Weekly Club Notes

November 7, 2018


 The opening round of the football championship is really an anxious time for a team and its followers. With county panellists not being available for league games, performances in this competition give little guidance as to form in the championship which is all about pride and passion. So the Éire Óg followers' nerves were tingling a little as they waited for the throw-in in their 1st round game against Avondale in Arklow on Sunday.

It was not long into the game, however, until those nerves were steadied with an injection of a point from Sam Thompson and a well taken goal from the boot of county player, Darren Hayden. The Éire Óg onslaught continued with the addition of another goal from Sam and 2 further points to leave the score after 10 minutes 2-3 to 0-1. Done and dusted? Far from it! Avondale to their credit fought back with determination and matched us score for score thereafter and but for the cushion of those 2 early goals, the outcome might have been another story.

Early in the 2nd half Avondale had cut the Éire Óg lead to 5 points and were threatening to reduce it further when another goal from Sam Thompson more or less secured the win.

This was a match which was a good advert for football in Cill Mantáin, and a neutral (unlikely many of those were present considering that cead isteach was 10 euro) would have enjoyed the constructive end to end football, some terrific scoring from play including a particularly majestic point from Darren Hayden, frees, unstinting commitment and excellent sportsmanship.

Éire Óg won 3-14 to2-8 but victory did not come without cost as the Junior As were left bewailing the loss of a slew of their players.

The team statistician, Eoin O'Neill, furnished the notes with the following interesting data: Éire Óg received no free in the 1st half and were awarded only 2 in the second period. The referee did allow the advantage on 4 or 5 occasions which resulted in 3 points and a '45'. The opposition were awarded at least 12 frees.

A first rate team performance with every man pulling his weight was the assessment of a very pleased Éire Óg following after the game. Darren Quigley did very well in goals and his accurate and long kick-outs worked greatly to Éire Óg's benefit. The full-back line of Karl Manahan who impressed with the timing of his fielding and his off-the-ball running, James Kelly who did excellently against a very strong opponent and young Matt Maguire who showed great maturity, were solid in their defence.

The half line of Willie O'Hagan who cleverly worked himself consistently into splendid isolation on the wing and whose high decibel calling ensured that he was instrumental on many occasions in turning defence into attack, Stephen Kelly whose deceptive nonchalance on the ball had one, at times, burying one's face in one's hands and Seán Horan who was key to many of the team's attacking movements, was the rock on which many an Avondale attack foundered.

At centre field Daniel Woods made some spectacular solo excursions and James Leonard treated us to some superb fielding.

The hard working half-forward line accumulated a score of 1-6; Darren Hayden in the centre led by example, a reinvigorated Conor Monaghan distributed with intelligence and Craig Smullen was comfortable in his new role as a forward.

The full-forward line certainly earned its keep with right corner forward Sam Thompson notching a formidable 2-2, newly promoted full forward Daniel Webb knocking over 3 points and Peter Keane who was unfortunately forced to leave the field as a result of an unorthodox and vigorous challenge scored 2 points. Éire Óg fans were somewhat perplexed in that a free was not awarded considering a strong but perfectly legitimate shoulder to shoulder tackle had earlier been adjudged to be a foul.