Round Tower 0-11 v St Brendan’s 0-10, Community Centre, Sunday 19th August 2018, AFL 5
Our Junior A Footballers displayed tremendous resilience to overcome St Brendan’s resistance and continue their push for promotion from AFL 5, writes Mick McGlynn. Coming into the game our lads were third and the visitors were on their tail in fifth. Following the weekend fixtures we remain third and one fixture remains against second from bottom Ballyboden St Enda’s. Lucan are two points behind us in forth.
Joey Leech got us off the mark after two minutes following a lay-off from Fergus Callaly. Scores were difficult to come by with defences proving resilient. Brendan’s posed a powerful physical threat but the Towers rearguard was strong and experienced, with the likes of Paul Clifford, Mark Gahan and Niall Corless marshalling. Both corner backs Dave Chapman and David Clarke made timely interceptions in the opening quarter. Towers registered two wides before Dermot Milton kicked an outstanding free from the left touchline. Mikey Cleary was proving influential operating in midfield, getting on possession and using it well. Brendan’s registered their first after 13 minutes. Our third was an outsanding team score. It started in defence with Clifford and Cleary working it out to Lee Moran who carried into attack. Leech delivered an outstanding crossfield pass to Milton and he struck crisply off his left. Shane Boland dropped a free short after a superb pick-up from Leech on the run and Brendan’s subsequently registered their second. They levelled with four minutes of the half remaining and edged ahead for the first time in the game. But Jason Mockler equalised, with Cleary providing the assist after Alex O’Neill won well in the air. Towers briefly lost their composure, losing three kickouts on the trot and were punished with a point on each occasion. A timely response was provided by O’Neill just before the break, after he worked a good one-two with Callaly. It left Brendan’s marginally clear 0-5 v 0-7 a the break.
We started the brighter in the second period with Mockler missing a free before Milton kicked following an off-the-ball infringement. An excellent block by Callaly then led to Mockler’s crossfield pass enabling Boland to kick successfully with his left. Brendan’s edged two clear but Towers responded when Azeez Fetuga released Mockler and when he was fouled he converted the free he’d won. An interception on the visitors kick-out led to Milton releasing Boland and he drove over. A goal was a possibility. Brendan’s edged ahead again and Cleary then won possession and Leech provided the assist to O’Neill who spun and notched our tenth. Cleary intercepted again and was fouled on the 40. Milton dispatched the placed ball to edge us a point clear with four minutes remaining. Towers were calm in possession in the closing minutes, with young substitutes Matthew Kelly and Adam Eustace combining well to retain under pressure. Cleary, Fetuga and Corless won crucial dispossessions to assist Towers in seeing it out and winning a vital two points.
Round Tower: Dean Alford, Dave Chapman, Mark Gahan, David Carke, Lee Moran, Niall Corless, Azeez Fetuga, Fergus Callaly, Michael Cleary, Jason Mockler, Dermot Milton, Alex O’Neill, Paul Clifford, Shane Boland, Joey Leech. Used subs: Seán Ó Donnagain, Matthew Kelly, Adam Eustace, Aaron Soady