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Eire Og Greystones Club Notes
NA hÓGÁNAIGH The u-12s travelled to Glenealy to take part in their 1st Go-Games blitz of 2012. The evening was sunny but cold, a cold which certainly made ‘spectating’ at a protracted event like a blitz anything but inviting. Once the games started, however, these discouraging feelings of cold dissipated in the excitement generated by the enthusiastic commitment of the children and their wonderful examples of skill. Those in attendance were treated to some great point scoring, some brilliant sideline taking, spectacular catching and good uncompromising hurling.
The Éire Óg lads played 3 games: Bray Emmets (x2) and Glenealy and it’s not plámás to say that they excelled in them all. Joseph Prendergast put in a sterling performance in the middle and Liam Byrne, Feargal Ó Súilleabháin and Daniel Healy were seen to good effect. Éire Óg scorers on the night were Cillian Keane, Thade Shanahan, Luke Dorgan, Fionn Brauner and Seán McCormack.
On Monday the u-16 footballers had their 1st league outing against Avondale ins Na Clocha Liatha. At juvenile level, each year is unique in that because of changes in personnel, the previous year’s form is seldom a reliable guide to a team’s given season’s potential. One might therefore say that the opening game of a season is somewhat of a blind date.
Monday evening was sunny and bright and had an unseasonal balm about it, a perfect night for football. The lads obviously felt so too because the game was soon in high tempo mode and its pace scarcely relented over the hour. In the 1st quarter scoring exchanges were even but after that Avondale began to edge ahead and had built up a 5 point lead (3-3 to 1-4) by the break. In the 2nd half both sets of forwards were on top and had the opposing defences seriously stretched. This resulted in a profusion of scores.
While Éire Óg never succeeded in wiping out the Avondale lead, the constant contracting and expanding of the scoring gap generated great excitement and earned the game the description of “a high scoring thriller”. The final score was 5-7 to 6-10. Micky Ryan was the pick of the defence and Seán Hughes worked hard at centre-field. Cillian Griffin, Niall Deenay and Bernard were the pick of an excellent forward division.
SENIOR LEAGUE It would be hard to write an account of our seniors’ game against Bray Emmets in Bray last Tuesday without resort to words related to “disappointment”, “egregiousness” and “inexplicability”. We were disappointed of course in losing but our disappointment extended way beyond that. In fact it was greatly superseded in the downcasting stakes by the frustratingly unimaginative and loss-accepting manner of their play in the last 20 minutes. Up to this encounter the team had played with quite a bit of style and a growing confidence so we are hoping that Tuesday’s performance is only a blip on the progress curve and is truly egregious and out of character.
Early on in the game all occasion seemed to inform for us. After 15 minutes our prospects looked good, we were 1-3 to 0-1 ahead, thanks to a brilliant Lorcan Treanor save. At that point we seemed to have received a further enhancement when an Emmets player received a red card.
However, the effect was opposite! It was Emmets who benefited from their being reduced to 14 men. The Bray lads became much more determined and the Éire Óg resistance gradually eroded before our eyes and we failed to add to our total before the break (1-3 to 0-4). Things got worse in the 2nd half. Through injury we lost the leadership of captain James Leonard early on but even before that there was an inexplicable deterioration in our play. As the game wore on and as we lost more and more ground our players resorted to the totally misguided tactic of petty fouling which played right into the opponents’ hands. Their free-taker, Stephen McNichols, was “on song” and ruthlessly (despite reports of his having a romantic attachment among Éire Óg connections!) punished the Éire Óg indiscretions. We lost 1-13 to 1-5.
CLUB AFFAIRS Anyone with a genuine interest in the well-being of the club would surely have taken some heart and a little pride from recent events in our grounds. It would be difficult for that person not to have got a tógáil croí (an uplift) from the sights which would have greeted her/him on last Monday and the previous Thursday (the night of the 1st competitive game on the new juvenile pitch) on visiting the club. A carpark overflowing onto the road, the air echoing to the sound of sliothar on camán and to that of male and female voices as they trained or chased in gay abandon after O’Neill’s No. 5s or No. 4s with not an idle space on the club’s green expanse. Then there was the club’s hosting, at very short notice, of the match between Wicklow and the Dubs on the Wednesday following the county’s promotion to Division 3. The whole affair was handled with a professional efficiency by the club’s stewards and the local gardaí to whom we express a míle buíochas. The game afforded the county team a very useful workout. There are those within the club who claim that this game had more than a little bearing on Saturday’s victory! Seeing at close quarters the wonderful physiques and athleticism on display, re-iterated the excellence of the game for the development of the svelte athlete.