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Match Reports 2005

Emmetts crowning glory 2005
By Larry Cooney


Robert Emmetts qualified for the All-Ireland Club (IHC) semi-final after a deserved three-point victory over Ulster champions Carey Faughs at Ruislip.

In a tough competitive encounter in which defences were always on top, the London champions stood up well to a late onslaught from the Ulster champions before becoming only the third British-based hurling club to progress to an All-Ireland club semi-final place.

On a heavy greasy pitch in very cold conditions, both teams struggled to settle down into any kind of early rhythm. Robert Emmetts lined out without midfielder Billy Henerbery and opted to start Sean Quinn who partnered Pat Jordan. The visitors also made one positional switch when midfielder Paudie McShane changed places with midfielder James McAuley. Carey also had first use of the elements as they defended the pavilion end.

However, the most significant development in the opening quarter was the performance of the Robert Emmetts half-back line which never allowed Carey any opportunities to settle and pick off scores. Centre-back Bryan Foley had another outstanding game, which proved to be the platform on which Robert Emmetts built this thoroughly, deserved victory.

The visitors fared no better at midfield where both Fergus McMahon and Teu O'hAilpin both played very effective supporting roles for Jordan and Quinn and denied Carey some very valuable possession in the opening quarter. It was, therefore, no great surprise when Robert Emmetts held a slender one-point lead on 20 minutes after John McGaughan opened the scoring with a point in the third minute and doubled his tally six minutes later from the first of his two successful frees.

Despite playing with the advantage of the wind, all Carey had to show for their efforts was a Martin McAuley point after six minutes. Although Paul McShane levelled the scores in the 21st minute panic began to set in for the visitors.

Four minutes before the interval Carey appeared to have made a significant breakthrough when they were awarded a 21-yard free for a foul on John McVeigh. Free-taker Martin McAuley made no secret of his intentions as he stepped up to send a rasping shot low to the left-hand corner of the net and give the visitors a flattering three-point lead.

Robert Emmetts responded well to this unexpected set-back and just on the stroke of half-time were awarded a free for a foul on Fergus McMahon. John McGaughan's free left just two points between the sides with the score Carey 1-2 Robert Emmetts 0-3.

On the resumption Robert Emmetts decided to switch full forward Gary Fenton to midfield where he partnered Fergus McMahon. As in the opening half both sides were once again having difficulties mastering the conditions and there was no further scoring until Gary Fenton left just a point between the sides 12 minutes after the re-start. Within a minute Emmetts captain Colm Buckley had levelled the scores.

However, just at the end of the third quarter in a rare Carey attack, Martin McAuley put the visitors back into the lead with a point from free. That proved to their only score of the half as the London champions began to take command.

The first of their four unanswered points came in rather controversial circumstances following a collision on goalkeeper Bosco McAuley when Colm Buckley steered the rebound over the bar. Within a minute another fine long-range effort from Gary Fenton sailed all the way over the bar to put Robert Emmetts into the lead for the first time since the 21st minute.

It was still anybody's game with less than 10 minutes remaining but following a kick on grounded defender Danny Murphy, Carey's Paul McShane was dismissed by referee Eamon Morris. Five minutes from time another inspirational long-range point from Fergus McMahon moved the London champions closer to victory which was finally sealed by a Sean Quinn point just at the end of normal time.

While the game was anything but a hurling spectacle that should take nothing away from Robert Emmetts achievement who had many fine performances on the day apart from Bryan Foley, including fellow defender and man-of-the-match Danny Murphy. Pat Jordan Gary Fenton, Fergus McMahon and Teu O'hAilpin all won valuable possession for Emmetts while John McGaughan and Colm Buckley always threatened in attack.

Carey's best performers were centre-back Mick Hegarty alongside Nathan Hunter while Martin McAuley and Paul McShane were the best of a very poor attack.

The London champions now look forward to a semi-final date in the New Year with the Leinster champions when they become the first British based hurling side since Desmonds in 1993 to bid for a place in an All-Ireland club final.

