Club news 31 August 2020

Senior hurling: Anthony Byrne’s heroic goal deep into injury-time provided the three-point swing that was needed as Eire Og produced a stunning second-half display to come from behind and steal Glenealy’s place in the semi-finals of the Wicklow senior hurling championship.
Glenealy seemed to have the game well in-hand, with substitute Thomas Doyle getting a goal to send them into the half-time break 1-10 to 1-5 to the good.
However, a positional and tactical rejig at the interval turned the game on its head, as a second goal of the day for Leon Browne, a clinical showing from Shaun Cranley, and that frantic Anthony Byrne major four minutes into additional time sealed the deal for Greystones.
Awaiting the winners of Sunday’s contest was a meeting with Carnew Emmet’s in the semi-finals.
While Bray Emmets beat Avondale – who were without any points in the campaign thus far – to seal first place, Eire Og needed a minor miracle to leapfrog Glenealy, who had maintained a 100% record up to this point.
In truth, Glenealy were the quickest out of the blocks on a sunny early afternoon in Aughrim. Scores from Danny Staunton, Gavin Weir (three), and two stunning efforts from half-way and beyond from Gary Byrne had them in a comfortable 0-6 to 0-1 advantage inside the first ten minutes.
Eire Og gave themselves a lifeline through Leon Browne’s first goal of the day, gathering a long puck-out before smashing the ball into the back of the net off the underside of the crossbar.
Glenealy remained in the ascendancy but were unable to find the scores to reflect such. They were finding joy when switching the ball quickly across the pitch, however, with Danny Staunton and Gavin Weir stroking over to take advantage of that quick change in play.
Three minutes into injury-time at the end of the half, and with the game delicately poised at 0-10 to 1-5 in the favour of the 16-time champions, Davy Morris’ men got the goal that their opening half superiority warranted.
Gary Hughes, quiet up until this point, played a nice ball inside the right shoulder of Kristan Flynn.
There, lurking on the outskirts of the square, was Thomas Doyle, who, having been brought in for James Byrne earlier in the half, made no mistake in putting the ball beyond Daniel O’Neill to give the Glens a 1-10 to 1-5 lead at the break.
Morris will have been happy with the way his men had dictated the tempo of proceedings and had enjoyed the majority of the possession and territory. However, this was not reflected on the scoreboard.
Sensing that the chance was there for Greystones, manager Eamonn Scallan introduced Gavin Parslow at half-time, while also deploying the big man Andrew Walsh into full-forward to play the role of target man.
This added emphasis on physicality and aggression proved dividends as Eire Og flipped the game on its head.
After Weir inexplicably sent a free wide of the upright directly from the throw-in, Eire Og got going, with the increasingly influential Shaun Cranley notching four early scores to build on his namesake James’ other effort to draw the game level.
Gavin Weir finally got his side’s first score of the half from a free, only for it to be answered by a monstrous effort from Shaun Cranley from his own 65-metre line.
Eire Og were hassling and battling Glenealy all over the pitch and were the side well on top of proceedings.
Shaun Cranley put them in front with a free with just six minutes to play, but they needed a lot more to flip the points differential in their favour. What unfolded in the final five minutes was nothing short of extraordinary.
With five minutes left, Gary Hughes collected possession on their 21-metre line.
He then cut across two Eire Og defenders before directing an effort on goal which evaded Daniel O’Neill and found the back of the net to make it 2-11 to 1-12.
Eire Og responded spectacularly, however. Just two minutes later, with three minutes left to play. Substitute Mick Arrigan broke a sloppy defensive clearance from Glenealy before finding Leon Browne, who produced another good finish into the corner to put Greystones back in front at 2-13 to 2-11.
Danny Staunton got a much-needed point from wide left on the 45′, but it was all Greystones. James Cranley’ shot at goal was parried over the bar, while Anthony Byrne notched a free as the game entered injury-time.
As it stood, Glenealy were going through with a +2 differential, compared to Greystones’ -1. Due to Glenealy, Bray Emmets, and Eire Og each enjoying two wins, head-to-head was out of the question.
Suddenly, four minutes into additional time, Mick Arrigan overturned a deap Glenealy puck-out, before sending the ball long up the middle of the field.
On the edge of the Glenealy square, Andrew Walsh rose highest to claim the ball with a fine catch under pressure. He then swivelled and moved it on to Anto Byrne, who put the ball beyond Jonathan O’Neill in the Glenealy goal to send Eire Og into rapturous celebrations.
With one swing of a hurl, the roles were reversed; Eire Og were going on to the semi-finals to meet Carnew, while Glenealy’s season was over.

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