SENIOR FOOTBALL: COMING into this game, ire g led their group after defeating Annacurra in the opening round and faced Avondale in the knowledge that a victory would represent a major step towards sealing top spot.
The Greystones men started at a frantic pace, with Darren Hayden in particular finding oceans of space in behind the Avondale half-back line on several occasions.
While ire g raced into a two point lead through Hayden and the impressive Daniel Keane, it could have been so much better as two goal chances went abegging.
With ire g seemingly on the cusp of pulling further ahead, Avondale suddenly came to life. Deep in the opposition half with Eire Og back in numbers, Avondale put together one of the moves of the season to raise a green flag. Showing impressive patience, the ball was worked in and out, over and back before an incisive run from Ryan Cahill split the Eire Og defence in two.
Cahill passed across the goal to find Seamus McGraynor who dispatched to the net with ease.
While McGraynors goal was a simple finish, there was nothing easy about his next score moments later. From the narrowest of angles on the wrong side for a right footer, McGraynor made a mockery of Father Time by slotting over a point that wouldnt look out of place on any stage.
Suddenly the momentum was with Avondale and they began to find more scoring opportunities. A high ball in from Barry Sheehan fell for Cahill who slotted a point before Dean Gahan drilled over from distance.
Enda King responded twice for his side but ire g were struggling to gain any meaningful possession in the opposition half owing to a combination of sloppy hands when receiving the ball and an apparent unwillingness to play to full-forward Billy Normans strengths by sending high balls into the edge of the square.
When such a pass did come in, it was Darren Hayden who found himself the target and the county star did well to bat the ball goalward, forcing goalkeeper Brian Burke into a fine instinctive save. However, Burke was unfortunate to see the ball end up in the net when Billy Norman bravely dove for the ball and punched it just inside the post as it drifted across goal.
They say the next score after a goal is crucial, with a point for the conceding team often seen as a sign that they will not let the heads drop.
Avondale had no interest in a point. Going straight up the field form the kickout, Cian O Hannain came into the possession in the square surrounded by a crowd of bodies. Somewhere in the thick of the scrum, a foul occurred as O Hannain tried to play the ball across goal to a team-mate and referee Kieron Kenny pointed to the spot for a penalty.
Sean McGraynor proceeded to send ire g netminder Darren Quigley the wrong way and raise a green flag in what was a bitter blow for the Greystones men having just scored a goal of their own mere moments earlier.
Behind going into the second half, ire g started the second half brightly with scores from each of their half-forwards pushing them ahead before Avondale responded through Conor Byrne and Ryan Cahill.
Going into the final quarter, the game was balanced on a knife edge before the ire g management introduced Jamie McDonald.
It is no exaggeration to say this switch changed the game, with McDonald firing his side into the lead with a series of impressive scores. McDonald showed a real poachers instincts throughout his time on the pitch, consistently popping up in the right place at the right time to slot over the bar. The forward would go on to finish the game with four points, all of which came at crucial periods and really killed off the Avondale challenge.
It could have been so much different for Avondale had they converted one of several goal opportunities in the opening stages of the first half but their wasteful shooting came back to haunt them, and in the end ire g won out in relative comfort to solidify their standing at the top of the group table.
A late red card for Peter Keane for a second yellow did little to dampen the mood in the ire g camp after a second successive victory.
JUNIOR A Football: THIS Boom Platform Hire Junior A Football Championship in Rathnew was one that was heavily influenced by a severe wind blowing straight down the pitch.
These conditions meant that the game was always going to be decided by which side could deal with the wind more effectively, both offensively and defensively.
In the end, this turned out to be ire g but the game was very much in the balance for the vast majority of proceedings.
Despite the low scoring on show, this was a truly entertaining match throughout with some ferocious, and fair, hits going in throughout and both teams playing with a real freedom in attack when the opportunity presented itself.
St. Pats played with the breeze at their backs in the opening period but for much of the first half it felt as though this was more of a hindrance to the Wicklow town sides forwards.
