This Week's Club Notes

November 7, 2018

The big news of the week is that our senior footballers have advanced to the County Senior Championship semi-finals for the first time in the history of the club. They reached this stage on Sunday morning by virtue of an emphatic win over Hollywood in Aughrim. Nature was at its most benign for the game. The green sward was lively and true , the air was scarcely releasing its breath and the surrounds were enhanced in their beauty by a glorious indian-summer sunshine.

Éire Óg's play in the 1st half was rather tentative and their return of only 5 points had as much to do with hesitancy and over-caution as with the pressure applied by the opposition. Outfield the team played some very attractive football during this period and put together some excellent pitch-length passing movements, many of which unfortunately either broke down from over-elaboration or culminated in misdirected efforts. While being palpably the better team during this half Éire Óg could not stamp any degree of authority on the game and went into the break just 1 point ahead, 0-5 to 0-4.

Thirty seconds after the break the teams were on equal terms and for the next 10 minutes the exchanges offered no clear indication as to the outcome. Then came that goal which sent our lads on the road to victory: a cleverly directed ground-hugging ball past the goalkeeper by Daniel Woods at the end of a well executed build-up. This removed the shackles of caution and the team began to play with confidence and élan. Thereafter it was obvious there was going to be only one winner. The icing was put on the cake when Sam Thompson found the net late in the 2nd half.


James Leonard gave a fine exhibition of the art of fielding and this contributed greatly to our having the upper hand in the centre of the field. The team showed a welcome savvy with respect to the breaking ball and Daniel Keane was particularly prominent in its harvesting. In the full-back line Justin O'Brien had an excellent game in the corner, Chester was his reliable self at full-back while Karl Manahan made some spectacular runs out of defence and scored an important point in the 1st half. Craig Smullen was another back who, also in the 1st half, scored a stress-relieving point.

Darren Hayden who was at his athletic best at centre-back was a vital cog in defence and also played a key part in most attacking movements. Maith sibh!




Friday evening last the search for copy for these notes had one wandering down to the Éire Óg grounds. u-12s, u-14s and u-16s regularly train on Friday evenings so one was quite hopeful that one would garner enough data from the mentors on which to base this week's notes. During these training sessions there is only a sparse scatter of cars in the carpark so you can imagine one's surprise at seeing it packed tightly and cars lining the road for 100m on each side of the gate. What, one asked oneself, is going on? A county championship match or some other high profile event which had escaped one's attention?

Not at all. It turned out the the reason for the gathering lay not in such a grand occasion but rather that the club was hosting the latest u-8 and u-10 Go Games blitzes.

One's spirits could not but be lifted at the sight which greeted one's eyes: not an idle patch on either of the playing fields which had been divided into a large number of appropriately sized pitches on which games were simultaneously being played and from which arose the happy cries of children enjoying themselves.

Comhgáirdeachas and a go raibh míle maith agaibh to all involved in the organising of this very successful blitz.


Meanwhile the u-12s were being put through their paces by Maurice Prendergast (a disappointed Mayo man!) and Peter O'Neill in the newly developed juvenile pitch. Here the children were responding with an unusual alacrity and the mentors were in a buoyant mood. And well they might be! They were basking in the glory of the team's triumph over Baltinglass in the League on the previous night – for Éire Óg football followers victory over any Baltinglass at any grade belongs to the category 'famous'.

Each round of the League involves games between two 11-a-side teams – in the interest of ensuring that the maximum number of players have some game time – with the aggregate score deciding the winner. On this occasion the players served up two very competitive and exciting games laced with a high level of the game's skills. Éire Óg lost one of them by a point but in the other claimed victory by a few points and hence were declared the overall winners.