U 15 boys football: EIRE OG were crowned under-15 A county champions with victory over a St Nicholas team that will rue their missed chances. They kicked nine wides, dropped three shots short and forced Eire Og goalkeeper Sean ONeill into a couple of good saves.
Eire Og never seemed to dominate this game and if possession stats were available they would probably show that St Nicholas had most of the possession. However, Eire Og were far more economical with the ball and took their goals and points when they were presented to run out deserving winners.
They won the midfield battle and always looked like they would cause trouble in the St Nicholas half of the field every time they entered. Their tactics also paid off in huge dividends. In the first half they brought many of their players back outside the St Nicholas 45 and exploited that space created for two of their goals.
Luke Dorgan was positioned as a sweeper and St Nicholas played straight into his hands on far too many occasions, especially in the second half when they were chasing the game and resorting to kicking the ball long rather than more effectively running at the Eire Og defence.
Indeed, much of their good start came from this hard running that Eire Og couldnt handle. Straight from the throw-in, Alan Miley went straight through the defence and stung the hands of Sean ONeill with a fierce shot. Roy Byrne opened the scoring at the other end but St Nicholas came back to lead by five points to two by the 13th minute and were all over Eire Og.
Pick of the scores was Shane Daly taking the ball outside the 45 and taking off like he was late for mass, easing past one defender and dummying another before splitting the posts.
Mickey ORourke scored another that was pure simplicity when he was out in front of his man, played a one-two and popped the ball over the bar.
If the opening 13 minutes were all St Nicholas, the next seven belonged to Eire Og who would go from three points down to five points up.
Cillian Keane kicked over his first and when Brian Keogh took his kick out no player was within 30 metres of his goal. Luke Dorgan won the kick out and the ball was played into the acres of space for Joseph Prendergast to run on to and finish with ease.
He added a well taken point before they scored their second goal similar to the first. Conor Fulham won the kick out uncontested and he played it over the St Nicholas full-back line for Jack Nicholson to score the goal. Whether it was something planned or not Eire Og exploited a St Nicholas defensive frailty.
Both teams added a point to make it 2-05 to 6 but St Nicholas were given a boost before half time when Shane Daly scored a goal. Once again his direct running caused Eire Og a problem though they could legitimately question the number of steps he took. The goal stood however and Eire Og led by 2-05 to 1-06 at half time.
The second half started with a flurry of scores, St Nicholas bringing the game back to a point before Eire Og, courtesy of Roy Byrne, put three between the teams. When Mickey ORourke scored in the 41st minute there were two between the teams, 2-08 to 1-09. Then came a hammer blow for St Nicholas from which they could not recover.
Eoin ONeill made a good run from midfield and lobbed Brian Keogh in the St Nicholas goal with a left footed shot. It is fairly likely ONeill went for a point though he probably wouldnt admit such a thing! The goal caused consternation for St Nicholas and they were lucky to only concede a point from their short kick out which went awry.
They didnt lie down however and let Eire Og run amok, reeling off the next two points to reduce the game to four points, 3-09 to 1-11. They needed to keep up that momentum but instead Eire Og kicked two points to take the wind out of the St Nicholas sails. Missed chances and wayward passes to the Eire Og sweeper Luke Dorgan didnt help matters towards the end.
Eire Og kicked over a couple of late points to win well and usher in the next generation of stars for the north Wicklow club.
Scorers Eire Og: Roy Byrne (4f) 0-05; Joseph Prendergast 1-02; Jack Nicholson 1-01; Eoin ONeill 1-00; Cillian Keane, Toby Owens 0-02 each; Fionn Melia 0-01.
Eire Og: Sean ONeill; Colm Condron, Neill Brown, Daniel Healy; Cillian Keane, Thade Shanahan, Colm Shortt; Eoin ONeill, Gerhard Zdunek; Conor Fulham, Roy Byrne, Cian Hynes; Joseph Prendergast, James Nicholson, LukeDorgan. Subs: Indi Kenny for Cillian Keane (Blood Sub 2-9); Indi Kenny for Colm Shortt (35 mins); Toby Owens for Gerhard Zdunek, Max Scully for Colm Condron (both 41 mins); Fionn Melia; Conor ODonovan for James Nicholson (52 mins).
LADIES MINOR FOOTBALL: The parting knell for our ladies 2017 football sounded on Friday night when our minors were defeated at home in the Minor B Final by a very much more experienced Baltinglass team.The final score, 6-12 to 3-6, taken on its face value suggests as the saying goes there was only one team in it but, in fact, with due respect to the sceptics among you this was far from the case and defeat was fashioned in that crucial 10 minute spell immediately following the break.
Friday, to quote team manager SEamus Ahern, was an evening on which you would have reservations about exposing a milk bottle to the elements.The discomfort caused by the cold cross-field wind was augmented by the rain which fell throughout the game and, to an extent, caused the contest to become somewhat of a lottery.Well intentioned shots became prey to the vagaries of the wind, and those flying off target found their way between the posts.Further the greasy ball led to many handling errors.
Eire Og were very much in the driving seat in the opening period but they failed to press home this advantage and their half-time 1 point lead did scant justice to their dominance. On the run of play they would not at all have been flattered with being 5 or 6 points ahead at this stage.The game took a totally unpredictable turn immediately after the resumption with Baltinglass finding the Eire Og net twice in 5 minutes.They followed with another on the 10 minute mark to more or less take the game beyond r gcailns reach. But nil desperandum; to their credit the Eire Og cailn fought back with commendable spirit and held the opposition on a tight leash from that to the final whistle.Maith sibh a chailn!You did yourselves and your mentors proud.
Getting to this final was, in itself, a huge achievement for the team when one considers that every one of its members is eligible for this grade in 2018 and indeed many will still be minors in 2019.This foireann has also the distinction of the 1stto come through juvenile ranks since Peil na mBan was revived within the club.It emerged from the squad put together by SEamus Ahern and some others in 2011 and has been under SEamus tutelage ever since.
The Eire Og girls had reached the final by virtue of a 5-12 to 2-8 win over An Tochar in Roundwood 3 days previously.Eventhough the competitive season has ended, training for this group continues for as long as climatic conditions remain favourable.
Squad:Erika Bellamy, Iseult Brosnan, Frances Dallaghan, Andrea Hanlon, Sophie Fitzgerald, Megan Healy, Katie Lawless, Eva Magannety, Aoife McTeague, Kerry-Ann Hamilton, Eva Moore, Alice ONeill, Ellie ONeill, Katie OReilly, Megan Maguire, Keeva Potts, Ellen Prendergast, Rachel Purcell, Claudia Randles, Eva Roche, Kate Walker.
TARLNTA EILE:The notes must surely have put themselves in line for the Croix de Guerre from the feminine side in the war of the sexes in sport for having the bravery for this week relegating to 2ndplace the report on the hugely important events which took place on the male front in the club at the weekend.And further for adding insult to the injury suffered by the male egos by classifying the reports under the near dismissive title of other news.
Our seniors, as a result of their defeat to county finalists Blessington on Sunday morning, have lost their Division 1 status in the league.