Round Tower 0-10 v Ballyboden St Enda 3-13; AHL3, Monastery Road, 18th April
Round Tower Senior Hurlers suffered their first loss in their return to AHL3 against a strong Ballyboden outfit in this early-season top-of-the-table clash, writes Mick McGlynn. Such was the resilience and the tenacity of the Boden defence that Towers only registered two points from play.
Boden struck two early points before a Eoin Moran long-range free registered our first score. Fouls on Eric Finn and Paidi Stapleton brought two further opportunities but from difficult angles these were not converted. Boden capitalised to strike two further points – one an outstanding long-range score from the sideline. Overcarrying by the Boden full-back enabled Towers halve the deficit. An outstanding score by the visitors full forwards – retrieving out by the sideline and turning sharply to point from tight angle – was cancelled out when Brian McLaughlin cut inside and was pulled across. Eoin Ryan slotted the resulting free from the sideline. A quick pull on a dropping free advanced Boden lead to 7-3 before Ryan struck a 65. Mc Laughlin contested a high ball on sideline and successfully won a 65 that was again converted by Ryan. With two in it Towers were staying on the tail of the visitors but six minutes before half-time they conceded a soft goal from long-range, with the strike deceiving keeper Fergal McDonagh. Ryan and McLaughlin pressure led to a barging infringement that was penalised by a Ryan strike on the 40 from the end line.
A half-time scoreline of 1-7 v 0-6 did not look overly daunting but the fear was there was more to come from the strong Boden side. The deficit was three a minute into the second period when McLaughlin struck a long-range score. What looked an illegal challenge on Eric Finn did not go penalised and the subsequent play led to Boden inside forward smartly shortening stick to bat beyond advancing keeper McDonagh. They tagged on another two before 12 was tugged back on the run and Ryan converted. However the game was effectively finished 12 minutes into the half when Boden half-forward won a high ball on the 21 ran in on goal before darting to the left and finishing across Power. Now trailing 3-9 v 0-8 Towers corner back Niall Byrne was given a second yellow for an incident in lead up to the goal. Finn struck an excellent long-range score from the right sideline before Ryan completed the Towers scoring with a 65. Boden tagged on another four in the final 10 minutes.
It was a very strong physical and skillful side that Towers encountered but the promising start on their return to AHL remains, registering two wins from three. Their attention turns to the championship, with opening fixture v Whitehall Colmcille at Cloghran this Saturday at 6pm – all support welcome.
Round Tower: Fergal McDonagh, Shane Byrne, Craig Curtis, Niall Byrne, Pádraic ‘Podge’ McKeever, Eoin Walsh, Jack Whelan, Eoin Moran, Cónán O’Broin, Eoin Ryan, Brian McLaughlin, James Clarke, Paidi Stapleton, Eric Finn, Eoghan Young. Used Subs: Adam Doyle, Aaron Wynne, Barry Kehoe, Luke Currivan