This week's club notes

November 7, 2018

PEIL Tuesday night's one point defeat at the hands of Tinahely in the opening round of the league proved somewhat of a bitter pill to swallow. A draw, nay even a victory, was well within our grasp but we contrived somehow to let the opportunity slip. A recurring problem with Éire Óg teams is the tendency, through a lack of finesse in the tackle, to give away simple frees. Against an excellent freetaker such as the visitors had, this once again proved a costly shortcoming. He scored with almost clockwork precision from a variety of angles and from a wide range of distances. In fact, his skill with the dead ball accounted for the bulk of his team's scores.

A propos, at inter-county level the black card was introduced to remove the emphasis in the tackle from the robust to subtle engagement and sleight of hand. An acquaintance who attended Saturday's match between Cork and Dublin described it as having some delightfully delicate 'steals' as a result.

One took some consolation from the fact that the team which took to the field was at a remove from its theoretical strength. In particular 3 of its key players, being county-squad-tied were not available. Incidentally at least two of last year's group of players, Jack Tanner and Gino Fusciardi have been lost (temporarily we hope) to emigration. We wish them well in their travels. Go n-eirí go geal leo.

The game, which was shot through with early season rawness, by times entertained, excited and frustrated but, in the closeness of its scoring, always held one's interest; the final score was 2-8 (Éire Óg) to 1-12.

Being the team's 1st competitive outing of the season it provided the management with an instructive insight into its functioning which, on Tuesday's evidence, requires a degree of adjusting. Hopefully the lessons learned will lead to a significant improvement in the side's performance on its next outing.

Man of the Match for Éire Óg was young Sammy Thompson who was responsible for 2-2 of our total. His goals were exceptional in their execution. For the 1sthe showed the prescience of a Bernard Brogan in the manner in which he positioned himself, and the build up for the 2nd involved his soloing skilfully along intelligently chosen lines through the defence. Veteran Paul Doherty and not-so-veteran Decky Hogan – all veterans are equal but some veterans are more equal than others – belied the epithet with sustained high energy involvement.

James Leonard, Seánie Horan, Jonathan O'Brien and Daniel Keane were also prominent.

IOMÁINT Our hurlers travelled to Maynooth on Saturday to take on the locals in the 1st round of the Leinster League. The journey proved a fruitful one with Éire Óg registering a convincing 2-15 to 2-8 victory. The win was all the more encouraging in that because of injuries, emigration and work and county commitments only 8 of the starting 15 from the county final were available.

The conditions were anything but conducive to the playing of the sport yet our lads rose above them and produced a very entertaining and effective brand of hurling.

Éire Óg were straight into the action and by the end of the 1st quarter had registered 7 points which, impressively, came from 7 different players. Interestingly the 1st three were scored by Byrnes viz. Phelim, Declan and Anto.

Éire Óg had signalled their intent with a well engineered goal early in the 2nd half. Phelim Byrne reached highest among a forest of stretching hands to grasp the flying sliothar, turned and delivered it with pin-point accuracy to Shane Nolan (Shane really made an impact after changing his boots during half-time!) who dispatched it to the back of the net. This was to be the nail in the Maynooth coffin; thereafter it was clear there was going to be only one winner. Éire Óg's 2ndgoal was anything but “a thing of beauty” with the ball finding its way to the net after a shemozzle in front of the goal.

The young mid-field pair of Anto and Kevin Byrne held the upper hand over their opponents throughout and Peter Keane was a very active attacking half-back. James Cranley chipped in with his usual few scores.

Team: Dan O'Neill, Dan O'Connor (makes a welcome return after a sojourn in the U.S.A.), Ger Whyte, Kristian Flynn, Peter Keane, James Kelly, Andrew Walsh, Anto Byrne, Kevin Byrne, Michael Walsh, Declan Byrne, Martin Joyce, Shane Nolan, Phelim Byrne and James Cranley.