Two very important events are in the pipeline for the coming week, one sporting and one social.The former, Eire Og v Rathnew in the Renault Senior Football Championship in Joule Park at 5p.m. on Sunday has about it, on form to date, the air of lambs being led to the slaughter with the predicted outcome for Eire Og being nothing less than a comprehensive defeat.
However hope springs eternal and going on the drawn match against Kiltegan in the previous round, one expects that Na Clocha Liatha will give Rathnew a better run for their money than is forecast by the pundits.
In am an gatar aithnitear cairde (true friends show solidarity in times of lagging fortunes).Are you a friend?Support for the team during the championship campaign has, to say the least, been discouragingly poor so think about lending them your support for this do-or-die contest.
The latter occasion there are those who might say that the order of priority here is out of kilter! is the marriage of Junior C manager John Wynne on Friday.Everyone in the club extends every good wish to John and his future bride, Aoife, and hopes that they will have a long and happy life together.Beannacht De orthu beirt agus go raibh saol fada sona acu le cheile.
IOMAINT Ere Og and Carnew faced off in the Dacia Cars Senior Hurling Championship on a recent Saturday evening in the home of St. Pats in Dunbur.A strong wind which favoured Carnew in the 1sthalf blew directly from goal to goal.At the end of the 1stquarter Carnew were 0-8 to 0-0 ahead and so great had been their superiority throughout the field that it seemed that there could be only one outcome, a humiliating defeat for Na Clocha Liatha. During that 15 mins. one got the impression that the Carnew lads could not put a shot astray and while the wind did not help the Eire Og cause the responsibility for the yawning scoring gap could not be placed solely at its door.Over the period our lads seemed to have been invaded by a lethargy which prevented them from becoming fully engaged and this had allowed the opposition forwards to shoot at will.A glimmer of hope appeared a few mins. into the 2ndquarter when Chester slotted over a point from a free.This injected a modicum of energy into his colleagues and they upped their game significantly.Greystones were thrown a lifeline when Andrew Walsh got in for a goal just before the break to leave the score at half-time, 0-14 to 1-4.
The momentum that Eire Og had gained in the final minutes of the opening half continued its build-up into the 2ndand after 10 minutes they had reduced the deficit to just 2 points, thanks to 4 unanswered points (Pooch 0-2, Chester 0-1 all from frees and a point from play by Andrew Walsh).In the next 10 mins. neither team gained further advantage on the scoreboard.Then disaster struck for the seasiders when county player Peter Keane received a questionable red card.One has always contended that refs must judge the act, not its apparent (often exaggerated by theatricals) consequences.Peter jumped over 2 Carnew players, maybe a bit over-enthusiastically, but in a totally honest effort to catch the sliothar and knocked over a Carnew player.As a result some of the steam was knocked out of the Eire Og drive.Nevertheless they fought gallantly to the end and had Carnew on the rack for the last few minutes.Final score, Carnew 0-18, Eire Og 1-13.
The Eire Og senior footballers garnered their 1stpoint in the Arklow Bay Hotel Senior Championship In Arklow on Saturday when they drew with Kiltegan.The consensus after the game was that the outcome held little value for either team.For Kiltegan who were already on 4 points the draw placed a doubt on their qualifying for the play-off stages and as for the Eire Og team, it left its chance of maintaining its status on a nanometre knife-edge.
Our lads are left facing down the Rathnew gun barrel in their final critical game.
Our Junior C footballers recently played host to their counterparts from Blessington in a 3rdround game in the Arklow Bay Hotel Championship. The game ended in a draw, 2-11 apiece.While Eire Og in the end were lucky Blessington had the initiative when Eddie Leonard blew the final whistle to come away with a point, our lads should never have been in such a precarious position. They were the dominant team for most of the game but their poor return on shots on goal (20 wides over the 60 minutes) almost led to their downfall. As can be gathered from the final score, massed defences were absent from the exchanges. Instead spectators were treated to an enjoyable game of football in which the liathroid travelled throughout from end to end of the pitch with little lateral deviation. The first half was largely owned by the locals and proceedings left a distinct impression of their having a comfortable victory. After around 20 mins na Clocha Liatha were 0-6 to 0-2 ahead and by the break had increased their advantage to 5 points, 0-9 to 0-4. The expectation of an outcome favourable to Eire Og took on the appearance of certainty when early in the second half Gary Elliot found the back of the net.
