Adult Football League 2, Round Tower 2-18 v Naomh Olaf 0-13, Thursday 31st October 2019, Monastery Road
The curtain closed on another season for Round Tower Senior Footballers with Division 2 status successfully retained. Anything less than a win would have left Towers facing into the prospect of a play-off to retain their standing in the second tier. But through the wet and windy conditions Towers were the superior team and deservedly came away with the points and it elevated them to 10th spot in the final table.
The desire and requirement to win was evident from the off. A win from the throw-in led to centre forward Jason Joyce feeding Eric Finn and a push from behind. Thomas Galvin converted the difficult free from the right into a swirling wind. Mick Hallows winning in the middle then found Ian Ward and another free resulted in Galvin converting once again. It was three points from three attacks when Jason Joyce won the kick-out and found Ward out in front and he struck our third. The dominance almost led to a goal when Mick Hallows and Ward combined to set up Joyce but his effort was cleared off the line. Galvin then registered from play with a fisted effort after and an interchange of passes with Joyce. The move was set up by Darren Gilligan and Mick Hallows. Olafs enjoyed their best spell and notched two but Towers responded when Derek Murray found Joyce in space and his crossfield pass led to Ward turning to strike again. The dominance eventually led to a goal. Another win in midfield, this time by Liam Connolly, released Eric Finn and he slipped to Ward whose low strike across the keeper nestled in the net. The visitors responded with three points to narrow the deficit to a goal but Finn notched our sixth point when he evaded two before driving over. A block by keeper Gary Cleary then led to Halpin and Hallows combining to set up Ward to again convert. Another move started from Cleary saw Shane Byrne carry upfield and he released Halpin who struck an outstanding point from the right. Gilligan and Barry Keane then interchanged passes with corner back Adam Doyle and he cut in on goal and fisted over. Ward brought his tally to 1-4 with the final score of the half, a long distance strike from the 40. The half-time scoreline read 1-10 v 0-5.
As per the first, Towers started the second half on the ascendancy. Murray, Connolly, Halpin, Hallows and Gilligan worked it upfield and Finn cut in from the right and was pulled to the ground. Galvin converted the placed ball. Conor Flannery won in the air and the supporting Finn found Ward in space to drive our 12th point. Olaf’s notched another two but again Towers responded. Niall Byrne’s crossfield pass led to Gilligan and Hallows combining up the right and Joyce was released to fist over from an acute angle. Micheál Walsh entered on the 14 minute mark and within a minute had our second goal. Galvin flicked to Ward and Finn released the onrushing Gilligan. He carried into space before releasing to Walsh who turned and slotted past the keeper. Substitutes Kevin McGibney and Sean Casey were then fouled and both placed balls were converted by Galvin. The two substitutes did get on the scoreboard. Casey clipped a lovely score from a tight angle and McGibney finished the scoring with a neat finish.
It brought the points difference for the season to netural and rounded off the 2019 campaign with Division 2 status intact. Thanks to players and management, led by Damian Flanagan, for effort throughout past year.
Round Tower: Gary Cleary, Shane Byrne, Jason Murphy, Adam Doyle, Darren Gilligan, Derek Murray, Barry Keane, Mick Hallows, Liam Connolly, Jack Halpin, Jason Joyce, Conor Flannery, Eric Finn, Ian Ward, Thomas Galvin. Used subs: Micheál Walsh, Niall Byrne, Sean Casey, Kevin McGibney, Lee Moran