Minor Football Division 2: Round Tower 3-10 v St Pat’s Donabate 1-10, Wednesday 10th July, Community Centre
From three, to two, to one. Round Tower Minor Footballers will play in the top tier next season after claiming Division 2 honors before a huge crowd of supporters Wednesday night in the Community Centre. It marked the second season of promotion for our Minors and claiming top spot is testament to the excellent talent emerging from juvenile ranks and coaching that is harnessing such.
Joey Leech opened the scoring following a fine team move that started with keeper Oisin Douglas finding Conor Broderick. Adam Byrne then fed Joe Murray whose injection of pace created the opening for Leech to cut inside and fire his second over. A Jack Halpin win in midfield led to fellow midfielder Alex O’Neill kicking the games second score off his left. St Pat’s registered their first on the eight minute mark with a free. Halpin then released Leech and his strike for goal careered back off the crossbar. Ciaran Courtney collected the rebound to point. The deficit was reduced to one but a pivotal moment arrived on the 15 minute mark. Aaron Curtis delivered a crossfield pass to Murray and his dinked pass in behind the full backline was perfectly weighted. Leech gathered and struck powerfully to the roof of the net. The lead up to the goal saw keeper Oisin Douglas handle with aplomb a high ball into the Towers box in wet conditions, a hallmark of his handling throughout the game. Our fourth point arrived when Leech controlled brilliantly with his foot and then turned sharply to finish. O’Neill, Courtney and Lu Silawong then combined but Murray’s strike hit the post. Pat’s narrowed the deficit to four but Murray’s dinked point again extended our lead. Adam Byrne timed a great interception and it led to O’Neill quickly taking a free to Courtney and he raising the arm of the umpire. The visitors again responded to leave the half-time margin 1-6 v 0-5.
There was a goal between the teams four minutes into the second period and Towers showed signs of nerves in not converting early opportunities. Ten minutes in an Adam Hanlon interception in the full back line led to O’Neill swapping passes with Courtney and striking our first point of the second period. Full back Shane Morrow, who read the play superbly throughout, showed safe hands when a dangers ball was fizzed across the Towers full back line. As per first half, Towers struck a decisive blow on the 15 minute mark. Douglas kicked superbly to release Halpin in the visitors half. He carried and Conor Morrow flicked to Curtis and he finished low under the keeper. O’Neill, whose driving runs forward were a hallmark throughout, carried into the 40, slowed, turned and pointed to leave the lead at 2-8 v 0-8. Jack Quinlan dispossessed twice in the space of two minutes and Matthew Kelly continued to anchor the 40, making timely interceptions. He received from Douglas and the move led to Silawong and Conor Morrow combining in the forwards to create the opening for Curtis to point. With six minutes remaining the game was put to bed. Leech latched onto an astray kick-out and he quickly fed Courtney to strike into the top corner. Conor Morrow, who put in a tremendous shift up the right channel, carried into attack and it led to Leech bringing his tally to 1-4. Pat’s struck a late penalty and followed it with two points without response, but the game was well beyond them.
The large crowd gave the Towers lads a well deserved rapturous reception on the final whistle. With league honors in the bag, attention will focus to Championship post Summer.
Congratulations to players and their management, led by Mark Healy, for their fantastic achievement. Thanks also to sponsors Gabriel O’Brien Crane Hire and Enda Cosgrove Plastering.
Round Tower: Oisin Douglas, Adam Byrne, Shane Morrow, Adam Hanlon, Jack Quinlan, Matthew Kelly, Conor Broderick, Alex O’Neill, Jack Halpin, Lu Silawong, Joe Murray, Conor Morrow, Ciaran Courtney, Aaron Curtis, Joey Leech. Subs: Alex Judge, Aidan Kelly, Dara Byrne, Daniel Gibson, Senan Walsh, John O’Malley, Gavin Curtis, Liam O’Suillibhean, Tom Cannon, Luke Geraghty, Darragh Henderson, Finn Coyle, Mick Broderick, Stephen Barry.