A four goal blitz inside the opening twelve minutes propelled Round Tower Senior Footballers to a Senior B Championship Semi Final last Thursday night at Monastery Road, writes Mick McGlynn. Visitors St Peregine’s were left reeling and there was to be no sensational recovery from the home sides opening onslaught.
Towers started the goal scoring with just a minute on the clock. Derek Murray fielded a high ball into visitors full forward line and he turned to strike past keeper. Two minutes later they were six points clear. Blood sub Barry Gallagher angled a pass into inside forwards and Micheál Walsh cut across his marker. Similar to Murray finish he struck low across the keeper to give him no chance. Peregine’s notched a free but James Kelly responded with a converted placed ball. Then the goal scoring blitz resumed. Eric Finn broke inside at great pace and struck powerfully to the roof of the net. Peregine’s notched another point from a free but Conor L’Estrange then created the opportunity for Tom Lyons to kick an excellent point from the right from distance. Stephen McGibney then pointed another from long-range before the fourth goal arrived to effectively finish the game as a contest 12 minutes in. Murray broke inside and struck across the keeper. Walsh was on hand to add the finishing touch. Walsh then tagged on an outstanding point to leave 13 points between the sides: 4-4 v 0-3. Peregine’s kicked another free and their first point from play before a foul on Finn allowed Kelly kick a free. An excellent move from defence to attack, involving Brian Costello from corner back and Eoghan Young and Murray led to McGibney jinking beyond two markers and then being pulled to ground. L’Estrange dispatched the free. It was the final score of the half, with Towers holding a 4-6 v 0-6 advantage at the interval.
Pereregine’s enjoyed a mini revival in the opening quarter of second period, registering 1-2 without reply. Towers first score of the half came 13 minutes in and was another goal. Young won a Peregine’s kicked out and released McGibney. He found Mick Hallows charging into space and his initial strike hit the foot of the post but he followed up to tap into net. Walsh registered another excellent point. Murray won possession in the middle and Costello broke forward. Walsh seized the pass inside and turned his marker to strike with the right. With minutes remaining substitute Stephen Bracken netted what will prove a memorable goal for the Minor. An excellent flick up by Walsh running at tremendous pace up the line enabled him break free. He released Kelly coming through the middle who offloaded to Bracken. His strike was low to bottom corner of the net.
Awaiting Mick Hyland’s side in the semi-final is Cuala, in a repeat of last year’s AFL2 play-off semi-final.
Round Tower: Gary Cleary, Brian Costello, Mark Gahan, Seán O’Donnagain, Tom Lyons, Ian Ward, Jason Murphy, Liam Connolly, Mick Hallows, Conor L’Estrange, James Kelly, Eric Finn, Micheál Walsh, Stephen McGibney, Derek Murray. Used subs: Barry Gallagher, Eoghan Young, Dan Gregg, Stephen Bracken, Niall Byrne, Eoin Moran.