Emmetts ready for Clooney-Quin clash
ROBERT Emmetts carry the hopes of London and Britain to Limerick's Gaelic Grounds this Sunday for the All-Ireland (IHC) semi-final.
London's hurling champions will be hoping to create their own bit of history by becoming the first British-based club to reach an All-Ireland club final.
However, before they contemplate such an historic milestone, it will be necessary for Mick O'Dea's men to overcome the fancied Munster champions from Clooney-Quin.
The Clare champions, who return to the venue of their last triumph against a highly rated Bishopstown side in the provincial decider, have a slight home advantage but, as the Emmetts proved against Leinster and Ardclough before Christmas, they will not be daunted by the task in front of them.
Emmetts have prepared well for Sunday's encounter and have no injury worries ahead of the most important game in the club's history.
Robert Emmetts (London) 2-14 Ardclough (Kildare) 2-11 (after extra time) The hurlers of the Robert Emmetts club continued their love affair with the All Ireland Intermediate Club Championship in dramatic style on Sunday last when they recorded a memorable 2-14 to 2-11 extra-time victory over Ardclough. By Frank Heavey - 20/12/06
Key to this amazing victory was the form of Johnny 'Bravo' Quinlan, the former Cork intermediate star, who put on a master class in finishing, which included an equalising point in the dying moments of normal time.
With the original fixture having been cancelled due to a waterlogged pitch in Ruislip at the at the end of November, the elements once more intervened and caused last Sunday�s game to be moved from its original venue at Clane to Newbridge, after the Clane pitch was declared unplayable on Friday due to flooding.
That move worked well for the London champions as it took Ardclough away from their normal home championship venue.
But the drama of re-scheduling and then moving the game was only the beginning of this tale and it took the full sixty minutes, plus extra-time to separate the two teams and help the Emmetts to progress into the All Ireland semi-final for the second time in time in three years - just reward for what most people accept is, by London standards at least, an exceptional club hurling team.
Once the game entered that additional period of play and with Ardclough down to fourteen men, Emmetts were always in the driving seat and sauntered home by three points in the end.
Having gone a point down early in the game, Mark Treanor delivered perfect reply when he collected a long ball from the Emmetts' midfield and calmly rounded the Ardclough keeper before tapping the ball into the Kildare side's net to give the Emmetts a two-point lead.
By this stage of the game Emmetts were well on top but a lengthy delay in play for an injury to Ardclough's No. 10 killed the momentum that the Emmetts had built up and slowly allowed the home side to get back into the game.
A succession of wides from both teams meant that the scoreboard was not being over worked in an otherwise very entertaining game
However, several hours of persistent rain on Sunday morning left the under-water in places and the referee had no choice but to call the game off. The re-fixture has been set for Sunday December 17th in Clane, Co Kildare.
Speaking on his decision McAllister said: "Due to the flooding on the playing surface and in the interest of the safety of the players, I had no choice but to call the game off. The safety of the players is always paramount in these situations".
Meanwhile, after getting the chance of informing his players of the cancellation, Emmetts' manager Mick O'Dea said: "I am very disappointed that the game was called off, but the right decision was made. I walked the pitch and it was unplayable. It was waterlogged in every part of the pitch".
Emmetts cruise to second title
Emmetts in the final
Robert Emmetts..4-09 Sean Treaceys......4-06 Robert Emmetts eventually edged past a battling Sean Treaceys side at Ruislip on Sunday to book their place in the final of the Senior Hurling Championship. Emmetts conceded four soft goals in the first half but dominated after the break to overcome their opponents by three points. Emmetts got off to a flying start when Mark Traynor hit the back of the net in the opening minute before the men in blue and yellow added another point.
Treaceys hit back with two points from Dave Bourke before Traynor halted their momentum with another point. Fergus McMahon split the posts to add another point but when Gary McCullum failed to clear the ball properly, Martin Carroll nipped in and slotted the ball into the back of the net to make it a one point ball game. Midway through the half, Eammon Phelan ran at the Emmetts backline as they parted like the Red Sea to let the Treaceys man through to fire home their second goal and put them ahead for the first time. Pat Jordan momentarily hit back for Emmetts with a point three minutes later but more sloppy play from the men in blue and yellow resulted in them giving away a free within striking distance of the goal and Eoin O'Neill had no hesitation in firing the ball past McCullum.
Just five minutes before the break a seemingly harmless ball drifted in towards the Emmetts net but was missed by everyone and ended up in the back of the net to extend the Treaceys lead. Phelan added another point to the score before John Dillon followed suit for the Emmetts. But operhaps the turning point of the match came right on half-time when Kevin McMullen found the back of the Treaceys net after picking up a 21-yard free to leave the scores standing at 4-03 to 2-05 in favour of Treaceys. However, Emmetts dominated after the break and with Treaceys managing only 0-03, they were always going to struggle to hold on.
