Junior B Men’s Football This game was crucial for both sides as it would decide who would finish at the top of the group. Bray Emmets, previously to this game, had beaten Newtown by 4-13 to 1-5 and they also defeated Kilcoole by 4-5 to 1-6.
Éire Óg had also triumphed against both sides. They managed to amass a total of 48 points against the other two respective teams, but they also conceded 25 points. This in turn gave Emmets a slightly better points difference by only a mere one point.
The group table indicated that this was going to be a tightly contested match and that was largely true throughout the game.
Éire Og started really brightly as corner-forward Daniel Healy found himself through on goal within the opening minute, his effort forced a fantastic save from goalkeeper Jamie Quiney, stopping a shot destined for the back of the net.
Following the save, Bray Emmets opened the score through Johnny Kinch when he popped his shot over the bar from distance.
Right corner-forward Andrew Conway was a thorn in Éire Óg’s side from the beginning. His agility and kick-passing abilities proved a real problem for the defence. He played a significant role in Niall McGraynor’s score, driving the ball up the field on the right-hand side before hand-passing it to McGraynor who took his point brilliantly.
Éire Óg slowly began to get more of a grip on the game after this point. Their forward line of Eoin O’Neill, Niall Deeney and Daniel Healy were instrumental in drawing them back on level terms before half-time, with Healy linking up well with O’Neil as they worked their way up towards the goal. O’Neil proceeded to get his side’s first point of the game. The second score closely followed when Deeney elegantly beat three defenders before passing it to James Delahunty who finished the move by leveling the game.
At half-time, both sides would have felt that they could have been more clinical as they squandered a great many chances.
This all changed in the second half with both teams putting on their shooting boots. In the opening minutes of the second half Johnny Kinch converted a free over the bar with his right foot but Éire Óg quickly struck back with two points of their own, scored by star forwards O’Neill and Deeney.
From this point on it was tit for tat with both sides exchanging scores. Éire Óg’s Conall Deeney was being extremely efficient and accurate when taking his free kicks off the ground, getting two crucial points for his team making the score 0-6 to 0-8 in his team’s favour.
Bray looked like the game was slipping away from their grasp until midfielder Aaron Walsh relentlessly capitalised on a defence error by regaining the ball high up the field before accelerating into the box and blasting the ball into the top right corner past the goalkeeper.
Éire Óg found themselves a single point down in the dying embers of the game with Bray having scored 1-8 and they scored 0-10. The Greystones side managed to maintain possession for a long extensive period of time in the hopes of getting a final chance to level the game. This resulted in Eoin O’Neil receiving the ball on the edge of the box before perfectly setting up Conall Deeney to level the game.
Éire Óg Greystones: Rob Nolan; Luke Prendergast, Conor Nolan, Eoin McHugh; Eoin McTague, Daire Devine, Jack Mockler; Dan Clark, Conall Deeney (0-5); Oisin Shanahan, Luke Bradley, James Delahunty (0-1); Eoin O’Neill (0-4), Niall Deeney, Daniel Healy. Subs: Andy Clark, David Prendergast, Jamie McDonald, Neil Browne, Danny Webb (0-1), Kurt Stark, JP Connolly, Darragh Browne, John O’Toole.