to the net.

Comhgáirdeachas to Eoin O'Neill and to his wife Rebecca on the birth of a son who in keeping with the tradition of the Annacurra side of the family is called John. John is the first grandchild of Eoin's parents, John and Celia. Beannacht Dé orthu go léir agus saol fada, socair slántúil don leanbh.