Adult footballers win: EIRE OG turned in an impressive performance to seal victory in their first league game of the new season when they strangled Avondales challenge under lights in Greystones last Friday night.
Work rate was key to the Eire Og mens victory who welcomed the Rathdrum side to their pitch after the Avondale venue was considered unplayable.
Apart from two goals from the influential Eugene Dunne the first after the experienced Avondale man fired home the rebound from Sean McGraynors early penalty, the second an opportunistic strike from a free with goalkeeper Billy Norman busy retrieving a ball away from his goals in the second half – Eire Ogs appetite and energy was too much for Emmet OSullivans men on the night.
Avondales early 1-01 suggested that Eire Og were in for a difficult night. Cian OFlaherty for the Greystones men off the mark and they gradually got down to work at moving the ball well through the hands and probing for weaknesses in then Avondale defence.
The Greystones men were starting five players under 20 years of age while Avondale were a healthy mix of young and old with the likes of Oisin McGraynor and Ryan Cahill mingling with such seasoned veterans as Barry Sheehan and the aforementioned Eugene Dunne.
James Delahunt popped over Eire Ogs second score of the night either side of two Avondale chances from the boot of Sean McGraynor, the first being gathered by Billy Norman in the Greystones goal and the second coming back off the post after referee John Keenan had played advantage for a foul. The Aughrim official pulled it back for a free but Ryan Cahill went wide from the placed ball.
Super play from Darragh Shiel kicked off a wonderful Eire Og move shortly after. Sheil won a free and the ball was worked to James Delahunt. From here the ball was worked through Shiel again, Craig Smullen, Jamie McDonald before being passed to the marauding Danny Woods who sent and Avondale man sprawling as he thundered down on Brian Burkes goal and the former county man hammered home to the back fo the Avondale net for an excellent team goal to make it 1-02 to 1-01.
Thats how it stayed until the break, with both sides guilty of wides and errors in the bitterly cold night air in Greystones.
Eire Og started the second half very brightly. Fintan OShea screwed over a real treat of a point off his left boot with three minutes gone and this was followed by Daragh Shiel who received a ball from James Delahunt after a poor Brian Burke kick-out. The Greystones men had two wides on the board in that time as well to highlight their total dominance in the opening five minutes of the second period.
Avondale sent in Patrick Kinsella and Jack Manley in a bid to freshen things up and they redeployed Barry Sheehan to the edge of the Eire Og square.
The Greystones men sent in Stephen Kelly at the same time and the county hurler certainly impressed as he sat at centre half-back and mopped up plenty of danger for the remainder of the game.
Points from Daniel Webb and Danny Woods (free) extended the Eire Og lead to 1-06 to 1-01 before Eugene Dunne cheekily fired home from a close in free after spotting that Billy Norman was out of his goal retrieving a stray ball. The Greystones men were livid with referee John Keenan at allowing the free to be taken but the Aughrim official stood his ground and the goal stood.
But it was clear to see that Eire Og were by far the dominant force in this game. Avondale were struggling under the pressure of their tackling and pressing and were having awful trouble scoring.
Another Woods free was followed by a stunning Cian OFlaherty point before Darren Beevor dropped over Avondales first and last point of the second half from a free after 26 minutes.
The hugely impressive Danny Woods added another two frees late on to seal a deserved 1-10 to 2-02 victory for the Eire Og men.
Scorers – Eire Og: Danny Woods 1-04 (3f), Cian OFlaherty 0-02, James Delahunt 0-01, Danny Webb 0-01 (f), Daragh Shiel 0-01, Fintan OShea 0-01.
Avondale: Eugene Dunne 2-00, Darren Beevor 0-01 (f),
Billy Norman; Liam McGuire, Dominic OBrien, Sean Horan; Conall Deeney, Craig Smullen, Fintan OShea; Danny Woods, Pearse Kelly; James Cranley, Jamie McDonald, Daragh Shiel; Cian OFlaherty, Danny Webb, James Delahunt. Subs: Stephen Kelly for Conall Deeney, 24 for J Cranley, Peter Keane for C OFlaherty (inj), Anto Byrne for D Webb