After a few wide efforts, it did however take seven minutes for Emmetts to hit their first score when McMahon took advantage of some slack Treaceys defending to hit his team's third major and make it a single point game. Michael Walsh responded with a point but three more Emmetts points in the space of just two minutes nudged them ahead. The lead was further extended from a free with nine minutes left before Bourke tried to reply for Treaceys with another point with as this ding-dong match entered the final stages.
Traynor split the posts again with a few minutes remaining to restore the Emmetts' four-point lead but when O'Neill tipped the ball over the Emmetts bar, there was only a goal between the sides. However, as the men in red and white pushed forward looking for an equalising score, Emmetts held on to record a gritty victory and seal their place in the final.
ROBERT EMMETTS: G McCullum, S McLoughlin, D Murphy, K Murphy, J Dillon, L Mannix, B Hennerby, E Carey, P Jordan, S Kelly, J Ryan, K McMullen, M Traynor, F McMahon, P McArdle.
Sean Treaceys: S McGuire, J Mullane, N Murphy, P Doyle, D Ward, K Murphy, M Walsh, D Bourke, E Phelan, E O'Neill, M Mahoney, F O'Reagan, M Carroll, D Skeehan, B Shorthall.
Emmetts through in style
An under strength Robert Emmetts team produced an improved second half performance to comfortably beat Sean Treacys at Ruislip on Sunday.
Both teams went into the match certain of qualification to the semi-finals so the game was played in a subdued manner for the best part.
Mark Traynor opened the scoring in the sixth minute and team-mate Kevin McMullen doubled the lead just seconds later with another point.
Treaceys replied just a minute later with a point and Donal Ward had the chance to level the scored a short while later but fired his free attempt wide.
Emmetts then extended their lead in bizarre fashion when a seemingly harmless ball towards the Treacys goal from McMullen dropped into the net over the head of goalkeeper Ned Keane to give the men in blue a 1-02 to 0-01 lead midway through the half.
Fr Murphys demolished by Emmetts
Robert Emmetts............3-17 Fr Murphys ...................0-06 By Paul Withers - 22/08/06
In an entertaining opening to the game, it was Emmetts who got out of the blocks the quicker as they opened their account with two points in the opening couple of minutes, with Kevin McMullen getting one of them.
Mark Traynor continued their good start with another point before Jim Ryan fired past Paul Butler to leave Emmetts with a 1-03 to 0-00 lead after just five minutes.
Colin Hayes did manage to open the scoring for Murphys a minute later before Steven Malone quickly added to that tally with a point from a '65'.
However, Ryan responded for Emmetts with another point before a high ball into the Emmetts area by Malone from another '65' was touched towards the top corner of the Emmetts net. However, Gary McCullum made a fine save to tip it round the post. Malone fired wide from the resulting '65'. Midway through the first half, a real flashpoint erupted in the match. Emmett's Brian Foley and Murphy's Paddy Dowling were both sent off after an incident off the ball, causing heated words to be exchanged between the two dugouts for minutes afterwards.
Robert Emmetts eventually overcame a plucky Kilburn Gaels side but will need to play better to progress further in this year's championship.
Without manager Mick O'Dea, who has been banned from the touchline for eight weeks following an incident in a match two months ago, Emmetts looked very ragged at times but upped their performance slightly as the match progressed to come out on top.
Fergus McMahon opened the scoring for the men in blue and gold in the opening minute with a point when a goal-bound shot was also on before team-mate Kevin McMullen dissected the posts from a free to extend Emmetts' lead.
Kilburn got on the scoreboard in the fifth minute when Michael Hayes kicked the sliothar over the Emmetts bar when under pressure and Shane Linnane levelled the scores on fourteen minutes.
Michael Dwyer then put Gaels in front for the first time a couple of minutes later when he scored a fine point when off balance but Jim Ryan got Emmetts back on par with a good point three minutes later.
Emmetts had the chance to go in front twice in two minutes but shot wide on both occasions. However, McMullen made no mistake when he pointed from a free with seven minutes remaining in the half.
John Joe Burke quickly levelled things up with a point and as half time approached, Burke collected a pass from Dwyer before firing the sliothar into the bottom corner of Colm Buckley's net to put Kilburn in control.
Jim Ryan pulled two points back for the Emmetts in first half injury time and McMullen should have equalised but miscued his point attempt. Gaels took full advantage and pointed just before the interval to give themselves a lead of 1-05 to 0-06.
Following a rollicking from their coaches at half time, Emmetts came into the second half looking a different team and pointed immediately through Kelly and also struck Colum O'Meara's crossbar through Mark Traynor.
Kilburn eventually found their feet as Francis Dwyer saw his goal bound effort tipped over the bar by Buckley before the two sides each pointed from 45s.
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