Junior A Football Championship Semi-Final; Round Tower 1- 8 v Ballymun Kickhams 3-12
Disappointment for Round Tower Junior Footballers who strived to bring us to our first Junior A Football Championship Final in nine years but were beaten by a strong Ballymun Kickhams outfit, writes Mick McGlynn, Played before a huge crowd at the Community Centre last Tuesday, Towers battled valiantly but goals at crucial stages for the visitors left them with too much to overcome.
The visitors edged two clear before Jason Mockler registered our first from a free after six minutes. But a significant setback arrived when a minute later when a fist pass across goal was caught by the Ballymun corner-forward and driven close-range to the net past keeper Dean Alford. A free edged the visitors five clear and they edged further ahead with another point: 1-4 v 0-1. Towers responded. Substitute Eoin Moran fed to the inside forwards and Mockler cut in on goal and a foot-block led to a penalty. Mockler drove the penalty to the keepers left: 1-3 v 1-1. Towers started to get more of a foothold. They struck a wide before Jason Joyce fielded superbly from an Alford kick-out. He found Mockler in space and his lay-off was executed by Dermot Milton. Mockler almost netted when he palmed an effort towards goal but the keeper stretched to deny. A Towers point followed. Shane Boland’s incisive pass inside released Joyce and he pointed. But Ballymun struck again. They pointed before landing a big blow on 22 minutes. A good move up the right led to the corner forward cutting inside and striking past Alford. Another free edged Ballymun seven clear. Before the break, substitute Eric Finn cut inside at speed and was hauled to the ground. Mockler converted the free.
A bright start to the second half could have brought Towers back into it but the visitors went on the front foot and kicked two points without reply. On the ten minute mark Davey McCarthy kicked a great point from distance, with Milton doing well to hold possession before teeing laying it off. Ballymun responded and Joyce then raised the hand of the umpire, kicking with two defenders surrounding him. Joyce pointed again with 12 minutes remaining, after Mark Taylor carried well. But there was too much to overcome. Towers last score arrived on the 59 minute mark courtesy of Joyce’s third in a row. With the final play Ballymun netted their third when a substitute cut inside and finished to the roof of the net.