Adult Football League Division 2, Saturday 6th July 2019: Naomh Fionnbarra 1-7 v Round Tower 2-14
A brace of goals from Eric Finn either side of half-time help secure a vital two points for our Senior Footballers and provide further impetus in their battle for survival in AFL 2, writes Mick McGlynn. Enjoying a six point advantage at the break and having missed chances to extend the dominance upon their hosts early in the game, Towers effectively finished the game two minutes into the second half against a team that had been reduced to 14 players following an off-the-ball incident.
Straight from throw-in in the second period Conor Flannery carried 40 yards from midfield and kicked successfully to extend our lead to seven points, 1-8 v 0-4. And Finn pounced on the misplaced restart to round the keeper and finish to the net, giving Towers the cushion to see out the win. Naomh Fionnbarra showed initial signs of a response, scoring two points without a reply, but a comeback never looked likely. Towers showed patience in retaining possession against the 14 men and sweeper Derek Murray angled a pass to Thomas Galvin in the right corner and he kicked from a tight angle. Galvin followed it up with a free when the host keeper was penalised for barging. Micheál Walsh had won possession in front of his marker throughout the 60 minutes and he turned his marker to kick our 11th point with ten minutes remaining. It was further evidence of Towers patience in their build-up play, with the move starting from Gary Cleary in goal and Liam Connolly releasing the ever energetic Lee Moran up the right flank to deliver inside. On the 58 minute mark Finbar’s registered a consolation goal when a pass across the square was palmed to the net. But Towers responded in the closing stages with three scores, with substitute Sean Casey kicking two frees and Ian Ward registering another placed ball.
The early momentum of the game was with Towers, with Walsh, Finn and Flannery breaking in on goal in the opening ten minutes but their opportunities failed to yield scores. The opener arrived from Walsh beating his marker for possession and the push on him leading to Galvin kicking his first placed ball. A good dispossession by Kevin McGibney created another opportunity for Walsh and the foul on him was punished again by Galvin. The game was two apiece, with Towers ruing the missed opportunities. Shane Byrne dispossessed and released Finn and another foul brought Galvin’s third. Adam Doyle then carried 50 yards to edge us two clear, with Walsh movement creating the space inside for the corner back to exploit. Finn then set up McGibney and the foul on him allowed Ward kick the free to put three between the sides – 0-5 v 0-2. On the 17 minute mark another foul on Walsh led to Galvin kicking another free and Tower’s dominance was rewarded with a goal two minutes later. Murray’s win in the middle led to Walsh and Moran combining and Finn cut in from the right and made no mistake with a powerful finish. Finn was denied another run on goal cynically and Galvin converted to leave us at 1-7 v 0-4 in command at the break. Three minutes before the ref signalled the end to the opening period the Finbar’s centre-half back saw red. Towers early capitalisation in the second period helped deliver a valuable two points away from home. Next up St Pat’s of Palmerstown on Wednesday 17th July at 7.30pm at Monastery Road.
Round Tower: Gary Cleary, Shane Byrne, Dan Gregg, Adam Doyle, Lee Moran, Derek Murray, Darren Gilligan, Conor Flannery, Liam Connolly, Liam O’Connor, Eric Finn, Kevin McGibney, Thomas Galvin, Micheál Walsh, Ian Ward. Used subs: Jason Murphy, Niall Byrne, Adam Behan, Sean Casey, James Kelly