Leinster Club Football Championships
Tullogher Rosbercon made the short trip to New Ross yesterday and recorded a rare football win for a Kilkenny club side in the first round of the Leinster Junior Club Football Championship.
The Southerners scores a deserved win over Wexford Junior champions Naomh Eanna from Gorey by a two-point margin. The Wexford side perhaps had one eye on the opening round of the Leinster Senior Club Hurling Championship next Sunday where they meet Camross from Laois in Portlaoise, but they really can have no complaints with the result of the game against Tullogher.
Tullogher, aided by the stiff breeze in the opening half, made a whirlwind start, scoring seven points without reply in the opening seventeen minutes. The winners raised the first white flag within a minute from Shane Ryan. Jason Shiely, leading the attack impressively from centre half forward, pointed two frees, Cian O’Donoghue also scored two points, the second of which came as a result of a fluffed Naomh Eanna kick-out, Brendan Lawlor grabbed one and another from Conor Hennessy whose blistering shot over the bar could easily have been a goal.
Tullogher’s short passing game, allied to their patient approach, caused endless problems for their opponents. But somehow, they switched off in the closing ten minutes of the first half to allow Naomh Eanna back into game. They hit four points without reply in that period to narrow the lead to three points.
That was a small margin given the strength of the breeze, but the Tullogher’s men hit another point in injury time from Walter Walsh, who sold a sweet dummy before shooting a neat point off his left leg to put his side ahead 0-8 to 0-4 at the interval.
Within thirty seconds of the restart the margin was back to three points when the Gorey side pointed. Errors were starting to creep into the Tullogher play, but in another attack on six minutes Walter Walsh ran at the Naomh Eanna defence before fisting the ball across the goal where the alert Conor Hennessy was on hand to tap the ball into the empty net. Naomh Eanna cried “square wall”, but the referee was having none of it and awarded the goal.
It was pretty much “backs to the wall” for Tullogher for the next fifteen minutes. The Gorey side scored two points but they needed to up their scoring rate. That, though, was never easy against a solid Tullogher rearguard.
A twenty-fourth minute pointed free from Jason Shiely, followed by another from Conor Hennessy left Tullogher ahead by six points with five minutes remaining.
Naomh Eanna piled on the pressure in the closing stages. Four unanswered points left two between the teams and somehow the referee kept playing injury time. Three, even four minutes was not unreasonable, but the six plus minutes he played was difficult to fathom.
And it was in those extra couple of injury time minutes that the real drama unfolded when a long delivery from Naomh Eanna was flicked to the Tullogher net by an attacker. Momentarily the Tullogher players dropped their heads believing that a gallant effort had been halted on the finishing line. But following a long consultation with his umpires the referee decided to cancel the goal and award a free out instead. It was a correct decision from my vantage point.
The final whistle followed almost immediately much to the delight of the Tullogher players. Be in no doubt that the best team won. Every one of the players worked hard throughout the game and their patient approach delivered a deserved victory.
Tullogher next play the Longford representatives at home, but Walter Walsh’s availability may be in some doubt due to Kilkenny’s trip to Australia in a couple of weeks.
Tullogher Rosbercon 1-10
Naomh Eanna 0-11
There was no such luck for Mullinavat in the opening round of the Leinster Intermediate Club Football Championship. Wexford side Horeswood aided by the breeze in the first half dominated the game from the opening moments.
They hit two first half goals and with former county player P.J. Banville causing endless problems for the Mullinavat defence, those goals saw them lead 2-9 to 0-1 at the interval, with Mullinavat’s point coming from an Ian Duggan free in the tenth minute.
Aided by stiff breeze Mullinavat scored two early points from Ian Duggan frees, but Horeswood quickly reasserted control grabbing two points in quick succession. A Jamie Fennelly point on eight minutes was Mullinavat’s first score from play.
The Wexford side scored a third goal on nine minutes and although Sean Mansfield responded with a Mullinavat goal shortly afterwards, there was little chance of the Kilkenny Senior Champions catching their opponents.
The effort all through from the Mullinavat players was commendable, but too often their decision making was poor and they needed to be more patient on the ball and in their build-up play. But in truth they met a superior side who only won the Wexford Intermediate Final last weekend.
Horeswood added further points before the final whistle to leave the final score at:
Two interesting footnotes from both games.
Jason Shiely lined out at centre half forward for Tullogher Rosbercon in the first game, while his brother, Eddie, lined out for Horeswood at right half back in the second game.
Midway through the second game, Horeswood introduced Ciaran Deely as a substitute. Although he resides in London Ciaran travels home for all Horeswood’s games even though he is also the Manager of the London Senior Football Team. In addition, he is on the staff of Queen’s Park Rangers Football Club working with their Youth Development Programme as one of the coaches.