Adult Hurling League Division 7. Round Tower 2-12 v Naomh Barróg 6-9. Thursday 12th July, Monastery Road.
A six-goal return for Naomh Barróg proved insurmountable for our Junior Hurlers in their Division 7 clash last Thursday evening at Monastery Road, writes Mick McGlynn. Played in the extreme dry conditions with the sliothar giving an unprecedented bounce off the surface, the visitors struck goals at critical stages to leave our lads with too much to undo. The goals proved pivotal, with both teams being relatively even throughout the 60 minutes.
The Barróg goal threat was evident from the off. Goalkeeper Ian Carbery pulled off a smart early save to flick the ball around the post but two minutes later a high ball was stroked low to the net. It took Towers a few minutes to get going and Dean Blankson struck narrowly wide before Fergal McDonagh won a puck out and drove into the inside forwards where Ian Church was ahead of his marker and struck between the posts. Church, Martin Doyle and Blankson then combined on the Towers 40 to set up Donnacha Rafferty on the right and he slotted over on the run. Rafferty then turned provider with a low pass inside to Adam Clarke and he turned sharply to equalise. Graham Proctor edged us a point clear when he seized upon a clearance in midfield and drove over. Barróg almost netted their second but a prodded strike struck the bar before going over. Clarke edged us clear once again from the left, with Doyle being provider. But Barróg struck their second with a kicked effort to the net. Again, Towers responded. Ruaraí Keogh retrieved by the left sideline and found the supporting Barry Finn in space. He drove it over from the 40. Doyle followed it up with a point from a tight angle. The visitors struck their second and third points before they netted twice before the break. Towers had responded with a point from Blankson but a late Barróg free left us with an uphill task at the break, with the scoreline being 0-8 v 4-4.
McDonagh moved from half back into the forwards for the second period. Within two minutes he’d won in the air and fed to substitute Liam O’Connor to drive over. Rafferty pointed a free from the 40 but minus a goal for Towers, the deficit was eight points moving into the final quarter – 11 v 4-6. The task effectively became insurmountable when a soft goal was conceded. O’Connor then produced a remarkable moment of skill to flick over two defenders and it led to Rafferty striking the resultant free. The substitute struck the post from a tight angle after a good pass inside by Mark Keane and eventually we found the net courtesy of Martin Doyle after a good run from Cian Proctor to set it up. But the visitors struck a sixth and seventh to embellish the scoreline for them. McDonagh almost flicked our second to the net and from the follow-up Clarke scored from distance. Our second did arrive with two minutes remaining. O’Connor jinked past two before driving past the keeper.
It was the third loss of our so far eight-game league campaign, with two draws registered along with three wins. Next up a trip to Round Tower Lusk 23rd July.
Round Tower: Ian Carbury, Jim McGrath, John Weafer, Paddy Lucey, Fergal McDonagh, Simon Nevin, Barry Finn, Dean Blankson, Ruarai Keogh, Martin Doyle, Donnacha Rafferty, Adam Clarke, Ian Church, Cian Proctor, Adam Carbury, Mark Keane, Liam Gleeson, Liam O’Connor, Dara Byrne.