Robert Emmetts: M Kearney, D Murphy, G O'Mahony, R Grimes, A Moloney, B Foley, P Campbell, P Jordan, S Quinn (0-1), F McMahon (0-1), T O'hAilpin, J McGaughan (0-3) (0-2)f, C McGaughey, G Fenton (0-2), C Buckley (0-2).

Carey Faughs: B McAuley, S Gillan, A McCormick, J Butler, N Hunter, M Hegarty, P Devlin, C McAuley, J McAuley, C McGaughan, J McVeigh, J Gilean, M McAuley (1-2) (1-2)f, P McShane (0-1), L O'Reilly. Subs: G McAuley for O'Reilly, M Butler for J McVeigh.

16 June 2005

Our Hurlers returned to winning ways when they were easy winners over Kilburn Gaels by 1-15 to 1-5 in the Championship last Saturday.

Emmett's raced into a 0-10 to no score lead mainly courtesy of the freetaking prowess of John McGaughan who included a couple of frees from 70 plus yards in his armoury.

It was a full 27 minutes before Kilburn mustered a score and it took a further ten minutes of second half play before 'keeper Colm O'Meara came fifty yards upfield to strike their second score from a free.

Overall this win puts our hurlers back on track for a safe-path to the semi-finals. Unfortunately the temporary loss of Bryan Foley over the summer following this game will leave a big gap to fill for the manager and selectors.

Emmett's Scorers: J McGaughan 0-11 (0-9 frees), K McMullan 1-0, S McGarry 0-2, J Dillon 0-1, G Fenton 0-1

09 June 2005

Our Hurlers have yet to scale the heights of last year yet, losing out to St Gabriels in the League and Fr Murphys in their opening Championship encounter (see "Results" for scorelines).

04 April 2005

Our Hurlers enjoyed a comfortable win over Granuaile by 1-20 to 2-9 in their opening League game at Oxhey Park on Staurday last.

16 February 2005

Our Hurlers fell at the penultimate stage of the All-Ireland Intermediate Club Championship losing their semi-final clash with Carrickshock of Kilkenny on Sunday last by 2-12 to 0-5 at Bennettsbridge.

If anything the strength of the wind blowing down the pitch destroyed the game as a meaningless contest and spoiled our fighting chances of an upset allowing Carrickshock to enjoy total first-half dominance as our backs found it impossible to clear their lines.

With Kilkenny senior Richie Power as their lynchpin Carrickshock had raced to a 0-4 to no score lead within four minutes and this lead had been extended to 2-4 on 15 minutes thanks to goals from Michael Rohan and Jamie Power. By the interval the fierce breeze had helped 'shock to 6 more points while we'd barely been able to get beyond the halfway line under the wind-assisted torrent.

In the second-half our pride was restored thanks to three frees from John McGaughan and a point apiece from Colum Buckley and Fergus McMahon but the first-half lead our opponents had racked up was always going to be insurmountable. To illustrate how the wind played havoc 'shock only added two more points in the whole 30 minutes of the half compared to 14 scores in the first.

How much closer the game would have been had we won the toss and enjoyed a half-time lead is pure speculation but the fact that we won the second-half by 0-5 to 0-2 despite being somewhat demoralised in the first-half points to the fact that an upset could well have been possible ? As it was we had to endure a bit of a mauling at the hands of what is, undoubtedly, an extremely talented Carrickshock side who will be firm favourites for Intermediate honours and will be a real force in the Kilkenny senior ranks next year.

Over the hour Brian Foley, Pat Jordan and Fergus McMahon stood tall but it was the panel that had brought us this far so praise goes to all the lads who delivered throughout the year.

Overall all players and supporters of the Blue and Gold will look back with great pride on a season that saw us lift our first ever London Senior title and win an All-Ireland quarter final against Carey Faugh's of Antrim back in November.

It was a great year and hearty congratulations to the panel and mentors for their achievements.

10 February 2005

Our Hurlers are fit and rearing to go for this Sunday's All Ireland IHC semi-final against Carrickshock (Kilkenny) in Bennettsbridge - throw-in at 1pm.

All former Emmett's players and supporters now returned to Ireland are urged to come along and support the Blue and Gold - especially in Black and Amber land !! Sure most of you have made plans to be there already anyhow !

