Carnew come out on top in battle of the big guns
Carnew 1-13, Glenealy 1-10
Games between the hurlers of Carnew and Glenealy are invariably teak-tough, titanic contests and this Senior championship game at Aughrim at the weekend was no exception.
Results and championship titles switch sides from year to year and on this occasion it was the turn of Carnew to celebrate a tight victory over the defending champions after a game that went right down to the wire.
Twice in the opening half Glenealy drew level with their opponents but at no time did they succeed in getting their nose in front of a Carnew team that displayed the greater hunger, passion, resilience and resolve on this occasion.
Leading by just one point, 1-6 to 15 at the break, Carnew struck out for victory towards the end of the third quarter, with three unanswered points by Don Hyland from two frees and the other from full-forward Joe Murphy in a five-minute spell opening up a four point gap 110 to 1-6, a lead they stoutly defended right to the final whistle with some brilliant stonewall defensive play.
Both teams went into this group game unbeaten but as a result of this win Carnew, with just one match remaining against Arklow Rock Parnells, are in pole position to lift the league title for 2008 as well as take the automatic position in the championship final.
Carnew posted their fierce intent to turn the tables on the ‘reds’ inside 30 seconds when Joe Murphy had their opening points after taking a pass inside from Don Hyland who emerged as their top scored yet again.
While Leighton Glynn, who lined out at corner-forward for Glenealy, equalised three minutes later from a line ball, it was Carnew who were setting the early pace. Timmy Collins whipped over the lead points after being set up by his midfielder Brian Osborne from the puck-out and they went on to lead by 1-3 to 01 after ten minutes.
Glenealy’s stylish centre-back Trevor McGrath, who showed his class with another fine display, nipped in to make a good clearance from a probing line ball from Timmy Collins; while Carnew’s full-back Emmet O’Sullivan cleared under pressure at the other end, a feature of his gutsy play on many occasions throughout this match.
The Doran brothers, Dermot at wing-back and Gary at wing-forward had huge games for Carnew. In the seventh minute Dermot lofted over a mighty point from 80 metres, with midfielder Brian Osborne the provider once more.
A minute later Don Hyland picked out his centre-forward with an inviting ball across the face of the Glenealy goal and Thomas Kennedy applied the clinical finish when flicking to the net from the edge of the square.
Behind 1-3 to 0-1, Glenealy stepped up their game in the second quarter. Alan Diver scored a great point when on his knees in the sixteenth minute. Two minutes later Carnew’s Joe Murphy made a spectacular aerial catch to set up Thomas Kennedy for an answering point, but it was the ‘reds’ who continued to gain ground.
Jonathan O’Neill pumped a line ball into the left corner for Alan Driver who was fouled on the 20 metre line. Bosco duly obliged with a Glenealy point from the free – one of his trademarks in most matches. Leighton Glynn tacked on another point before linking up with Jonathan O’Neill to hammer home a goal that brought the sides level on 30 minutes at 1-5 apiece.
Carnew’s Emmett O’Sullivan delivered another of his long-relieving clearances, which was snapped up to supreme predator Don Hyland for the lead point for Carnew.
In a last Glenealy assault before half-time, Carnew’s ‘keeper Ted Kennedy brought off a couple of super saves from stinging shots from Leighton Glynn and Jonathan O’Neill, and his full-back Emmett O’Sullivan displayed Herculean defence to keep the men from the Wexford border ahead by 1-6 to 1-5 at half-time.
In the opening five minutes of the second-half Glenealy’s Gavin Byrne exchanged points with Don Hyland and then the ‘ reds’ just missed a chance of a goal in a move involving Bosco O’Neill, Gavin Byrne and Leighton Glynn, a ball from the left finishing wide at the far side.
Between the ninth and fourteenth minutes, Carnew struck out for three unanswered points by Don Hyland from two frees and Joe Murphy to establish a four-point cushion before the end of the third quarter – 1-10 to 1-6 – a lead they resolutely defended right to the end despite the expected rally and fightback by their opponents.
Emmett O’Sullivan lost his hurley but threw himself bodily in the way of a Glenealy opponent taken aim for a point. It worked as the Glenealy man was knocked out of his stroke and the ball went wide. Dermot Doran also got in a great block at the right time, and the result was Glenealy had to work overtime for meagre returns on the scoreboard.
Carnew goalie Ted Kennedy took the sliothar off his goal-line and then made another top drawer save from Alan Driver’s scorching shot.
On 51 minutes Don Hyland stretched Carnew’s lead to five, 1-11 to 1-6, but Glenealy just would not show the white flag of surrender.
Instead Jonathan O’Neill raised four white flags with a point from a penalty and three frees, two of them in injury-time, to keep the result in the melting pot right to the final whistle.
Scorers for Carnew were: Don Hyland (0-5), Thomas Kennedy (1-1), Joe Murphy (0-2), Dermot Doran (02), Timmy Collins, TJ Hennessy and Brian Osborne (0-1 each).
Glenealy scorers: Leighton Glynn (1-2), Jonathan O’Neill (0-6), Alan Driver and Gavin Byrne (0-1 each).