AN TOCHAR clinched the under-13 A football crown after a
fierce battle with a brave Eire Og side in Ballinakill on Saturday afternoon
Star of the show was midfielder Eanna Nolan who finished
with 1-7 to his credit (1-6 from frees) as he tormented the Eire Og defence
from the midfield and later the full-forward position.
A powerful start to the second half for the Roundwood side
was key as they moved from level terms at 1-5 to 2-2 to 2-10 to 2-2 by the 51st
minute when Eire Og would eventually end a fatal scoring drought during which
time they would see two goals ruled out by referee Pat Hickey which left their
players, management and supporters irate on the sideline and would prove
devastating to their chances in this clash.
An Tochar started the brighter with an early 1-3 getting up
and running after points from Brian Medlycott, Eanna Nolan and Joe Heatly and a
goal from Josh Healy that floated all the way to the top corner of the net.
An early yellow card for Eanna Nolan caused some concern for
the An Tochar management but the physically strong youngster kept himself out
of any major trouble for the remainder of the game.
Eire Og showed impressive courage and resilience by bouncing
back impressively from the early blitz from An Tochar with Ryan Ovenden firing
home sweetly before Nolan pointed a free at the other end. That should have
been the Greystones sides second goal of the game but their first was ruled
It was all Eire Og now. Cael McCloskey toe-poked home a
major to the bottom corner and Darragh Shanahan dropped over a fine point that
could easily have been a goal to leave it 2-1 to 1-4 after 23 minutes of a very
The Greystones side took the lead after 25 through Oisin
Murphy and their siege of the An Tochar defence should have resulted in more
scores but Conor McGuirk was in fine form in goals and he pulled off a super
save from Oisin Murphy.
An Eanna Nolan free sent the sides in level at the break,
1-5 to 2-2 with it all to play for in the second half.
Nolan had a green flag waving in the opening moments of the
second half when his free kick curled into the top corner of Gavin Lincolns net
and from here, they began opening up a gap that Eire Og would struggle to
A key moment for the Kevin Healys side was Oisin Murphys goal was ruled out by referee Pat Hickey and a free out awarded to An Tochar. A major here would have given the Greystones men a massive foothold in the second half. However, rather than the gap closing, it widened considerably with points from Joe Heatly, (2), and Eanna Nolan before Daniel Connerty stopped the rot after 51 minutes.
Frees were swapped between Oisin Murphy and Eanna Nolan to
leave seven between the sides and although an Oisin Murphy point and a fine
Cael McCloskey goal closed the gap to three points a stunning Eanna Nolan point
pushed it back out to four and that was how it would stay until the final
For Eire Og, Daniel Burns and Oisin Murphy were excellent,
followed by Daniel Connerty. The switching of Jack Caffrey to the defence was a
very positive move for Eire Og while the performance of Daniel Burns on Eanna
Nolan in the second half was very impressive.