Under 21 C Football Championship, Whitehall Colmcille 1-10 v Round Tower 2-9, Cloghran, Saturday 4th November
A Seán Casey goal with just eight minutes remaining provided Towers Under 21s with the impetus to claim the scalp of Whitehall Colmcille and progress to the next round of the C Football Championship. Two years previous it was Whitehall who ended Towers involvement in Monastery Road at this stage but on this occasion our lads travelled away to Cloghran to register the win.
It was a tight affair throughout and Towers were two to the good, 1-9 v 1-7, when Casey struck the net moving into the closing stages. Aaron Soady, coming forward from half-back, combined well with Kevin McGibney and struck low across the Whitehall square. Casey scooped the drive and swivelled sharply to create the space to strike low beyond the keeper. As it proved, it was an essential score for Towers, being their final of the game. Whitehall rallied in the closing minutes, kicking four additional points. The goal they required was denied by two excellent saves by stand-in keeper Liam O’Connor, tipping two goalbound efforts over the bar.
Towers led by the minimum at the break, 1-3 v 0-7, but had been aided by the strong wind behind them for the first 30 minutes. They started the brighter in the second half, registering two early wides before Thomas Galvin struck the opener. Whitehall responded with two points to level it before Towers netted their first. Eoghan Halpin, Casey and Chris Berry supporting from half-back combined to work the ball inside to McGibney and he struck low past the keeper. Whitehall kicked a free before Darren Gilligan’s foot-pass released Casey and the tug on his jersey allowed Galvin kick the free to edge our lads three clear. Whitehall again responded but Towers enjoyed a period on top, with Adam Doyle excellently sweeping from the half-backs. It provided the momentum to create the opportunity for Casey’s defining score.
It was a tetchy opening to the game, with both sides kicking wides before Whitehall did register the first point on the 11 minute mark. The response from Towers was a excellent point from Gilligan off his right, with McGibney, Soady and Casey combining to create the opportunity. Another Whitehall point was responded to with a Galvin conversion from a 30 metre free, after Soady had been fouled. The Whitehall goal then arrived. A strike for a point hit the post and the number 12 caught the rebound and struck to the bottom corner. McGibney, Stephen Bracken and Galvin combined in the inside forwards and a foul enabled Galvin put two between the sides – 1-2 v 0-3. Soady won the subsequent kick-out and powered forward to leave one between the teams. Casey then struck the post following an excellent flick-pass by McGibney and Galvin pointed a follow-on free. Whitehall pointed again but two frees before the break allowed Galvin edge Towers a point clear. Grit and resilience were a hallmark of the second period for Towers, with the two goals proving vital in enabling the journey back across the M50 proving a happy one.
Round Tower: Liam O’Connor, Podge Fitzpatrick, Jordan Walsh, Conor Byrne, Chris Berry, Adam Doyle, Aaron Soady, Craig Shaaban, Conor Flannery, Kevin McGibney, Darren Gilligan, Lee Moran, Seán Casey, Thomas Galvin, Stephen Bracken. Used subs: Eoghan Halpin, Adam Clarke, Matthew McLoughlin, Luis Fagan.