However, about the 45 minute mark the game started to go the visitors way was it that the ravages of time were taking a toll on our veterans legs and local hopes received a severe dent a few minutes later when Blessington scored 2 goals in a 2 minute period. Shortly after that they went 2 points ahead and suddenly the outlook for Greystones took on an aspect of gloom. At that point the Eire Og account was brought back into the black by a poacher turned gamekeeper. Former senior defender Eoin ONeill was sprung from the bench and the seat he had vacated had scarcely cooled when after a clever jinking run he sent a ground-hugging shot to the corner of the net. Blessington fought back strongly and in the last excruciatingly exciting minutes added the 2 points needed to draw the game.
PEILNAMBANIt is not yet September and the season has practically ended for peil na mban in the county.There is definitely a strong argument for playing the early rounds of the underage championships before the school holidays and the remaining rounds when the cailin have returned to school.A case in point would be our u-12 girls squad which has a panel in the region of 30 but i rith an tsamhraidh Seamus Ahern was, on a number of occasions, at his wits end trying to assemble 15.For one round he had only 13 at his disposal and but for the opposition sportingly agreeing to play 13-a-side he would have had to concede.Also in the haste to finish the u-16 championship ar gcailini were forced to play the semi-final and the final of the championship within a 5-day time frame.
Thus on Tuesday of last week they defeated Baltinglass 7-6 to 2-7 at home to reach the final which they lost on Sunday to the same opposition 2-1 to 5-8 in Ballinakill.How did such a turnabout in fortunes occur?Misfortune beset Eire Og on the Sunday.The team was not at full strength and was further weakened during the match.Three 1stteam players were unavailable and 2 of the better players, Jayne Merren and Kerry-Anne Hamilton who scored 3-4 on the Tuesday had to retire early in the game.
However Baltinglass is a fine footballing side and was at the top of its game on Sunday so it is doubtful that even with a full panel Eire Ogwould have won.
U-14s:Our u-14s defeated Carnew last week, 3-6 to 3-4, in an exciting and very enjoyable game.They had been beaten in a previous round by St. Nicks and as a result failed to reach the final.
U-12s:This group exceeded all expectations in both performance and numbers.Initially the mentors had difficulty in putting together a team but by md-season the panel had grown to around 30.Recently they defeated Carnew, 5-4 to 3-6, but last week they were put to the sword, 2-5 to 2-3, by Blessington.As a result of this defeat they didnt qualify for the final.
PEILThe Junior Cs passage to last Thursdays quarter final game against Annacurra in the Arklow Bay Championship which was played in Ballinakill could not be described as smooth.They were heading into the game on the back of a draw against Blessington and a loss against Donard which was headlined in the Bray People as Donard run riot against Eire Og.
However these setbacks did not seem to have dented the lads confidence as they started the game in whirlwind fashion and had stamped their authority on it by the 10 min. mark when they led 1-6 to no score.They continued in the driving seat from then to the end of the game.The teams performance deserved a headline akin to that above for Donard.
A great team performance overall in which the contributions of Willie OHagan, Luke Bradley, Gary Elliott and Brandon Byrne deserve special mention.
Scorers: Gary Elliott (1-03), Ciarn McDonald (1-0), Brian OSullivan (1-0), Luke Bradley (0-9), Brandon Byrne (0-5), Kurt Stark (0-2) and Eoin ONeill, James Smullen, Sen Minogue (0-1) each.