Cooper shines for Éire Óg hurlers in victory over Mayfield

Cooper shines for Éire Óg hurlers in victory over Mayfield
John Cooper, Éire Óg, is chased by David O’Neill, Mayfield. Picture: Dan Linehan

Éire Óg 2-20 Mayfield 0-18

A GOOD start to the second-half, along with a first-half goal, were key to Éire Óg's win over Mayfield in their IHC clash at Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday.

The goal, coming when they were playing against the wind, saw them three points up at half-time and they added 1-4 at the start of the second half to drive on to victory.

Overall they were the better side and it took until injury-time for Mayfield to get their first score from play after the break. Éire Óg also had the luxury of missing a first-half penalty, with Dylan Desmond's effort clipping the outside of the post.

They now face St Catherine's next weekend in the quarter-final and their opponents will know they are going to be in for a tough afternoon.

In the likes of Mark Kelleher, Kevin Hallissey and Daniel Goulding they have talented players all over the pitch, but as good as they were John Cooper was outstanding.

Still young and improving all the time the 20-year-old showed all the promise he had at underage level is now coming to the fore at adult level. The midfielder was their top scorer, with 1-3, and has all the signs of being a big player for his club going forward.

Eoin O'Shea opened the scoring for the winners, with Nicky Kelly hitting two for their opponents to put Mayfield in front.

Joe Cooper levelled it before Eoin Kelleher was fouled and Desmond missed the resultant penalty. Dan Lucey and Michael John Coffey made it 0-4 to 0-2 for Mayfield, before Hallissey and Joe Cooper had the sides level again.

O'Shea and Hallissey put the Oven side in front, with Shane O'Donovan and Kelly replying for Mayfield. But with a minute to go of normal time a brilliant ball from O'Shea found Goulding and he blasted to the back of the net to turn it in his side's favour.

A number of stoppages saw eight minutes of injury-time and Éire Óg made the most of it. Two from Goulding and one from Hallissey saw them lead 1-10 to 0-10 at the break.

They got the perfect start to the second half when Cooper burst through the Mayfield defence to goal, and they quickly added four points, to make it 2-14 to 0-11, and effectively kill off the game as a contest.

O'Donovan and Kelly replied from frees for Mayfield, the likes of Joe and John Cooper, along with Colm O'Callaghan keep the scoreboard ticking over for Éire Óg.

In fairness to Mayfield they kept battling away and three pointed frees from Kelly made it 0-16 to 2-17, with five minutes to go.

But it was too little too late and Éire Óg added points from O'Shea and O'Callaghan to run out deserving winners and now face St Catherine's next Saturday.

Scorers for Éire Óg: John Cooper 1-3, D Goulding 1-2, E O'Shea 0-5 (0-2 f, 0-1 65), Joe Cooper, C O'Callaghan, K Hallissey 0-3 each, R O'Toole 0-1.

Mayfield: N Kelly 0-8 (0-7 f), D Lucey 0-4, S O'Donovan 0-3 f, MJ Coffey 0-2, S Duggan 0-1.

ÉIRE ÓG: D Desmond; J Kelleher, C McGoldrick, J Mullins; M Brady, M Kelleher, D Herlihy; John Cooper, B Corcoran; E Kelleher, K Hallissey, E O'Shea; Joe Cooper, D Goulding, D Kirwan.

Subs: C O'Callaghan for D Kirwan (h-t), R O'Toole for E Kelleher, (55).

MAYFIELD: D Wise; G Lehane, K Brosnan, P Condon; D Looney, S O'Donovan, D Malone; D O'Neill, K Punch; D Lucey, N Kelly, S Kelly; S Duggan, G Looney, M J Coffey.

Subs: B O'Leary for D Malone (3 inj), S Crowley for G Lehane (55 inj).

Referee: Cathal Egan, Glen Rovers.

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