Bray topple the champs!
Lightning Protection Ireland Senior Hurling Championship: Bray Emmets 3-16 Glenealy 1-13
Bray Emmets proved that they mean business in this year's Senior hurling championship as they dispatched defending county champions Glenealy by nine points in Aughrim last Friday evening to give Paul Carley's side their third win on the spin.
Having defeated St. Pat's and Éire Óg in their previous two games, Bray faced their toughest test yet as they came up against a Glenealy side who beat Senior hurling newbies Avondale last time out.
Bray were unchanged from their victory against St. Pat's, whereas Glenealy made two changes, with Paul O'Brien and Liam De Hora replacing Rory O'Neill and Matthew Traynor.
The game got underway with referee Eddie Leonard throwing in the sliotar at 7.30pm on a mild evening and within 50 seconds Glenealy had posted a score, with Gary Hughes scoring the first of his frees. Christy Moorehouse of Bray had two early wides before an excellent Ronan McMahon score got his side off the mark.
There was no lack of fight from either side with both sets of players committing themselves into 50-50 challenges from the offset.
Despite Glenealy leading by 0-2 points to 0-1 inside the first ten minutes of the half, Bray were having the better of the play, with their backline consisting of Peter Kiely, Karl Lacey and Sean Maloney holding their own against a strong Glenealy forward line. Christy Moorehouse was dropping deep to collect the ball and launch it up towards the Glenealy goal.
Bray netted their first on the 13-minute mark. A Christy Moorehouse free landed short of the Glenealy posts but Davy Maloney was quickest to react and swiped the ball past Cian Staunton.
Glenealy continued to hassle well in the first period, but Bray extended their lead to four with a Moorehouse free and a good point from Paidraig Doyle off his left side.
Despite the county champions battling, Bray continued to grow stronger and stronger with Davy Maloney having two goal chances in a matter of minutes. The first was well closed down by Staunton between the sticks and the second, a slalom run, being fired just wide.
Glenealy kept tabs with their opponents on the scoreboard, as the deficit never exceeded three points in the first half with good scores from Wayne O'Gorman and Sam O'Dowd.
Both sides exchanged scores just before the break as Eoin McCormack pointed for Bray and Danny Staunton slapped over a monster point from distance to bring it to a one-point game before Eddie Leonard blew his half-time whistle.
A tactical change was evident for Glenealy before the restart as Jonathan O'Neill Jr was moved into midfield with Tommy Doyle pushing further forward.
Glenealy came out firing after the interval and within 20 seconds they netted to take the lead for the first time since the tenth minute of the game. James Byrne netting over the onrushing Conor McNally.
Bray went straight up the other end and had a chance of their own with John Henderson smashing the sliotar off the crossbar. End to end stuff with the game there for the taking.
Emmets did regain their lead 10 minutes into the half with their second goal of the clash. Eoin McCormack regained possession after a defensive error by Glenealy, he played through Diarmuid Masterson who ended up one-on-one with Cian Staunton, but Masterson won this battle to lead by a single point.
Gary Hughes kept Glenealy's scores ticking and stayed within three points of Bray midway through the second half. Diarmuid Masterson came alive in the second half with some great points from play as they continued to look like they would run away with the game, but Glenealy always found a way to claw themselves back.
Bray's forward line looked potent and ready to expose a tiring Glenealy defence, with Padraig Doyle useing his strength to power through on goal and grab himself three points. Bray's lead was four with 10 minutes to go, with John Henderson pointing his second. Gary Hughes grabbed his sixth and final point before Christy Moorehouse stuck over two more points to extend his side's lead to five and almost kill off the game.
Glenealy threw everything at Bray in the final minutes of the game, committing many men forward in search for the scores that would bring them back into the match.
With two minutes to go the game was killed off as Bray exposed their opponents on the counter attack and netted their third. Davy Maloney grabbed his second as his shot on goal couldn't be kept out by Cian Staunton in the Glenealy net.
A nine-point victory in the end for Bray is a huge statement of intent for them in the Senior championship while Glenealy will be hoping to bounce back quickly in their bid to retain the title.
Scorers - Bray Emmets: Davy Maloney 2-0; Diarmuid Masterson 1-3; Christy Moorehouse 0-5 (4f); Paidraig Doyle 0-3; Eoin McCormack 0-2; John Henderson 0-2; Ronan McMahon 0-1. Glenealy: Gary Hughes 0-6 (5f); James Byrne 1-0; Danny Staunton 0-3 (3f); Wayne O'Gorman 0-2; Sam O'Dowd 0-2.
Bray Emmets: Conor McNally; Peter Kiely, Karl Lacey, Sean Maloney; Cian Lohan, Peter Walsh, Daire Henderson; Luke Maloney, John Henderson; Christy Moorehouse, Ronan McMahon, Eoin McCormack; Diarmuid Masterson, Paidraig Doyle, Davy Maloney. Subs: Joe Phealan for L Maloney (43).
Glenealy: Cian Staunton; Paul O'Brien, Danny Staunton, Ronan Manley; Jack Kavanagh, Joseph Driver, Sam O'Dowd; Tommy Doyle, Liam De Hora; Wayne O'Gorman, Jonathan O'Neill Jr, Gavin Weir; Gary Hughes, Alan Driver, James Byrne.
Referee: Eddie Leonard