St. Pat’s 3-10
St. Pat’s are 2019 senior hurling league champions, after a George O’Brien hattrick helped them on their way to victory over Glenealy on Tuesday evening.
Both George and Andy O’Brien were at the centre of yet another impressive performance from the Wicklow Town team, as Pat’s claimed the first piece of major club silverware for the season.
Rain-soaked conditions in Aughrim set the stage for a game that would only heat up in the second-half. Whether it was a low-scoring first-half, or a high-tempo second, Pat’s were very much in control over the course of the 60 minutes.
Andy O’Brien, fresh off helping Wicklow claim victory in Derry in the Christy Ring Cup two days prior, opened the scoring with a free, only for Gavin Weir to equalise from a spectacular sideline cut.
That levelling score would be as good as it would get for Glenealy in an opening period that was played at the whim of Pat’s. O’Brien built on that opening free with a further five points, with George O’Brien getting another, to leave the score at 0-07 to just a single point for Glenealy.
With Glenealy struggling to gain any sort of a foothold against their superior opposition, the reigning county championship holders were handed a lifeline through a Jonathan O’Neill Snr. penalty on 24 minutes.
Unfortunately for the losing side, Pat’s responded in kind shortly after. when Andy O’Brien fought through the challenges of the Glenealy defenders, before flicking the ball onto George O’Brien, who made no mistake in smashing the ball past Cian Staunton, for his first goal of the day.
While Glenealy were able to bring the deficit back to four points, at 1-07 to 1-03, in time for half-time, their mission was made all the more difficult, courtesy of George O’Brien breaking away right from the throw-in at the start of the second-half to get his second goal of the day.
Four consecutive wides from Pat’s were followed by a successfully free from Andy O’Brien, as they reaffirmed their dominance over their overwhelmed opposition. In fact, whenever Glenealy attempted to mount meaningful offence from the likes of Gary Hughes and Jonathan O’Neill Snr., they were met with dogged resistance from the outstanding Dale Quinn and Chris Kavanagh.
With six minutes elapsed at the start of the second-half, George O’Brien completed his hattrick, after collecting a clever Paddy Moorehouse pass on the edge of the Glenealy area off a hopeful long-ball. O’Neill Snr., Matthew Traynor, and Wayne O’Gorman did manage to bring the score back to 3-08 to 1-08, before Gavin Weir got his side’s final consolation score, with a goal as the game entered injury-time.
Glenealy did try to salvage the game with pressure late-on, only for Andy O’Brien to chip in at the back to clean-up possession and bring the proceedings to an end.
WicklowNews Player of the Match: George O’Brien (St. Pat’s)
St. Pat’s scorers: G. O’Brien (3-02), A. O’Brien (0-08; 0-05f; 0-02 65′).
Glenealy scorers: J. O’Neill Snr. (1-04; 0-02f; 0-01 65′), G. Weir (1-01), G. Hughes (0-02), A. Driver (0-01), M. Traynor (0-01), W. O’Gorman (0-01).