Sean Treacy’s 0-11
Robert Emmetts 4-14
By Adam Shaw
Dinny O’Regan scored twice as Robert Emmetts eased to victory over Sean Treacy’s in the opening round of the Senior Championship at Greenford.
Daryl Roberts and Mick Dwyer also found the net, as off the ball movement and clinical finishing from the men in blue and yellow ultimately made the difference.
Neither side showed any signs of shirking away from the physical nature of the game, which was dotted with late challenges and hot tempered flash points. Its volatility came to a head late on when Kieran Morrissey and Kevin McEvoy were sent off for brawling, the referee viewing the incident as one infringement too far.
Treacy’s began brightly, utilising the downward slope well and capitalising on a sluggish Emmetts start to move into a two-point lead with a point from McEvoy and a free from Darren Moore. Eion Chawke reduced the deficit with a free before he saw a long-range effort from inside his own half strike the left-hand post.
Treacy’s were soon two to the good once more when Kevin O’Loughlin completed a superb score on the turn from the halfway line. Three points in four minutes put Emmetts ahead for the first time as Chawke notched his second free from the right-hand touchline, Dwyer planted a routine point from 30 yards and Tomas Lawrece applied the final touch to a fine move involving four players.
O’Loughlin restored parity on 16 minutes when he emerged with the ball after an almighty scramble and completed the score. Chawke scored his third free of the game before McEvoy levelled after a fine interchange with Aiden McKeogh down the left wing.
The match entered a scrappy period as halftime approached – Conor Walsh and Paddy Breen were booked for Emmetts, while O’Loughlin saw yellow for Treacy’s. A number of loose efforts and shots under pressure from both sides kept the score at 5-5 but as fatigue began to set in, Emmetts in particular found themselves with more room to exploit.
Chawke landed a free and then played in Roberts to open up a two-point advantage before Bill Walsh secured a three-point cushion with an impressive score on the run. Playing uphill and suddenly as far behind as they had been at any point in the match, Treacy’s realised they needed to start quickly in the second half.
However they were caught cold from the throw in, resulting in too much space for Breen who fed Roberts about 20 yards from goal. The corner forward still had plenty to do but showed great presence of mind to turn his marker and fire the ball low past Dave Maher. Chawke extended the advantage with a routine free a couple of minutes later but O’Loughlin hit back with a free of his own.
Richard Murphy played the pass of the match midway through the second period – a sweeping right to left cross field ball from inside his own half to find O’Regan in space – and he duly completed the score. Treacy’s responded with a great point of their own, as McEvoy and Martin O’Keefe combined well in midfield before the latter popped it to Moore who slotted it over the bar.
Breen scored from out wide moments after he had put an easier chance wide of the posts to open up a seven-point lead. Maurice Geery pulled one back for Treacy’s with a fine individual effort; picking the pocket of Walsh before waltzing past two defenders and completing the score from a tight angle out left.
But the contest was effectively over soon after when Chawke pumped the ball forward, O’Regan, unmarked, collected it and fired it into the top right hand corner.
John Cusack scored a free after he was fouled just in front of the 65-yard line before Emmetts hit back with a point from O’Regan. Lawrece got his second point of the match as Emmetts continued to find pockets of space but Treacy’s continued to plug away and were rewarded with points from O’Loughlin and McLoughlin.
McEvoy and Morrissey were sent packing with three minutes left to play, the Emmetts man reacting to a late, high tackle from his opponent with his fists. McEvoy felt he couldn’t back down – a recurring theme throughout the match – and as several players waded in, the ref pulled the guilty duo aside and showed them both a red card. This seemed to signal the end of the game for Treacy’s as they switched off and were subsequently punished.
O’Regan scored his second goal in an almost identical fashion to his first; receiving a long ball from Chawke before selling his man a dummy and slotting past Maher. Maher then produced a sloppy clearance and as the sliotar fell straight to Dwyer, the Emmetts midfielder showed great composure to find the back of the net.
A final point from Eamon Kenny just before the final whistle blew compounded Treacy’s misery, but, on the balance of play, they could hardly complain about the margin of defeat.
Sean Treacy’s: Dave Maher; John Murphy, Steve Casey, Shane Kennedy; John Gould, Darren Moore (0-02, 1f), Ger Quiligan; Kevin McEvoy (0-02), Martin O’Keefe; John Cusack (0-01, 1f), Kevin O’Loughlin (0-04, 1f), Enda Mahon; Maurice Geery (0-01), Aiden McKeogh, Larry McLoughlin (0- 01).
Robert Emmetts: Padge Buckley; Mark Conroy, Stephen Griffey, Sean Maddin; Paddy Breen (0-01), Tomas Lawrece (0-02), Conor Walsh; Mick Dwyer (1-01), Eamon Kenny (0-01); Bill Walsh (0-01), Richard Murphy, Kieran Morrissey; Dinny O’Regan (2-02), Eion Chawke (0-05, 5f), Daryl Roberts (1- 01).