Under 13 football: THE last time these two sides crossed paths, Eire Og had only three points to spare, but on this occasion the Greystones side totally dominated the opening round Wicklow Under-13 Group 3 football championship tie at Bray Emmets on Friday evening.
Fielding 12 of their 13 players who were eligible for the under-12 grade, it was on the cards that the youthful home side would struggle to make a favourable impact in the contest, and from an early stage this proved to be exactly the case.
In terms of almost all facets of the game individual skill, intelligent use of the ball, teamwork and overall understanding Eire Og proved markedly superior to their opponents, and but for some excellent saves by Emmets goalkeeper Leon OConnor the visiting side would have enjoyed an even more comfortable winning margin at the final whistle.
By half-time, the Greystones outfit had built up a significant 2-6 to 1-0 lead, and on the resumption their superiority was even more pronounced, increasing their tally by four goals and nine points, while holding their opponents scoreless in the latter period.
And while Eire Og can now look forward to their involvement in the second round of the Championship, Emmets will have to be content with attempting to make an impact in the Shield competition which caters for first round losers.
Unsurprisingly, Eire Og manager Kevin Healy expressed himself pleased with his sides performance.
Our lads moved the ball well, their passing was slick, and they generally took the best option with regarding to using our possession, he said. But in terms of the game we would have preferred a stiffer contest, and in the past games between ourselves and Bray have been quite close.
However, the important thing is that were in the next round of the Championship. Despite his sides heavy defeat, Emmets manager John Broderick adopted an upbeat approach.
Considering that all but one of the lads will be eligible for under-13 again next year, I thought that they did quite well. They worked hard and never gave up against very tough opposition.
And they can take a lot of credit for that. Just two minutes after referee Con O Ceadaigh had started the game, Eire Og made an impact on the scoreboard when Daniel Connerty fired over the bar, and almost immediately Piaras Healy, the son of the team-manager, lashed the ball to the Bray net.
A minute later, Robert Moore added a point, and on 10 minutes Healy raised his second green flag after Emmets goalkeeper OConnor attempted to clear the ball from the danger area with his foot, leaving the visiting side 2-2 to no score in front.
Over the next eight minutes, this tally was augmented by a brace of points by Robert Moore, and on 25 minutes Daniel Shanahan raised another white flag for Eire Og.
Shortly after this, Emmets made their only impression on the scoreboard when Donnacha O Maolain availed of some hesitancy in the opposing defence to drive the ball past despairing goalkeeper James ODowd.
But the home side failed to build on this score, with Eire Og having the final say in the opening half, Hugh OCarroll landing a point to leave his side holding a nine point advantage at the break. In the first 10 minutes of the second half, Eire Og added 1-3 to their first half total, Charlie Nolan shooting the goal after being set up by Piaras Healy.
Eight minutes later, Charlie Fox supplied the eventual winners fourth goal, and their remaining green flags were raised by Darragh Shanahan and Nathan Donnellan.
Adult ladies football: THE footballers of ire Og and Baltinglass produced a scintillating goal-fest of a championship semi-final in Laragh on Sunday morning that saw 19 green flags raised over the course of the hour.
The result of this game was very much in the balance right up until Eddie Leonards final whistle, but it was an energetic ire Og side inspired by Meadbh Deeney at midfield and Elaine Fusciardi at full-forward that had that little bit extra to seal their place in the Junior county final where they will meet An Tochar after the Roundwood side dispatched AGB in the other semi-final.
This was a fierce battle from the start with the goals flying in from as erly as 30 seconds when Ella Parke grabbed the first of her five-goal haul after a lovely move.
It didnt take long for county star Meadbh Deeney to bring her influence to bear on this game and she rattled off a rapid 1-1 (the point from a free) to propel ire Og into an early lead.
The sides were tied at the break at 5-2 to 5-2, the goals coming for Baltinglass from Ella Parke and Ciara OBrien (three) while for the Greystones side it was Megan Healy, Ciara Doyle, and Meadbh Deeney with two, the last an absolute screamer to the top corner that gave Beibhinn Wilkins no hope whatsoever in the Baltinglass goal.
Baltinglass emerged for the second half full of gusto and tried limiting Meadbh Deeneys impact on the game by assigning the very impressive Kubra Matomni to mark the strong-running midfielder.
