The Ãire Ãg followers in Aughrim on Saturday evening had not expected that it would be like this, that they would have to endure such psychological distress before our senior hurlers had ensured victory in their third round Dacia Cars championship game against Avondale. By virtue of this win the team has more or less booked its place in the semi-final. The teams’ histories in the competition prior to the game created the impression that Greystones held a distinct advantage over Avondale and that defeat was an unlikely outcome. So the Ãire Ãg supporters were looking forward to a fairly stress-free evening of spectating. However it was not long into the match until this illusion was dispelled and nails began to be chewed in anxiety. The bright evening sun shone mercilessly into the Avondale goalie’s eyes in the first half but this had proven to be of no benefit to Ãire Ãg. The thought that Avondale might make better use of this advantage in the second period made our one goal half-time lead look worryingly inadequate and had us praying that a cloud would cover the sun. Our prayers were answered soon enough into the 30 minutes but this did not prevent our leaking 3 goals in that time.
For the early stages of the first half, thanks to 2 well-taken goals from Hughie O’Neill, Ãire Ãg were motoring nicely and the game seemed to be going their way. Then suddenly Avondale manufactured a goal out of nowhere and the contest took on a different aspect and our lads had to battle hard to be in front by 3 points at the break (2-7 to 1-7).
Within 14 minutes of the interval Avondale had added 2-1 to their total while Ãire Ãg were only able to garner a single point in that period. This left the score 3-8 to 2-8 and had the Greystones position looking extremely precarious. At this point an astute change was made to the Ãire Ãg team viz Daniel Salmon was moved to full-forward and Jack Tanner took up his position in the half-back line. This, in hindsight, is seen as the single most important factor leading to the winning of the game. 2 excellent points from frees by James âPoochâ Cranley and Anto Byrne together with a point on the run by Jack Tanner followed. Yet there was still no feeling of being out of the woods among the Greystones fans. This came only when Daniel Salmon, after a determined solo along the left sideline, sent a pile-driver to the corner of the net. The excitement did not end there. Further drama followed- an Avondale goal and rally. However their tally-ho of pursuit was cut short very soon afterwards by another goal from Daniel. Then to our relief the final whistle sounded.
Scorers: Hughie O’Neill (2-1), Daniel Salmon (2-0), James Cranley (0-6, 4f), Anto Byrne (0-3, 2f), Micheal Walsh (0-2), Jack Tanner (0-2), Danny Nolan (0-1) and Ger White (0-1)
COMHGAIRDEACHAS to Lorna Fusciardi and Laurie Ahern who were part of the FoxCab team which won the Dublin Senior Championship. Well done ladies!
And congratulations to SeÃ¡n Byrne on his recent marriage to Samantha Bales. Saol fada sona dÃ³ibh beirt!