Clinical finishing in front of goal saw Round Tower Minor Footballers secure a valuable and in the end emphatic victory over St Mark’s of Tallaght. Report by Mick McGlynn.
Two goals from Joey Murphy either half and goals from Davey McCarthy and Ciaran Brennan helped Towers secure a 4-8 v 1-10 away victory at McGee Park.
Early indications were a victory for either team would not be so emphatic, and the Tallaght side were 0-5 v 0-2 ahead midway through the first half. Towers half-forward Shane Boland pointed in the first attack of the game and kicked a free but Towers were struggling to feed their forwards, as St Mark’s consistent winning of possession around the half forwards had the Towers defenders under constant pressure. It could have been worse as goalkeeper Eoghan Heffernan pulled off two excellent saves, the first from a close range drive and the second a low shot that was tipped around the post. As the half developed Towers started to get on the ball around the middle third and their direct passing into the inside forwards reaped benefits. The opening goal of the game brought Towers level. Joey Murphy played a long diagonal ball into McCarthy in the corner and Murphy finished the return pass by passing it soccer style beyond the keeper. Within two minutes Towers were three ahead, when Boland blocked a St Mark’s clearance and McCarthy palmed dropping ball into the net. Then Michael Cleary intercepted a St Mark’s kick out to point from distance and leave Towers lead 2-3 v 0-5. St Mark’s responded to leave just two points in it but in a move involving good work from corner back Padraic Fitzpatrick, resulted in Micheál Walsh pointing and midfielder Ciaran Brennan kicked a free from distance before half-time to leave Towers 2-5 v 0-7 ahead.
Towers started the second half as they had the first, with an early score. Fergus Callely won possession from throw-in and his ball found Micheál Walsh who was fouled on the 21 and the subsequent free was pointed by Alan Gavin from the ground. Mark’s responded but Joey Murphy almost finished the contest when he was denied two goals within minutes, the first for being penalised for showing the ball when through on goal and the second saw him strike the post with a drive across goal from a tight angle. Walsh was proving influential in getting on the ball around the middle third and his angle pass resulted in Boland being fouled and Murphy pointing the free. Murphy got the goal he deserved when Cleary did well in the inside forwards and slipped a pass to the Towers number 11 whose low effort went beyond the St Mark’s keeper. Heffernan pulled off another two excellent saves in the second half and substitute Ciaran Brennan finished to the roof of the net from close range following good build up play from Walsh and Murphy. The goal was followed by the best score of the match and the final one for the visitors, when a Towers move starting from the half-backs involving Walsh, McCarthy and Murphy finished with a point for Chris Berry.
Round Tower: Eoghan Heffernan, Sean Flynn, Andrew Pollard, Paudric Fitzpatrick, Aaron Soady, Thomas Ankers, Aaron Whelan, Fergus Callely, Michael Cleary, Chris Berry, Joey Murphy, Shane Boland, Davey McCarthy, Micheál Walsh, Alan Gavin. Used subs: Josh Hogg, Adam Clarke, Daniel Jesse, Ciaran Brennan.