Hughes grabs a last-gasp goal to win it for Glenealy
Lightning Protection Ireland Senior Hurling Championship: Glenealy 2-12 Carnew Emmets 2-11
A last-gasp goal by Gary Hughes completed a Glenealy fightback to narrowly win over their rivals Carnew in this crunch clash in the Senior Hurling Championship on Monday evening.
With Carnew seven points clear at the break, Glenealy showed serious grit and determination to gather themselves and claim a vital two points as they looked to regroup after their damaging loss to Bray last time out.
Carnew opened the scoring with a trademark Enda Donohoe free. Five minutes in, he netted his first. Referee John Keenan signalled for a penalty after John Doyle was taken down by Gavin Weir in the area. Donohoe buried the ball past a diving Cian Staunton.
Daire Foley was strong in the middle of the park early on with him punting several good balls up field in order to start attacks. Wayne Kinsella also had a good grip of the game early on.
Despite James Hickey's sides strong start, Glenealy were given a penalty somewhat against the run of play.
Alan Driver was bundled down as he tried to steer himself through on goal. Jonathan O'Neill Sr stepped up and, in typical fashion, smashed the sliotar to the right of keeper Michael Collins.
A two-point deficit for Glenealy to try and overcome, they began to get Matthew Traynor into the game, showing off his strength to easily muscle off opponents.
He pointed before Leighton Glynn levelled the scoreline.
Carnew's puck outs were always targeting Pádraig Doran, but more often than not, his marker, Sam O'Dowd won the battle and set his side away to break forward.
Carnew did regain the lead with points from Conall McCrea and Daire Foley. Both sides did begin to struggle to create chances and any chances they did take, were put wide, much to the aggrievance of the supporters in the stands.
Pádraig Doyle and another Donohoe free stretched Carnew's lead out to three.
Wayne Kinsella and Jack Doyle were working wonderfully well in the middle of the park to break down their opposition.
Carnew netted their second just before half-time, again from the hurl of Enda Donohoe. After a failed clearance from Glenealy keeper Cian Staunton, Donohoe had an easy finish to give his side a seven-point lead going into the interval.
A number of unforced errors by Glenealy in the latter stages of the half led to continuous pressure being put on them before John Keenan blew for half time.
The scoreboard read 2-7 to 1-3. A huge uphill task for Glenealy to overturn the deficit, but if any team in the county could, it was Gary Laffan's side.
The second half began with lots of scuffling and scrambling in order to win the ball.
Carnew were playing into the wind in this half, with several early efforts towards goal dropping short and into the hands of Cian Staunton.
Five successive scores from Glenealy, including four frees from Gary Hughes and a classy score from Matthew Traynor, reduced the gap to two, before Enda Donohoe pointed superbly after wrong footing his marker.
There was a tinge of nervousness amongst the Glenealy contingent as Jonathan O'Neill Sr went down injured, but as soon as he got up, he produced a stunning catch and pass upfield.
Unfortunately, that was all he could give as he was soon replaced by Warren Kavanagh, not a bad replacement to have in your ranks.
Carnew only posted one score in the first 15 minutes of the half to Glenealy's six, with Hughes scoring another free.
Oisin Furlong was playing as sweeper for Carnew and he was cleaning up very well and cleared the sliotar upfield on many occasions and fought at all costs.
Paul O'Brien had a decent chance to net for Glenealy, as a beautiful pass by Jonathan O'Neill Jr set him clear, but the opportunity was quickly quashed as he was surrounded by defenders wearing blue and gold.
Carnew stretched their lead out to three points with ten minutes to go as points from play by Donohoe and John Doyle before Donohoe exchanged a score with Alan Driver. That was the last of Carnew's poor return of only four scores in the second period which definitely cost them after such a strong first half advantage.
James Byrne was introduced for Glenealy with five minutes to go to try help his side to push on and comeback from this deficit. They began to get into decent areas further afield, but they wasted these chances by not taking their scores as they searched for the goal required to turn around the tie.
Warren Kavanagh stuck over the first score in seven minutes of the game bring it to a two-point game going into injury time.
Glenealy continued to grit and grind in search of this goal and it finally came just inside injury time.
A long puck up the field by Gary Byrne reached the high reaching hand of Gary Hughes who plucked the sliotar from the air, sharply turned his marker and hammered it into the net. Joy for Glenealy, dejection for Carnew.
There was still a game to finish though as Carnew went in search of a score to at least level the game. With the last puck of the game, Wayne Kinsella had the posts gaping from around the 45 line, but the sliotar drifted wide.
John Keenan blew his final whistle to the despair of the Carnew contingent.
A massive victory for Glenealy who will be hoping to push on from this but it's certainly a huge sucker-punch for a Carnew side who will be ruing several missed opportunities in the second-half.
Scorers - Glenealy: Gary Hughes 1-6 (5f, 1 65); Jonathan O'Neill Sr 1-1; Matthew Traynor 0-2; Leighton Glynn 0-1; Alan Driver 0-1; Warren Kavanagh 0-1. Carnew Emmets: Enda Donohoe 2-5 (4f); Wayne Kinsella 0-2; Daire Foley 0-1; Conall McCrea 0-1; Pádraig Doran 0-1; John Doyle 0-1.
Glenealy: Cian Staunton; Paul O'Brien, Danny Staunton, Ronan Manley; Gary Byrne, Joey Driver, Sam O'Dowd; Wayne O'Gorman, Jonathan O'Neill Sr; Gavin Weir, Alan Driver, Matthew Traynor; Gary Hughes, Leighton Glynn, Jonathan O'Neill Jr. Subs: Warren Kavanagh for O'Neill Sr (40 mins); James Byrne for Driver (54 mins); Jack Kavanagh for O'Gorman (58 mins).
Carnew Emmets: Michael Collins; Daire Foley, Martin O'Brien, Aaron Kinsella; Mark Collins, Oisin Furlong, John Doyle; Wayne Kinsella, Jack Doyle; Drew Brennan, Pádraig Doran, Enda Donohoe; John Doyle, Timmy Collins, Conall McCrea. Subs: Joseph Hughes for Brennan (48 mins); Cian Moules for John Doyle (forward) (51 mins).
Referee: John Keenan