Early pressure on Gemma Kielys kick-out gave Ella Parke the chance to goal and she did so with aplomb and things looked really positive for Baltinglass as they found the net twice more to leave it 7-3 to 5-3.
But ire Og fought back. A goal from Rachel Purcell and a pointed free from Deeney brought them right back into it and then Elaina Fusciardi found her shooting boots and began to wreak havoc around the Baltinglass goal, scoring two majors herself and setting up the majority of the rest.
Baltinglass to their credit battled on bravely and continued picking off goals themselves with Hannah McHugh getting in on the act but the west Wicklow side seemed to run out of fuel as ire Og proved stubborn and they held out to progress to the county decider.
Junior C Football: A strong 10-minute period before the break proved to be the foundation on which Tinahely built a fully deserved victory over ire Og Greystones in this Arklow Bay Hotel Junior C Football Championship semi-final in Ballinakill last Thursday.
Two second half goals ultimately killed the Greystones challenge but those 10 minutes where Tinahely went from level pegging at 1-2 to 0-5 to 1-7 to 0-5 left them in no doubt that they had the beating of the north Wicklow men.
The ability to turn defence into meaningful attack was the main difference between the sides. ire Og had plenty of possession but were unable to torment the Tinahely defence in the same way as Damien Cullen, Willie Quaile, David Blake and Austin Brennan were.
Excellent performances from David Dillon, the abrasive Brian Hickey, the busy Ray McGlynn and the resolute Kevin Doyle helped to thwart numerous ire Og attacks and launch forays of their own in yet another convincing performance from this team who now face the men of Kilcoole in the championship decider.
ire Og started very well and looked to have the upper hand in terms of fitness. However, when it came to moving the ball up the field and taking scores the Tinahely men had the aces for the most part.
A lovely score from Shaun Hughes got the Greystones men underway but full-forward David Blake fired over in reply at the other end after a low-scoring opening period. ire Og looked as though they might be able to make Blakes life hard early on but a few moments later he collected a David Dillon ball and rifled it to the top corner of the net to give Tinahely a major boost and a 1-1 to 0-2 lead.
Centre back Willie Hagen wasnt impressed with how easily Tinahely were moving the ball up the field and when it came to the influence Brian Hickey was having on the game he let his colleagues know his feelings on the subject.
Take the man on, hes 40-something, he yelled.
The excellent Willie Quaile made it 1-2 to 0-2 thanks to a Kevin Doyle ball but ire Og enjoyed a really positive spell with points from the energetic Kurt Stark, Niall Deeney and a Shaun Hughes free for a foul which earned Brian Hickey a yellow card.
The rest of the first half belonged to Tinahely. David Blake off the outside of the right boot returned his side to the lead, Damien Culleb added a free before a comedy of stray passing left David Blake in possession in front of the posts and he raised another white flag.
The final score of the second half would come from the combination that provided the platform for this victory for Tinahely. Brian Hickey caught a superb mark, played the ball on to David Blake and the centre forward fired over for a class point to give Tinahely a dominant lead of 1-7 to 0-5.
They continued that dominance in the early stages of the second half by turning over an ire Og move and storming up the field where David Blake hit a screamer. The full-forward might have had a major but for the heroics of Demot Blake who blocked his rocket of a shot.
Damien Cullens performance in this game was noteworthy, especially in the second half and he fired over a bomb off the outside of this left boot to make it 1-9 to 0-5 after 36 minutes.
A strong run through the middle from midfielder Luke Bradley allowed him break the Tinahely dominance with a fine score just before the ire Og manager sent in Daniel Webb to the fray.
A period of poor shooting followed with a number of wides from both sides, but the game was decided in the 47th minute when Willie Quaile blasted home to the back of Fran Chathams goal to make it 2-9 to 0-6.
Damien Cullen drove over another beauty from distance to cement the Tinahely dominance. Shaun Hughes popped over a free at the other end but the Tinahely voracity in attack was expressed in style when David Dillon picked out Damien Cullen and the half-forward topped off a superb performance with a ripper off his trusty left.
ire Og battled hard for the remainder of the game and had fine scores from Gary Elliot, Willie OHagen and a neatly lobbed goal from Cillian McDonald and they would also see a shot wallop the Tinahely crossbar, but their goose was cooked by a very impressive outfit who march on to their second Junior C final in a row.