Both umpires behind the ire g goal were afforded multiple opportunities to work on their technique for signalling a wide to the referee as St. Pats saw chance after chance drift outside the uprights.
St. Pats spent much of the first half in ire gs half but a combination of poor shot selection and inaccuracy meant they failed to take advantage of their territorial dominance.
ire g had brought Willie OHagan back to play as a sweeper and this proved effective, with many of the St. Pats efforts on goal coming under pressure from one or more ire g defenders.
In fact, it was ire g who opened the scoring when Fintan OShea drilled over from 30 yards.
It could have been even better for ire g moments later when Anto Byrne made a barnstorming run up the middle of the field, rampaging through multiple tackles to create a goal opportunity for himself, only to see his shot roll harmlessly past the far post.
St. Pats drew level midway through the first half through a Hugh Hurnby free before Simon Bouchier sent his side into the lead.
Bouchiers score came off the back of some fine play under pressure in the corner from Adam Cox.
St. Pats did extend their lead before half-time through Jack Kelly but this was as good as it got. Going in at half-time, St. Pats had seen an incredible 11 shots go wide or drop short and one could not help but feel that this would be their downfall come full-time.
However, ire g suffered similar woes in front of goal in the opening stages of the first half.
A series of wides in the opening minutes of the first half cranked up the tension a notch as St. Pats two-point lead continued to remain intact.
However, in their sides hour of need a number of ire g players, including Willie OHagan, stepped up to be counted.
Playing higher up the field in the second half, OHagan nailed a long-range effort to double his sides tally after a surging run forward from Conall Deeney who really enjoyed an excellent game.
Moments later O Hagan was at it again, this time converting a free he had won himself before issuing a roar of encouragement to his team-mates.
James Cranley was beginning to have more and more of an influence on proceedings, cutting out numerous attacks deep in his own half before setting up counters for his side with some superb passing and support running.
OHagan and Pats wing back Colin O Toole traded scores to leave the sides level at 0-05 apiece before Adam Cox saw a goal chance well saved by Conor Browne.
This save would prove crucial as, perhaps in response to seeing their side go three points down, ire g lifted their tempo a notch.
This increased intensity reaped dividends and, with James Cranley the conducting the orchestra, ire g moved into the lead.
A monster effort from David Behan way out on the left wing sent the Greystones men into the lead before the lead was doubled with the score of the day.
Cranley broke out of defence in possession on the right wing and played a perfect pass down the line for Willie OHagan who held up well before hand-passing back to Cranley who had made up significant ground.
The wing forward found Andrew Walsh who switched the play for the marauding Conall Deeney.
Without a moments hesitation, Deeney took aim and stroked the ball over the bar from 40 yards out to cap off a fine performance.
Cranley added a late point for Eire Og to cap off a hard fought victory in what was a genuinely
Ladies football: The conditions in Barndarrig last week for the Eire Og Ladies Championship game against the locals were anything but seasonal : a heavy drizzle driven by quite a strong breeze swept the area.
The pitch has a slope which is closely aligned with the direction of the prevailing winds and when these factors combine, as they often do and as they happened to have on this occasion, they tend to turn matches into games of very contrasting halves.The half-time, 1-10 (Eire Og) to 0-1, and full-time scores, 2-13 (Eire Og) to 2-6, clearly show that this was such a game.There are no plaudits for deducing which team had the wind and topographical advantage in the 1sthalf!
This is the first time for this team to experience the elation of victory in competition.As a result of this win the Eire Og name will be in the draw for the semi-final of the B County Championship.
Scorers: Tracy OHalloran (1-4), Kellie Ryder (1-3), Aoife McTeague (0-3), Kerri-Anne Hamilton, Eva Roche, Ellie ONeill (0-1 each).
Erika Bellamy (goals), Eva Moore (corner-back) and Wendela Zegers (corner-forward) were seen to advantage.