Dublin Senior 2 Championship Group 2, Fingallians 1-5 v Round Tower 3-12, Cloghran, Saturday 14th April
An emphatic start to our Senior Footballers Championship campaign, writes Mick McGlynn. They travelled to Cloghran Saturday evening to face fellow AFL 2 side Fingallians. Our lads sported a new kit provided through the generous sponsorship of new sponsors Maldron Hotel, Newlands Cross.
They took a stranglehold following the opening exchanges that was never relinquished. Conor Flannery, making his first competitive start and thrown into the hub of it at midfield, was excellent throughout. Complementing him in the youth ranks were accomplished performances from newcomers Chris Berry, Darren Gilligan and Adam Doyle.
The opening period had a tetchiness to it that is the hallmark of a Championship encounter. When the game settled, Jay Joyce kicked the first on the five minute mark, after Ian Ward had done well to release from the ground with two surrounding him. Ward then followed up with a strike from distance after Liam Connolly had won the Fingallians kick-out. It was three in the space of three minutes when James Kelly dispossessed in the half backs and released Mick Hallows to carry. He found the support Joyce to kick successfully. With their first attack Fingallians looked to have netted but a late touch into the net resulted in a square ball being called. Towers kicked on. Barry Keane and Darren Gilligan combined up the left to release Eric Finn who travelled towards goal at pace. The infringement on him led to Joyce kicking the free. Fingallians registered their first but on the 16 minute mark Finn again proved too hot to handle. Derek Murray won in the full-back line and Kelly carried into the forwards. He released Finn whose pace saw him evade challenges and he passed across to Ward to net from close range. Fingallians responded with a point but a great interchange between Hallows, Joyce and Finn led to the latter being pulled to the ground and Jay pointing. His fifth arrived courtesy of another placed ball and when Adam Doyle won a 50/50 he was fouled from behind and again Joyce did the honours His next was from play after another great win in the air by Connolly. Towers almost netted before the break, with Finn again tormenting and his pass just evaded Doyle yards from goal
Three minutes into the second half Ward drilled a low pass across to Micheál Walsh and he turned sharp and struck over. Fingallians registered their third point but any hope of a comeback was emphatically finished on the 39 minute mark. Darren Gilligan drifted into space and was in on goal. He passed to the supporting Finn who turned and buried past the defender. Finn then powered past two before teeing up Walsh who kicked an excellent score off his right. Fingallians kept going and flashed three goal chances across Gary Cleary’s goal, with pressure from Towers defenders proving sufficient. Instead it was Towers who proved deadly when Joyce run the race with the keeper and flicked the ball into the net. Substitute Conor L’Estrange kicked a free and Fingallians did find the net through a late penalty. Thomas Galvin finished the excellent display by the Towers personnel when he sold a lovely dummy and kicked from distance the final score of the game.
Towers management will be delighted with the response of their players following the disappointment of the performance against Naomh Mearnóg in their second league fixture.
Round Tower: Gary Cleary, Chris Berry, Derek Murray, Niall Byrne, Darren Gilligan, James Kelly, Barry Keane, Liam Connolly, Conor Flannery, Mick Hallows, Ian Ward, Ada Doyle, Micheál Walsh, Eric Finn, Jason Joyce. Used subs: Daniel Gregg, Conor L’Estrange, Thomas Galvin, Shane Byrne, Craig Shabaan