U13 ‘A’ FOOTBALL FINAL
Éire Óg Greystones took the plaudits in the under-13 ‘A’ football championship final of 2020 after a tough battle with Blessington in beautiful conditions for football in Ballinakill on Sunday afternoon last.
The old saying goals win matches was to the fore in this feisty encounter from the off. Both teams provided a humdinger, but it was the East coast side who withstood a late flourish from the West outfit to secure the victory.
A goal bound shot from Ronan Smyth was brilliantly saved by the Greystone’s net-minder Daragh Keogh in the opening minute to thwart Blessington in what was a bright start to the game.
Conor Keogh got Éire Óg on the board with a point from a placed ball after Rian O’Gorman was fouled. Éire Óg’s interlinking forwards were causing plenty of havoc in the Blessington rearquard in an open affair and Miguel Ramirez McMahan landed the opening major of the game in the fourth minute after a great passage of play.
Pat Murray then had a chance of an instant reply for the westerners but dragged his goal chance wide in the next attack. However, Murray did get on the board with a well taken point to register Blessington’s opening score of the game in the ninth minute.
Greystones replied with a second major, as the lively Cael McCloskey lobbed the keeper in the next attack. Things could have been worse for the west side only for Oisin O’Connell to brilliantly save a piledriver from the boot of Conor Keogh.
Max Kehoe was next to test the Éire Óg keeper, again Daragh Keogh was in top form, saving low down to deny Blessington again.
Aaron Mulhall pointed from a free after a foul from a handball on the ground by an Éire Óg defender.
Ryan Ovenden harvested Greystones’ third major with a dashing solo run through the Blessington rearguard just before the Hollywood official signaled the first water-break, as the score read 3-1 to 0-2.
Cael McCloskey and Caelann O’Callaghan were exerting a greater influence in the Éire Óg attack, with McCloskey pointing from a placed ball and Corey O’Brien splitting the uprights from a 45.
A powerful run by Patrick Small ended with the westerners third point, however they could not bag that badly needed goal as, again, Daragh Keogh came to the rescue, denying Aaron Mulhall a certain goal.
James Phibbs cut the deficit with a point for Blessington, however Éire Óg responded in blistering fashion: Corey O’Brien rifled home another major before Cael McCloskey added another to stun Blessington just before the half-time whistle sounded with the score reading 5-3 to 0-4 at the interval.
Blessington must have got one hell of a dressing down talk during the break, they came out and hit the ground running on the restart. James Phibbs fired over an inspirational point before Mulhall landed another from a placed ball as the Blues took the game to their opponents.
Again, Keogh denied a Harry Wilson shot from finding the target as the Blessington mentors cursed their luck. Another Blessington point followed, and then their first goal duly arrived, Patrick Murray this time shot low to the back of the net, a huge tonic for the westerners.
A brace of Éire Óg points slowed down the Blessington momentum somewhat, as the second half water-break was called, as the score now read 5-5 to 1-8. Another pointed free from James Phibbs cut into the deficit, but back came Éire Óg with a brace of points to steady the ship.
Blessington rallied in the closing stages adding another brace of points but could not find a way past a brave Éire Óg goalkeeper, as the game closed out.
Chairman of Coiste na nÓg Pat Dunne complimented both teams on an excellent game of football. Pat thanked Owen Doyle who is a tremendous help to Bord na nÓg activities, having pitches available when called upon. He thanked Hugh Kenny for looking after fixtures, the parents and coaches for all their hard work with kids.
He then thanked the Wicklow People for their brilliant coverage and promotion of our games and the Man of the Match awards. Pat then presented Daragh Keogh with his well-merited Man of the Match award before presenting the winning captain, Cael McCloskey, with the trophy to spark of wild celebrations for the Greystones side.
Éire Óg: Darragh Keogh; Corey O’Brien (1-2), Paddy Marrinan; Sean McLaughlin, Sean Lehane, Caelann O’Callaghan (0-2); Cael McCloskey (2-1), Sam Cunningham; Rian O’Gorman, Ryan Ovenden (1-0), Sean Howard (0-1); Miguel Ramirez McMahon (1-0), Conor Keogh (0-1). Subs: Nathan Van Den Bergh, Cillian Goff, Donagh Mellett, Jack O’Neill, Adam Doherty.
U13 ‘C’ PLATE FINAL
This game was played in glorious sunshine in Ashford on Sunday afternoon. The first half while it was low scoring was very competitive with Éire Óg playing towards the road with the aid of the breeze.
An Tóchar took the lead through an excellent Evan Rooney point but Éire Óg were quickly back level with a good score.
However An Tóchar worked hard against the breeze with their backs, led by Joe Wolohan and Leighton Gahan, repelling many Éire Óg attacks. An Tóchar then played some good football out from the back and scored a second point which left them leading at half time by 0-02 to 0-01.
An Tóchar with the breeze at their back were able to get the ball into scoring positions in the second half and out scored Éire Óg by 1-05 to 0-01 in the second half.
