APART from the second quarter Glenealy's hurlers did not scale the heights needed to advance to the second round of the Leinster Club Intermediate hurling championship at Arklow on Sunday.
Led by eagle eyed sharpshooter Stuart Mullen, St. Oliver Plunketts Eoghan Ruadh from Dublin were the sharper and more pacy hurlers that one normally associates with the reds and fully deserved their five points win.
Glenealy were hurling their opponents from behind in the first quarter, their full-back MA O'Neill limped off injured after 12 minutes, were down to 14 men after 23 minutes, and scored only two points in the second half as Mullen drove the Dubliners on to victory with his pinpoint accuracy from frees.
The Dublin club, made up of a team of young hurlers, seemed better able to master the heavy pitch conditions after over night rain, their stick-work and wrist work was much sharper than Glenealy's and they were much faster to the ball.
Defenders Patrick Bergin, Patrick Curtin, Dermot Brennan and company attacked the ball at every opportunity whereas in the opening 15 minutes Glenealy were playing their opponents from behind instead of being out front for the sliothar.
Jonathan O'Neill pulled a long-range free wide of the posts before Stuart Mullen sent Oliver Plunketts into the lead after four minutes with a point from a free. Indeed Mullen was to rack up a hugely impressive total of nine points from frees for the Dubliners, while corner-forward Dillon Bourke was also causing problems for the Glenealy defence.
Wing-forward Shane Bonfil extended the Dubliner's lead before Jonathan O'Neill opened Glenealy's account with a point from a free at the end of 12 frustrating minutes that also saw the injured MA O'Neill having to be replaced by the Intermediate team's full-back Wes Manning.
It was in the second quarter that Glenealy played their best hurling of this encounter.
They began focusing on hurling their own game, taking the battle to their opponents. Mistakes were being eliminated from their play and Gavin Weir and Wayne O'Gorman shot points to bring them level with Oliver Plunketts after 22 minutes at 0-4 apiece. And the best was yet to come…. and the worst too. Within minutes of scoring Wayne O'Gorman was taking the long walk to the sin-bin after picking up a second yellow card from Wexford referee Justin Heffernan. They had to play the remainder of the match with the handicap of a man less.
Still such was the turn-around achieved by Glenealy that they finished out the last 10 minutes of the half in a blaze of glory. Under pressure, Oliver Plunketts were forced to concede frees and Bosco punished them every time as he fired over four smashing points from placed balls.
At the break Glenealy led by double scores 0-8 to 0-4. Another home match against Thomastown of Kilkenny looked on the cards at that stage.
Unfortunately that's as good as it got for us. Once more Glenealy laboured, the Dubliners had the keener edge to their hurling.
And there was none with a sharper edge to their game that wing-forward Stuart Mullen who gave an exhibition of point taking from frees.
He had cut the margin in half inside four minutes and they were level with Glenealy at 0-9 apiece after 41 minutes.
Bosco point the reds back in front a minute later but that was to be their last score. Leighton Glynn, who joined his county football squad in Lanzarote on Monday after remaining behind to give a dig out to his club, came on in attack in place of Eoin Dunne, but unfortunately we got no bounce on this occasion. It was just not our day as simple as that. Oliver Plunketts' goalie Joseph McDonnell did have to make a good save from Gavin Weir, while Stuart Mullen banged four frees between the sticks and substitute Cian Walsh chipped in with a fine brace to underpin the Dubliners deserved five points victory.
It's the Dubliners who will be meeting Thomastown from Kilkenny on November 18.
Exchanges got a little narkey towards the end but it was nothing worst than handbag stuff.