Eire Og Greystones 4-13 Kilcoole 2-10
Eire Og laid down an early marker in their Junior B championship campaign with a comfortable victory over local rivals Kilcoole in Greystones last Thursday evening.
After an impressive league campaign that saw them claim Division 3 honours they knew last year’s Junior C champions Kilcoole would test their championship credentials.
The first 15 minutes was an even contest with Eire Og edging the seven scores by one, however over the next few minutes they hit a purple patch to move into a lead that they never really looked like relinquishing.
Danny Webb, who had come on a sub got the ball rolling with a two beautiful scores on the run. From the resulting kick-out the Greystones men turned it over releasing Willie O’Hagan in on goal his effort was smartly saved by Luke Doyle in the Goosebankers goal but the rebound fell to Daniel Healy who rattled the ball home.
Kilcoole closed the first half scoring with frees from Blake Ryan and Conor Scullion to leave it 1-6 to 0-5 to the hosts at the interval.
Eire Og got the dream start to the second half when the impressive Webb’s curled effort struck the upright but wing-forward James Delahunty was quickest to react and rounded Doyle for a smartly taken goal.
Luke Frawley pointed for Kilcoole before Greystones plundered their third goal. A flowing move upfield saw centre-back Daire Devine put Conor Nolan in on goal and the midfielder calmly slotted the ball under Doyle.
The scoreline was a bit unfair on Kilcoole who were battling hard and they received a lifeline in the 40th minute.
Scullion’s skyscrapping effort dropped in the danger zone and full-forward Jamie McNamara gathered before goaling. A Scullion point soon after brought the deficit to five points but some sloppy Kilcoole wides at this stage were critical in halting their comeback. JP Connolly came on for Eire Og at this stage and he provided the steady hand Greystones needed. He kicked three points in his cameo as well as two assists for other scores.
Indeed Connolly was crucial in his side’s fourth goal. His intricate pass freed Kurt Stark whose rocket of a shot was parried by Doyle but once more Delahunty loitering near goal polished off the rebound.
Once more Kilcoole refused to go away and a Scullion free from 40 yards out somehow eluded everyone to drop into the Greystones goal. Joseph Curran kicked an audacious point immediately after to narrow the gap to five again but Eire Og kicked on in the closing stages, scoring five of the last six points.
An enjoyable match between local rivals. Kilcoole will be disappointed by the full-time score but held their own for much of the contest with Conor Scullion, Blake Ryan and Joseph Curran performing well.
Eire Og looked impressive and will realise that this was a good test for them going forward. Daire Devine, Luke Bradley and James Delahunty were impressive for them. Danny Webb and JP Connolly scored five points off the bench and will surely be pushing for places the next day but man of the match was Daniel Healy.
He scored a goal in the first half, his link play throughout was impressive and when Kilcoole closed the gap in the second half and threatened a comeback he struck two superb points from distance to drive the dagger through their heart.
Eire Og: James Delahunty 2-1, Daniel Healy 1-2, JP Connolly 0-3, Luke Bradley 0-3, Conor Nolan 1-0, Danny Webb 0-2, Conall Deeney 0-1, Willie O’Hagan 0-1.
Kilcoole: Conor Scullion 1-3, Jamie McNamara 1-0, Joseph Curran 0-2, Blake Ryan 0-2, Michael Shannon 0-2, Luke Frawley 0-1.
Eire Og: Rob Nolan; Sean Minogue, Darragh Browne, Eoin McHugh; Liam Maguire, Daire Devine, Jack Mockler; Conor Nolan, Conall Deeney; Oisin Shanahan, Luke Bradley, James Delahunty; Willie O’Hagan, Niall Deeney, Daniel Healy. Subs: Danny Webb, JP Connolly, Kurt Stark, Jamie McDonald, John Deeney.
Kilcoole: Luke Doyle; Ronan Whiston, Tristan Grant, Evan Cooke; Jonathan Maguire, Brian Devereaux, Shane Evans; Blake Ryan, Gary Coady; Conor Scullion, Michael Shannon, Luke Frawley; Joseph Curran, Jamie McNamara, Oisin Haggard. Subs: Dermot O’Brien, Barry Mason, Conor Murphy, Jamie Murray, Darren Bourke.
Referee: Eddie Leonard (St.Patrick’s).