St Brigid’s 0-12 v Round Tower 2-12, Junior E Hurling Championship, Sunday 24th April 2016
Round Tower Junior Hurlers are off to a winning start in the Junior E Hurling Championship, registering a six point winning margin from their trip to Russell Park. Goals either side of the half-time mark from Eoin Ryan and Philip Carroll proved the ultimate difference.
The first half was largely an evenly matched affair, with the momentum swinging between both sides. A goal would prove significant and it was Ryan who broke the deadlock three minutes before the break. It came from a deft flick to deny a Brigids forward by corner back Niall Barry and Fergal Power completed the defending by clearing up field. Ryan broke onto Power’s clearance and cutting in from the left he struck powerfully pass the Brigid’s keeper. The three point margin was extended to four a minute later when Ryan struck a point from the right from distance.
Towers had started the half the brighter. Martin Doyle and Ryan struck the opening two points. Brigids responded with three unanswered points. Martin Sheehan at half-back found Simon Nevin in space and he drove into Fergal McDonagh in the full forward line. He was pulled back and Doyle pointed the free to level. The home side then struck three without reply but Towers resilience was again to the fore. McDonagh flicked a pass to Donnacha Rafferty and he pointed on the run. Brigid’s centre-half forward did respod but Towers finished the half with a flourish, with Ryan to the fore. He struck two frees before netting and then hitting the excellent final point of the half.
The platform for the victory was established in the opening ten minutes of the second period. Two minutes were on the clock when Ryan cut inside to point. McDonagh almost netted when Doyle found him in space but his drive across goal was narrowly wide. Ryan again struck from a placed ball before Towers keeper John Delaney flicked a low drive outside the post to deny a Brigids net. A goal did arrive and it was for the visitors. Philip Carroll turned sharp to strike low beyond the keeper. We were now in the driving seat: 2-10 v 0-7 clear. Brigids responded with a point and McDonagh then registered his first with a score from a tight angle. A Brigids free narrowed the deficit to eight – 2-11 v 0-9. The home side needed a goal and excellent pressure by full-back Connie Ryan denied a clear strike for a goal when the broke beyond Tower rearguard. It was fitting that Ryan finished Towers scoring. Two ground flicks enabled him beat two defenders and create the space to point on the turn. Brigids went for goal but the best they could tag on was three unanswered points.
Round Tower: John Delaney, Niall Barry, Connie Ryan, John Weafer, Niall Corless, Martin Sheehan, Fergal Power, Simon Nevin, Ruairi Keogh, Philip Carroll, Martin Doyle, Donnacha Rafferty, Fergal McDonagh, Eoin Ryan, Eoghan Hutchinson. Used subs: Conor Harte, Ciaran Brennan, Gabriel McQuillan.