Senior Footballers Advance

November 7, 2018

PEIL  2 losses and a victory could, a la '4 weddings and a funeral', be the title of a film. In this case it is last week's story of our adult footballers. Our Junior As lost to Bray Emmets on Tuesday in the championship and on Friday to Hollywood in the league while our seniors progressed to the next round of the Renault Championship by virtue of their defeat of the North District on Saturday evening.

It is always interesting to lend and ear to the comments of supporters as they exit the grounds after a game. The overwhelming majority of those leaving Aughrim on Saturday evening at the end of the Renault championship game between Éire Óg and the North District were of the Greystones persuasion. Not at all surprising as the opposition are a divisional side composed of players from a number of clubs which has not yet forged an identity that would be meaningful to the bulk of the individual clubs' adherents. One only has to reflect on the amount of hype and publicity to the building of the Munster, Leinster, Ulster and Connacht brands in rugby to realise how difficult it is for a group team to develop a clublike support base.

Greystones won 1-15 to 0-6 but surprisingly one did not detect any degree of elation in the post-match analyses by their fans. In fact the mood among them would most aptly be described as sombre. There was general agreement in the departing crowd that it had not been a great game of football and the pessimists went even further and proffered the view that Éire Óg, despite the fact of their having had a comfortable win, hadn't the substance to challenge a team of any quality. And this so soon after the same team had given Baltinglass a hell of a fright in the previous round and had elicited from the pundits, on the basis of its performance, the opinion that it had the potential to pose a serious obstacle to the ambitions of any of the teams remaining in the championship. Surely the team hadn't deteriorated in the interim to the extent claimed by these critics. Others amongst the Greystones supporters who, while accepting that it had not been an inspiring hour's football, found satisfaction in the cliché “a win is a win, is a win” and that Na Clocha Liatha was still in the championship.

One is advised that to carry away the best memories from a celebration one should leave when the enjoyment is at its highest. The same idea, without the option of timing, carries over into sporting events. Thus the feelings one takes away are largely based on its latter stages and if these lack excitement etc. spectators will be less than enthusiastic in their judgement of the contest.

Last Saturday's game did not have a great number of high points and those that there were, were mostly in the 1st half which was closely contested (Éire Óg in the lead at the break, 0-6 to 0-4) and gave little indication that the 2nd period would be so one sided. It does not require great insight to deduce from the final score that in its concluding stages the proceedings would not have sent pulses racing and would have an air of inevitability about them. So the negativity among the departing crowd was hardly unexpected. The North District had shown in their last 2 games that they were not the pushover that their performance in the opening round had suggested and many commentators had even begun to see them as a possible banana skin for an unwary opposition. The North's combination play was often praiseworthy and reflected well on its management who had been presented with the daunting task of gelling together such a disparate squad. As for the Éire Óg lads they had coped more than adequately with the challenge with which they were presented but perhaps not with the swashbuckling élan that some had expected.

Hopefully they will have learned a lot from the game and will face into the next round in an attitude of “is féidir linn.

COMHGÁIRDEACHAS to the Wicklow u-21 hurlers who had a great victory (2points) over neighbours Kildare in the B Championship on Saturday. Cill Mantáin face Roscommon in the semi-final in a fortnight's time. This was a significant win for the Garden County as Kildare were the holders of the trophy and were the favourites going into the game. Éire Óg had the honour of having 3 players , Anto Byrne, James Cranley and Danny Nolan in the starting 15. Go n-eirí an t-ádh leo an céad lá eile.

Because of this success a question mark hangs over Saturday's Senior Hurling Championship fixture.

COMHBHRÓN The coiste of Éíre Óg extends its sincerest sympathies to Margaret Byrne and to her family on the death of her husband Vincent. Vincent's grandchildren Phelim, Seán ,Anto and Liam play hurling for the club.