A down-sized version of Larry Cooney's preview in this week's Irish Post Newspaper is published below. Many thanks to Larry and The Post for their ongoing courtesy in letting us reproduce articles on the Club website.

" All-Ireland IHC Semi-Final Preview ".

" Robert Emmett's hurlers travel to Ireland to face Carrickshock of Kilkenny in this Sunday's All-Ireland Club IHC semi-final.

The London champions will be the first British based team to be involved in an All-Ireland club semi in 11 years and will require a top performance if they are to overcome the Leinster champions.

Although they have not been in action since their quarter-final win over Carey Faugh's in early December, manager Mick O'Dea assures all London hurling followers that his side will be in the best possible shape ahead of the game against their opponents from Kilkenny. The Antrim champions lacked attacking ideas which will certainly not be the case with Carrickshock who have recorded a number of impressive victories on their way to Sunday's semi-final.

It was a case of third time lucky for them in last year's Kilkenny county final after they defeated Mooncoin. Carrickshock were appearing in their third consecutive intermediate hurling decider after losing narrowly in the two previous finals to St. Martins and Erins Own.

Among their stars are Kilkenny teenage hurling sensation Richie Power and county panellists John Tennyson and Michael Rice and the real surprise is why Carrickshock have not been already promoted to the senior ranks. Carrickshock also easily accounted for the Wexford champions, St. Patricks, in the Leinster final last November. Robert Emmetts are, therefore, facing one of the favourites to lift the inaugural All-Ireland Club (IHC) title.

Besides their county panellists, Carrickshock also have above-average club players in Pat Cleary, James Moran, Pat Farrell, James Power and Seanie Gibbons. The outcome of Sunday's game could also depend on how well both sides have prepared since their last competitive activity over two months ago.

Comprising of one of the smallest squads in London hurling, Mick O'Dea has moulded an effective unit of talented hurlers that are now beginning to play with a reasonable level of consistency. The London champions will certainly be required to raise their game well above the standard of play that they showed against Carey in the last round if they hope to compete with the Leinster champions.

Robert Emmetts preparation for Sunday's game got underway just before Christmas and in conjunction with the London county panel, they have been undergoing a tough fitness programme at Harrow Leisure Centre. In a recent work-out with the county panellists the London champions looked quite sharp and should not be lacking fitness.

The Robert Emmetts game-plan is not likely to deviate too much from that which has brought them their most successful year in their 56-year history.

Assuming they have no fitness or injury worries their tactics will rely once again on a strong spine to the team. Hopefully, centre-back Brian Foley, who excelled in the county final and last round, will be well supported by full-back Gavin O'Mahony behind him. Pat Jordan and Billy Henerbery or Fergus McMahon look like being their midfield partnership. In attack Teu O'hAilpin and Gary Fenton complete a very effective spine. Fenton should be back to full fitness after a recent head injury.

O'Dea said: "Our game-plan is purely and simply to feed these key players and the scores will follow. Under every puck-out I expect to see either Teu O'hAilpin or Fergus McMahon who are both exceptional ball winners and the very least each attack will bring is a free which John McGaughan should convert".

However, while the Robert Emmetts defence has been exceptional in conceding only six goals in eight games, the display of their half-back line was the key to their county final and All-Ireland club quarterfinal success. The Robert Emmetts attack has performed well throughout their campaign and, hopefully, John McGaughan can provide the scores by maximising all the freetaking opportunities that come his way.

The London champions couldn't have a tougher assignment to begin their season and, even though they are capable of producing a top performance, it looks like being a tough mission."

Robert Emmetts:

Mark Kearney, Dan Murphy, Gavin O'Mahony, Ritchie Grimes, Alan Moloney, Brian Foley, Philip Campbell, Pat Jordan, Billy Henerbery, Fergus McMahon, Teu O'hAilpin, John McGaughan, Ciaran McGaughey, Gary Fenton, Colum Buckley (captain), Darren McGaughey, Chris McGovern, Eoin O�Connell, Sean Quinn, Brendan Doyle and Paul Flood.