Senior C Championship Quarter Final, Saturday 29th September: Round Tower 1-13 v St Mary’s 0-17
Bitter disappointment for our Senior Footballers. The last strike of this Senior 2 Championship Quarter Final saw them edged out of the competition by near rivals St Mary’s.. Towers will rue letting slip the commanding position they’d assumed at the break – a six point advantage – with an abject performance in the second period. Just three points were kicked in the second half by comparison with the ten that were converted by the visitors.
The first score of the game came courtesy Darrren Gilligan on the five minute mark after Derek Murray in defence and Micheál Walsh in attack had combined to set it up. Eric Finn’s dart towards goal created the opportunity for Ian Ward to kick our second, despite being off balance. Mary’s registered their first before Walsh and Jason Joyce combined on the Mary’s 40 to work it across to Ward to kick his second from distance. Excellent patient build-up that started with Gary Cleary in goal and involved Mick Hallows, Barry Keane led to Jason Joyce releasing Finn and he struck powerfully over. Two Mary’s points brought the margin back to a point and Walsh then slipped to the overlapping Gilligan to kick his second with his right. The men from Saggart responded instantly with a point and Towers rattled the net with their next. Hallows gave a clever pass to Finn and he cut inside at pace. He slipped a pace to Joyce who turned his marker and struck low past the keeper. Gilligan’s third followed, a strike from distance. Mary’s almost bagged a goal but Cleary spread himself well to deflect the effort. They did register a point from the breaking ball and narrowed the deficit to two. A dispossession by Niall Byrne in the full-back line then led to Jason Murphy, Finn and Craig Shaaban combining and Hallows applied the finish. A pass driven inside by Ward was brilliantly gathered by Walsh to stretch the advantage to five points and it was six when Hallows carried thru the middle and offloaded to Finn who struck low and just over the bar.
The 1-10 v 0-7 margin at the break gave Towers reason for optimism but Mary’s signalled their intent within 30 seconds of the restart with a point. Walsh responded with a terrific point with three defenders surrounding him, with Mumbles and Hallows involved in creating the opportunity. The deficit was narrowed to three before a foul on Walsh, following good interplay between Hallows and Conor Flannery, enabled Joyce to successfully kick a free. But Towers struggled to create openings and were pinned back for a sustained period. The lead was whittled to one point on the 57 minute mark when Ward and substitute Adam Doyle battled to win a free that Joyce again struck. But our struggles continued, with our inside forwards not receiving ball inside. Former Dubs player Blaine Kelly kicked the equaliser and deep into stoppage time the Mary’s keeper converted a 45 with the last kick of the game.
Round Tower: Gary Cleary, Jason Murphy, Dan Gregg, Niall Byrne, Derek Murray, James Kelly, Barry Keane, Conor Flannery, Mick Hallows, Darren Gilligan, Ian Ward, Craig Shaaban, Eric Finn, Micheál Walsh, Jason Joyce. Used subs: Liam Connolly, Adam Doyle, Thomas Galvin