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Éire Óg Greystones GAA Club Notes
COMHGÁIRDEACHAS to the County Seniors on being promoted to Division 3 and to our own Darren Hayden who contributed 1-1 of the Wicklow total. The Wicklow teams immediate award is a game against the Dubs at home on Wednesday18th. Parents are informed that all club activities including registration (postponed to Weds 25th April, 6.45 to 7.30pm) have been cancelled to accommodate the fixture.
Our congratulations also go to Caoilfhionn Deeney who has been chosen Greystones Sports Person of the Year for 2011. She follows in the footsteps of dual county player Stephen Chester Kelly who received the accolade for 2010.
SENIOR FOOTBALL As one reflected on the League Division 1 game against Annacurra that one had just watched, one concluded it is nigh on impossible to do justice to the proceedings of either a Gaelic football or hurling match without resort to a video.
The games are in constant flux with cameo on cameo of skill and athleticism which, on recall, will have dulled into a blur of confusion and structured movements are often effected at such speed that they have the bewilderment of a flashing countryside viewed from a high-speed train.
The throw-in was prelude to a game of end-to-end football played at a blistering pace. From the beginning both teams played with style and, overall, spectators could have had no complaints about the quality of the entertainment.
Éire Óg had come to the game buoyed up by a self-confidence-boosting performance against a never other than formidable Rathnew while Annacurra were smarting from a thoroughly unpalatable defeat against Blessington.
The immediate history seemed to have induced a sense of complacency in the Éire Óg players. Their football in the early period had the look of exhibition about it plenty of lovely attacking movements melding the identity of backs and forwards but all too often losing their promise in an over-elaboration born of a reluctance among the players to give it a go. It was fully 15 minutes into the match before the locals awoke to the fact that they had a game on their hands and that Annacurra had come to Na Clocha Liatha with the intention of making up for that most disappointing defeat against Blessington. It took the influential centre-back, Justin OBrien to set the headline for the forwards. He rifled over from 30 metres on the quarter hour. Thereafter the Éire Óg play became more score-focussed but we were still failing to put daylight between us and our persistently tenacious visitors on the scoreboard.
Then came the goal which, as later events showed, was the key to our victory. And what a goal! Scored by an on-fire Jamie McDonald and fully deserving of the epithet sublime. Jamie collected an accurately executed pass from Karl Manahan and, with a poly-articulated movement of his body, slithered his way past a number of backs to send the ball with the most delicate of strikes to the top right-hand corner of the net from 10m out. A score worth travelling a distance to behold and a delight for his grandfather Jimmy OToole watching on the sideline. Jamie added 6 points all of which had the same beauty of execution.
Another Éire Óg movement which sent pulses racing involved corner-back Jack Tanner. Jack, in disrupting an Annacurra attack, got possession a few metres from the corner flag. After one-twos with John Deeney and James Leonard he had progressed to the 40. At that point he ignited the after burners and took off on a 90m run leaving despairing Annacurra players floundering in his wake. His break crafted space around the visitors goal where Éire Óg forwards stood in wait. Jack cleverly off-loaded in their direction, an unfriendly bounce took the ball out of their reach. A cruel ending to a superb effort.
PEIL NA MBAN Our senior ladies have reached the finals of the league by virtue of victories over Arklow, Valleymount and Baltinglass. They lost to Bray Emmets and to county champions Tinahely. Tinahely headed the table with 5 out of 5 but some unexpected results in the final rounds propelled Éire Óg into 2nd place.
The match against Baltinglass was probably the game from which the management and supporters derived greatest satisfaction. The teams were well matched and play alternated between ends in short time-spans with scoring opportunities being more or less evenly distributed. The Éire Óg girls, however, made better use of their chances and carried the day with a little to spare.
Fiona Mernagh was virtually unbeatable at full-back and Lorna Fusciardi, while nominally at centre-back, had a crucial presence in most of the action around the middle third. Where does she get the energy?!! Laurie Aherns skills were shown to good effect at centre-forward in the 1st half and at wing back in the 2nd. Niamh Kelly at corner-back and Emily Hanney in the forwards also made significant contributions.
A very pleasing feature of the game was the improved maturity of our ladies play, kick passes slipped cleverly along the ground in tight situations, more accurate off-loading and an ability to change the direction of play with intelligent cross-field deliveries.
Four of the clubs ladies, Erin Horan, Elena Fusciardi, Maedhbh Deeney and Sinéad Kelly were members of the minor team which defeated Wexford. Sinéad is the 4th in her family to have donned the Wicklow jersey.