Éire Óg enjoyed a lot of possession but found it hard to convert their chances.
They battled all the way to the end with Daniel Cunningham, Dean Barry and Patrick O’Boyle showing up very strongly.
Éire Óg’s wing-back Kraig Neiland was named man of the match after making some storming runs up the field throughout the game.
Fintan Byrne, goalkeeper and captain of An Tóchar, who pulled off some excellent saves during the game, received the trophy on behalf of his team.
An Tóchar: Fintan Byrne; Joe Wolohan, Tadhg Fanning, Tadhg Gilmore; Leo Kavanagh, Leighton Gahan, Tiernan Williams; Evan Rooney, Aaron Walsh; Ryan Healy, Oran Finnerty, Cillian Byrne, Daire McGuirk, Alex Kelly, Joe Keeshan, Enda Leacy, Oisin Donelon, Oscar Nolan
Éire Óg: Conor Keogh; Nathan Corrigan, Cian Donnelly, Kraig Neiland; Dean Barry, Cillian Brady, Fiachra Browne; Danial Cunningham, Callum Clarke Twomey; Louis Atkins, Seán Griffen, Patrick O’Boyle; Ruarí Shaw, Ciarán Darcy, Conor O’Sullivan, Eoin O’Neill, Deaglan O’Neill, Jamie Coyle, Conor Lehane
U15 HURLING PLATE
Éire Óg 6-4
arklow rocks 1-10
Éire Óg Greystones made the successful trip down the M11 on Friday last to take on Arklow Rock Parnells (ARP) in the final of under-15 hurling Plate for 2020. The game was played at the ARP ground, Cemetery Road, on a lovely hurling sod.
Éire Óg got off to a great start and had three goals on the board in the opening seven minutes. The Arklow lads looked like they would be overwhelmed in these early stages but to their credit they steadied the ship and gave as good as they received from here on to the end.
However, Éire Óg had a strong spine down the centre of their team from goalkeeper Mickey Hatton O’Brien, full-back Cathal Kirby, centre-back Tomas O’Connell, Alec Bartak and Joshua Barry at midfield, Seamus Darcy and Callum McCormack in the attack who kept the Rocks defence under pressure throughout that first half.
Joshua Barry scored 2-1, Callum McCormack 2-0, centre-forward Seamus Darcy bagged the fifth goal while Jack Caffrey and Daragh Shanaghan with a point apiece left the visitors leading by 5-3 to 0-4 at the break.
Arklow had begun to get the measure of Éire Óg from mid-way in that first half but they were unable to get the breakthrough for the goal which would lift them. Mylie Connors, Bartley Crummy, Niall O’Donovan, Tiernan Gahan, Jack O’Reilly, Padraig Kelly, Adam O’Leary and Cian Redmond were all prominent in this first half. The ARP points were shared between Tiernan Gahan and Cian Redmond.
Arklow put in a great stint in the second half and more than matched the Éire Óg lads all over the field. However, they were unable to get the break for the goals they needed to reel back in the Greystones lead.
Goalkeeper Mikey Hatton O’Brien was the essence of reliability in the Éire Óg goal while Conor Ryan, Cathal Kirby and Daniel Burns were almost impossible to get past. But the Rocks were playing with great spirit now and had reduced the leeway with a Tiernan Gahan ’65’ and another point from play by the same player when the water break was called.
Éire Óg midfielder Alec Bartak steadied Greystones nerves on the restart when he fired a great shot to the roof of Liam Og Murphy’s net. The goalkeeper had come on as a sub at half-time and was most impressive throughout the second half.
Tiernan Gahan pointed two frees (one from long range) and Bartley Crummey added another point from a free before ARP got the goal they sought all through. Crummey sent a clever free across field to Tiernan Gahan who made progress towards goal and beat O’Brien in the Éire Óg goal with a ground shot off his left.
The Greystones lads responded with a Callum McCormack point to leave his side comfortable winners on a final score of 6-4 to 1-10.
With an interval lead of 14 points, it would be understandable that the Éire Óg tempo might drop back a little, but the Rocks will be pleased that they gave the Greystones lads a good run for their money in the second half. However, the old maxim that goals win matches was never truer than in this game. The ARP goal came too late, and they needed more than one.
The Shield was presented to the Éire Óg captain Conor Ryan by referee Eddie Leonard, on behalf of Bord na nÓg.
Tom Byrne presented the Wicklow People sponsored Man of the Match award to Éire Óg midfielder Alec Bartak.
Éire Óg: Mikey Hatton O’Brien; Conor Ryan, Cathal Kirby, Tom Meyler; Daniel Burns, Tomas O’Connell, Ryan McCormick; Alec Bartak (1-0), Joshua Barry (2-1); Jack Caffrey (0-1), Seamus Darcy (1-0), Charlie Nolan; Max Latham, Callum McCormack (2-1), Dara McGowan. Subs: Dara Shanaghan (0-1) and James O’Dowd.