The month of November was proving one of considerable frustration for Towers supporters. Our Under 15 Footballers and Senior Hurlers had succumbed in their final outings to last gasp defeats by the narrowest of margins. But our Under 16 Footballers delivered some redemption Saturday afternoon. Their final outing as Juvenille footballers saw them travel to Fingallians and bring together a resolute display filled with top-class scoring to comprehensively claim league 3 honours.
Joey Leech led the shooting stakes, notching a remarkable four goals and five points. Towers goal-scoring prowess provided the platform for their success. And it was required. 23 minutes into the opening period a challenge by Seán Hampson, which was not-malicious, drew a red from the referee. The early burst from the traps had Towers 4-5 v 1-3 to the good.
Alex O’Neill, whose energy from midfield drove Towers forward throughout the final, kicked the opening two points from frees. On the four minute mark Leech struck his first goal. Kevin Curran won in midfield and Joe Murray angled a pass across goal. Leech claimed in the air and broke in on goal and sidefooted across the advancing keeper. Three minutes later Leech again won in the air and was dragged to the ground. He picked himself up to dispatch the penalty. Fingallians responded with two points and their full forward rounded keeper Oisin Douglas but skewed his goal effort wide. Matthew Kelly intercepted in the half-backs and Lu Silawong and O’Neill combined to release Joe Murray. He jinked inside and pointed with his left. He then struck a goal effort narrowly wide from a tight angle and from the next play the home side opened their goal-scoring account, with right their corner forward working a good-one two before finishing beyond Douglas. Leech replied with an excellent point, after working a good interchange of passes with Joe Murray. The third arrived courtesy of Daniel Mitchell. Silawaong won back possession and released Daniel Gibson Mitchell to attack at pace. Mitchell then attacked at the retreating defence and buried to the top corner. The fourth arrived with the next play. O’Neill won in the middle and carried before releasing the overlapping Joe Murray. His fist-pass across goal was carried and then finished to the roof of the net by Leech. Murray and O’Neill again combined and Curran was pulled back. O’Neill slotted the free. Fingallians struck three without reply, including that resulting in the penalisation of Hampson. Nine was between both sides at the break, but Towers were to face into a stiff breeze and a man deficit for the second period. Unfortunately Towers received another blow at half time as corner back Conor Broderick had to be substituted with a head injury.
Fingallians struck the opening point but Leech stepped into the goal scoring role once again on the six minute mark. Silawong intercepted and carried at pace. Murray supported and his pass across goal was palmed to the net by Leech. There was still plenty time for Fingallians. They notched 1-1 to leave the deficit ten points with 20 to play. But O’Neill and Leech combined to respond, with a foul on the latter resulting in him kicking the placed ball. Towers showed great composure, with sharp inter-passing enabling them to retain possession. With ten remaining Fingallians did break our rearguard to reduce the margin to seven – 3-8 v 5-9. But the tremendous character within the travelling side again came to the fore. Leech carried up the left and released O’Neill to break in on goal. He struck brilliantly on the run to the bottom corner. Towers pushed on. Silawong won the subsequent kick-out and found Leech in space to kick brilliantly from distance. The terrific composure on display was again evident when Alex Judge intercepted at full back. Silawong and O’Neill carried and Murray found the space to tag on another point. They finished with a flourish. O’Neill was again provider for Leech to raise the umpires arms. Leech then drove at the retreating defence and the tug on his jersey enabled him kick the free. Towers last arrived when Dara Byrne, who along with the other substitutions had a very good impact, won well in the full forward line and pointed. It was a resounding end to our 16’s league campaign: 6-13 v 3-8.
Round Tower: Oisin Douglas, Conor Broderick, Alex Judge, Seán Hampson, Aidan Kelly, Jack Quinlan, Matthew Kelly, Alex O’Neill, Kevin Curran, Damiel Mitchell, Lú Silawong, Joseph Murray, Aaron Whelan, Adam Hanlon, Paul Morgan, Dara Byrne, Kian McCarton, Seán McGrattan, Ciaran O Rourke.