Intermediate Football Championship Quarter-Final: Round Tower 1-16 v O’Tooles 2-9, Monastery Road, Saturday 29th August
Round Towers proved that they are a serious contender for this years intermediate football championship with a 1-16 – 2-09 win over O’Tooles in last Saturdays quarter final played behind closed doors in Monastery Road, writes Aaron Douglas.
On a calm evening with very little wind, the pitch a little slippy, it was the visitors who started the brighter with a well taken point right from the throw in. Towers knowing what was at stake in this crucial fixture needed to respond straight away and this is exactly what they did 20 seconds later with a Jason Joyce shot that saw umpire Billy O’Connor waving the white flag straight away before the referee could even question the call. The hosts would not fall behind again for the other 59 minutes of the tie.
Towers went on to score the next 6 points in as many minutes with Ian Ward and Joey Leech both getting on the scoresheet while Thomas Galvin giving a masterclass in free taking kicking 3 beauties all from the 45 metre line. The Clondalkin men were dominating the opening quarter and drawing fouls left, right and centre causing problems for the northsiders all over the pitch. However two quick tap over frees and a well taken goal brought O’Tooles right back into it coming into the water break with the score now 0-07 – 1-03.
Towers needed a quick response after conceding the goal and once again the management got exactly what they asked for with both Connor Flannery and Manus Smith sending over fine scores along with another Galvin free to extend the lead to 4 points. O’Tooles were then dealt another blow, by having to play the remainder of the half with 14 men, when a black card was shown for a body check on Derek Murray. This saw the game become a little bit scrappy and hard to watch for everyone at home on Towers TV, with the visitors not allowing Towers to play football by throwing everyone back into a defensive system until the 10 minute sin bin was over right at the break. Half time score 0-10 – 1-05
The hosts then hit cruise control in the 3rd quarter which pretty much sealed the victory and a place in the semi final outscoring the opposition 1-03 to no score in the 15 minutes from half time to the water break. The goal came from a well taken Galvin penalty which started from a genius piece of defending by Jack Quinlan intercepting a ball in the full back line, laying it off to Joyce who finds Leech right in front of the goal and is dragged down in the square and gave the referee no other option but to award the spot kick. Cornerback Lee Moran was unlucky not to find the net himself when a ball came fizzing in along the goal line but flies past him to a sigh of relief from the visitors.
O’Tooles find their first score of the half 21 minutes in with a well taken point over on the right hand side of the pitch. Towers seemed happy to sit back and hang on to the lead for the final quarter with the damage already done the 15 minutes previous but still manage to find 3 points of their own in the closing stages with 2 coming from Ward right at the death of the game. The match wasn’t finished yet however, the visitors pulled a goal back from a penalty however it was not to spark an unlikely comeback with the final score 1-16- 2-09.
Towers now march on to the Semi Final stages of the competition facing Naomh Fionnbarra which promises to be a cracking game of football.