Early and late flourishes see Eire Og through to final

West SFC

West SFC

Eire Og 1-1

Arravale 2-7

A good start and finish was enough for Eire Og to gain victory over Arravale Rovers in an entertaining game in the Ballinalard Transport senior football championship at Dundrum last Friday.

Galtee Rovers’ victory over Aherlow in the other game meant that Eire Og finished top of the group and progress to the 2012 West Final, with Arravale and Galtee Rovers to face off in the semi-final, thus eliminating Aherlow.

Eire Og started off in whirlwind fashion, clocking up 1-2 inside the first eight minutes. Richard Ryan’s well-taken goal sandwiched between points from Damien O’Brien (free) and Philip McGrath.

Bryan Lowry opened Rovers’ account with a point, answered by another point from Richard Ryan. The Tipp town side were back in the game on twelve minutes when James Hogan fisted a left-wing cross to the net from close range. The same player had a point soon afterwards following a well-taken score from Brian Fox on a run from defence.

Arravale Rovers hit the front for the first time on seventeen minutes, when following a swift passing move through the Eire Og defence, Bryan Lowry gave Eire Og goalie Donnacha Horan no chance, shooting to the net from close range.

Eire Og hit back with a brace of points from Damien O’Brien, regaining the lead in the process. The first half scoring was completed with Kev Fox and James Hogan swapping points to leave Eire Og ahead, 1-7 to 2-3 at the interval. Eire Og lost corner-back Diarmaid Ryan before the break with a leg injury.

Another Damien O’Brien free opened the second half scoring before James Hogan and Bryan Lowry (free) levelled matters with 20 minutes remaining. Both defences were now playing well as forwards found scores hard to come by.

Philip McGrath restored Eire Og’s lead until a powerful surging run from sub Brian Jones forced an excellent save from Donnacha Horan at the expense of a point. The sides were now level with 6 minutes remaining. Another Rovers sub Timmy Dalton landed a fine point to give the 2011 champions the lead as full time drew near.

With elimination from the championship staring them in the face, Eire Og needed inspiration which Damien O’Brien duly delivered with an excellent point from the left wing, levelling matters once more. Philip McGrath & Richard Ryan banged over a quick brace of points to drag Eire Og over the line winners on a score of 1-12 to 2-07 on Paddy Russell’s full-time whistle.

Once the result of the Galtee Rovers v Aherlow came through, Eire Og qualified for the 2012 West Final with Arravale Rovers facing Galtee Rovers in the semi-final to be played in the coming weeks.

Eire Og : Donnacha Horan, Diarmaid Ryan, Conor O’Brien, Michael O’Dwyer, Ronan O’Brien, Brian Fox (0-1), Paudie O’Dwyer, Kev Fox (0-1), Eoin Kennedy, Oisin O’Dwyer, Richard Ryan (1-2), Dan Hogan, Philip McGrath (0-3), Damien O’Brien (0-5; 3 frees), Paul Downey. Subs: Jeremy Furlong for Paul Downey, Sean Ryan for Diarmaid Ryan.

Arravale Rovers: Brian Kissane, Peter Mulhair, Robbie Kiely, Paddy Dalton, Shane Leahy, Ger Mulhair, Donagh Leahy, Damien Kiely, Sean O’Meara, Michael O’Dwyer, Andy Lacey, Stephen Quinn, Bryan Lowry (1-2; 1 free), Darren Lowry, James Hogan (1-3). Subs: Timmy Dalton (0-1) for Damien Kiely, Brian Jones (0-1) for Stephen Quinn, John Hayes for Shane Leahy.

Referee: Paddy Russell, Emly.