Round Tower 2-9 v Crumlin 4-9
This evenly matched and keenly contested Minor Hurling League 3 clash turned in the final four minutes through two goals for Crumlin, to deny Towers a valuable win in the Community Centre last Sunday, 19th May, writes Mick McGlynn.
The game was finely balanced with minutes remaining when a blocked Round Tower clearance was capitalised upon by Crumlin and finished to the net to leave a goal between the sides with just four minutes to play. Another point stretched the margin to four points but Towers minors were resilient and midfielder Micheál Walsh, whose dogged determination epitomised the spirit of the Towers lads, pointed from a tight angle to leave just a goal between both sides. With a minute remaining a goal opportunity arrived courtesy of a free from the 21. Again Walsh’s determination was to the fore as he evaded two of the visitors challenges before finding Gary Quinlivan who was pulled across when striking for goal. Dublin Minor Quinlivan used the free opportunity to strike for goal but his effort was blocked by one of eight Crumlin players who had lined the goal and Cianan Ryan was unfortunate with the rebound when his overhead pull went narrowly wide. It was Towers last opportunity and Crumlin put the game beyond doubt with an injury time goal.
There was little to divide both sides throughout this evenly match contest. A half-time they were both level, Round Tower 2-4 v Crumlin 1-7. Towers opening goal came courtesy of Gavin Quinn, who poked the sliothar to the net. The goal arose following on from excellent work in defence by full back Wayne Brennan and half-back Aaron Wynne, whose clearance found the influential Ciaran O’Brennan in the half-forwards. A foul on him resulted in the free that was finished to the net by Quinn.
Rory Keogh followed that goal with a terrific point from a tight right angle, after O’Brennan again influenced the game by winning possession in the half forwards. This left the score 1-2 v 0-1 but Crumlin responded with three successive points. In the fourth minute, a quick catch, turn and strike registered Towers opening score through Quinlivan and he was responsible for all but three of Towers scores. He netted on 19 minutes, after Fergus Callely, captain on his 18th birthday, was fouled and Quinlivan buried the free from the 25 metres beyond the Crumlin rearguard. Two further pointed frees from the Dublin minor – one from 70 metres – left the home side three ahead approaching half-time but Crumlin’s number 8, deployed in the inside forwards and whose height caused problems for the Towers full back line, netted before half-time.
The second-half was a see-saw affair. Towers opening point from Quinlivan came courtesy of a quick puck out from keeper Dave McCarthy who found midfielder Walsh and his incisive pass to the Towers marksman resulted in him being fouled and he pointed the free he won. McCarthy’s excellent save from a Crumlin drive across goal went unrewarded when the rebound was finished over the line to leave Towers now trailing 2-5 v 2-7. Unrelenting pressure from O’Brennan and Quinn enabled Quinlivan to block a Crumlin clearance and a pull back enabled him to point the subsequent free from 40 metres and leave a point in it. McCarthy made an excellent save from a dropping ball with the sun in his eyes and after excellent work from O’Brennan, Quinlivan bounced off two Crumlin challenges and turned to drive the equaliser over the bar. Walsh’s dogged determination and willingness to influence the contest was proving of key importance for Towers and he evaded three challenges with excellent ground hurling before a late tackle brought a free that Quinlivan pointed. However Crumlin responded with a point before their late flourish secured them a very hard-earned two points.
Round Tower: Dave McCarthy; Cian Ryan, Wayne Brennan, Adam Clarke, Michael Cleary Burns, Eric Murphy, Sean Sammon, Aaron Wynne, Micheál Walsh, Cianan Ryan, Fergus Callelly, Ciaran O’Brennan, Gary Quinlivan, Gavin Quinn, Rory Keogh. Used subs: Dean Graham, Conor Hart