Senior Hurlers in Championship Action

November 7, 2018

SENIOR HURLING:  Pleasant conditions prevailed in Aughrim on Sunday where our senior hurlers took on battle-hardened Carnew in the Dacia Cars Senior Hurling Championship. Unfortunately we lost, 0-13 to 0-10, a result which by general agreement did neither side a grave injustice. While this was a low score for a hurling game it was, for all that, quite an entertaining one. It was competitive and sporting throughout with some very attractive bouts of hurling and with the margin being so tight over the hour it would, at any time, have taken very little to turn the game in either side's favour. Hence any goal mouth contesting was laced with a huge excitement. Eventhough Éire Óg were ahead at the break by 2 points one had the feeling that for a victory they needed to score a goal. As it happened the best scoring opportunities did fall Greystones' way, two in the 1sthalf when the forwards failed to make contact with the sliothar as it bounced tantalisingly in the square and twice in the 2nd half when, through ill-luck, two screamers were inches off target.

The sides were closely matched in terms of possession but overall Carnew held the advantage in the quality of theirs and as a result their players were able to distribute the ball to greater effect. They also used the almost now de rigeur sweeper to great purpose, particularly in the 1st half.

Not too long into the 2nd period when we were just a couple of points behind, Carnew lost one of their players to a red card. This buoyed our hopes but alas and alack the sending off had the opposite outcome to that anticipated – a not uncommon phenomenon in hurling. It had the effect of electrifying the southerners who immediately upgraded the intensity of their engagement and offset any spatial disadvantage from the reduction in numbers by very intelligent movement off the ball and accurate passing. Indeed for the remainder of the game it was hard to tell which team had the extra man.

Carnew had some skilfull and lively forwards who created huge space around the Éire Óg goal which they no doubt hoped that with their speed they could use to their benefit. However any such plan was thwarted by the excellent work of our backs. Daniel Salmon hardly put a foot wrong at full-back and young Seán Hughes topped a very effective curbing of his marker with brave drives out of defence. Stephen Kelly played his usual “lord of all I survey” role at centre-back and Peter Keane dazzled with his skill and athletic running. Shane 'Chunky' Nolan was a powerful force in centre field and Billy Cuddihy used his strength to initiate many Éire Óg attacks. Ben Nolan and Michael Walsh were the pick of the forwards

PEIL NA gCAILÍNÍ Recently our u-14 girls played host to their counterparts from Blessington in the league. They prevailed by the skin of their teeth on the score 6-2 (20pts) to 4-7 (19pts). This was a win which afforded the Éire Óg girls great pleasure as they had lost by the same margin through the concession of a last-minute goal when they had played them in their home patch earlier in the league.

Three goals early on had Éire Óg well ahead and looking like runaway winners on the quarter hour mark. However it is the wont of girls' football that things can change very rapidly and so it was in this match. For the next 15 minutes the visitors dictated the play and led 3-4 to 3-1 at the break. The 2nd half passed in a welter of excitement with now Éire Óg, now Blessington having a slender lead on the scoreboard. And in the event Greystones counted themselves lucky to be the ones ahead at the final whistle.

Ciara McDonnell gave an outstanding display in goals – she saved our bacon on numerous occasions in that nerve-jangling 2nd period. The Éire Óg score was amassed by Aisling Lawrence (2-2), Eimear Fawcett (2-0) and Niamh Hanrahan (2-0). Victory was very much fashioned on a solid backbone comprising Andrea Hanlon, Eva Roche, Frances Dallaghan, Ava Megannety, Ella Horgan and Kerri Williams.