20 October, 2008

The senior hurlers qualified for the final of the Billy Byrne cup for the second successive year by beating Avondale in their final championship game of the year. The win sees us finish in fourth position behind Carnew, Glenealy and Kiltegan. It's another step up the ladder from previous years, and after our abject display against Glenealy was a welcome win.

Winning looked extremely unlikely with ten minutes to go however, as we trailed Avondale by 9 points to 7, despite having a one man advantage for 30 minutes. It was 4 points a piece at half time with Gearóid Ó Murchú helping himself to 3 and Jackie Moorehouse chipping in with another in a dire first half. Avondale stuck to their task gamely and fought for every ball, making life difficult for Bray. The game was played between both 45s for most of the half, and was more reminiscent of rugby at times, with more rucks and throw balls than free flowing hurling.

Avondale tore into the game in the second half and suddenly broke free from Bray to lead by 3 points with less than 10 minutes on the clock. Then in a bizarre spell, which started with Eamonn Furlong being taken from the field for treatment following a blow to the head which had opened a nasty cut just above the eye - despite wearing a helmet -  the referee issued him a red card. It drew comparison with 3 years ago with Mickey Browne being led from the field with blood streaming down his face following a vicious blow to the head and being shown a red card for his troubles. 

Shortly afterwards, Eoin Mason (Fresh from representing Ireland in  the under 21 Shinty International) pointed a 20 metre free and Ronan O Brien scored from a 65 to leave the minimum between the sides with seven minutes left. However the remaining time was all Bray. This year's successful minor captain, Lorcan Pratt, having moved from corner back to corner forward, forced the ball over the line following a save by the goal keeper, to set up an unlikely victory. He than ran onto a Liam Kenny pass and drove past the keeper for his second goal. Kenny then made it secure and scored a third goal in the dying minutes.

On a weekend which saw the dual mandate in the club grow, with 6 of the senior football panel playing junior or senior hurling, it is good to record that both teams progressed in their respective competitions with the Juniors also seeing off Avondale on Saturday in the quarter final of the B championship. Both teams are fixed to play next weekend.

Senior Panel v Avondale: Eamonn Furlong; Danny Eglington; Peter Kiely; Lorcan Pratt; Paul Barry; Dara O hAnnaidh; Jordan Lee; Ronan O Brien; Peter Walsh; William Nolan; Liam Kenny; Gearoid O Murchú; Jackie Moorehouse; Killian Foley; Eoin Mason; Ed Keating; Colm Mac Eoin; Michael Priest.