A controlled performance from Eire Og Annacarty saw them emerge with a comfortable 1-13 to 1-5 victory over Moycarkey Borris on Wednesday evening last as Golden played host to this Group 4, Round 2 clash in the County Senior Football Championship.
The Eire Og boys burst out of the traps like greyhounds in pursuit of a hare and caught their opponents cold, with an array of early attacks launched at pace from different angles that the Moycarkey defence could not handle.
Through the terrific free-taking exploits of Damien O’Brien, aligned with one from play, they opened up a four-point lead in the opening ten minutes and the men in blue never looked in danger from this moment on.
A gutsy rally came from Moycarkey late in the first half and in the early stage of the second but the result was put beyond all doubt with a quarter of an hour remaining, as a well-worked handpassing attack, top heavy with energetic support runs culminated with Paul Downey receiving possession 20 metres from the target. With defenders being dragged out of position to cover attackers Downey proved to be one forward too many and was in behind the defensive rearguard when receiving possession. Steadying himself as he ran towards goal, he rifled a left footed shot across goal, leaving the ‘keeper no chance as the ball nestled in the corner of the net.
This was a very good display by Eire Og as they dominated the central areas of the pitch and at different stages were able to raise their game to a higher gear that proved too much for their opponents. A poor start for Moycarkey left them with an uphill task but essentially it was a complete absence of attacking threat that left them strangled for air all evening.
In Damien O’Brien Eire Og had a very reliable marksman to capitalise on any moments of indiscipline in the Moycarkey defence and in the opening stages, failing to live with their surging opponents’ attack, the mid side had a number of these. Points from play from Donal O’Dwyer, Seanie Ryan and Tom Fox created an eight point advantage for Annacarty before their opponents had registered a single score.
In the later stages of the half Moycarkey opted to build attacks with more care given to possession and it paid off, as they scored three frees through the left boot of Kieran Morris. With a minute to go before the break a route back into the contest was granted when they were awarded a penalty, as Conor O’Brien received a black card for a last-gasp lunge to retrieve the ball but instead tripped the oncoming attacker. Tony Flanagan stepped up and made no mistake, lashing home from the spot and leaving the half time score 0-9 to 1-3.
In the second half Moycarkey started brightly and sent out the smoke signals that they would launch a comeback but it failed to materialise, due to their inept shooting and failure to convert scoreable frees. Eire Og pushed forward and after Downey’s goal they were in cruise control for an emphatic victory.
Eire Og Annacarty: R. Barry; D. Ryan, C. O’Brien, D. Hogan; R. O’Brien, B. Fox, T. Fox (0-1); E. Kennedy, E. Bradshaw; P. Downey (1-0), D. Mooney (0-2, 1 free), D. O’Dwyer (0-1); D. O’Brien (0-8, 7 frees), K. Fox, S. Ryan (0-1).
Subs: R. O’Doherty for C. O’Brien (29 minutes), W. O’Neill for D. O’Dwyer (47 minutes).
Moycarkey Borris: D. Kirby; C. McCullagh, P. Dempsey, B. Moran; K. Moran, N. O’Sullivan, M. Bracken; R. Ryan (0-1), P. Molloy; M. Cussen, E. Flanagan, P. Ralph; K. Morris (0-3 frees), T. Flanagan (1-1, 1-0 penalty, 0-1 free), N. Heffernan.
Subs: G. Carey for P. Ralph (41 minutes), R. Doran for E. Flanagan (47 minutes), P. Doran for M. Bracken (53 minutes).
Referee: Brian Tyrrell (Clonmel Commercials)