AGB find their goal-den touch to sink Tinahely
AGB TINAHELY 4-8 1-10
ARKLOW Geraldine’s Ballymoney made their return back to the Renault Senior Football Championship, with a scintillating explosive start in the opening period of the match with some clinical goal scoring as they shocked Tinahely in this highly-entertaining encounter.
Cormac O’Shea pointed in the opening minute to get Arklow off the mark. Cormac Hyland raised another white flag after a great ball in from Cal Kelly a minute later.
Tinahely settled things down briefly when they won a 45 after a great block on a Tony Darcy shot, however Alan Nolan missed the target from the dead ball.
Cal Kelly played a sublime ball into his forward line where big full-forward Phil Healy won possession and rocked the back of Niall Byrne’s net for the first major of the game in the sixth minute.
Arklow were playing like a team possessed and two minutes later, Cathal Kelleher brilliantly flicked on the ball over his head to the ever-alert Cormac O’Shea who fired past Niall Byrne again for another green flag in the eighth minute.
Darragh Fitzgerald then himself pointed as Arklow were in dreamland, with not ten minutes played yet, leading 2-03 to nil.
Curtis Keating was deemed to over-carry, after some good defensive work by Ciaran Hyland and the danger was cleared. John Blake picked up a yellow card for a heavy tackle on Fitzgerald. Tinahely finally got of the mark with a point by Tony Darcy in the 12th minute. Midfielder Rory Stokes landed a beauty of a 45 a minute later as Tinahely started to settle into the battle to close out the opening quarter.
Mervyn Travers, Stephen Cluxton like, was taking his kick-outs very quickly, out to his half back line who were putting good ball up the field to their forwards, but no scores were registered.
In fact it was Tinahely who dominated the next period with Rory Stokes pointing another 45 and a Tony Darcy pointed free after 22 minutes to eat into the deficit.
Alan Dillon was brilliantly blocked by Jack Hamilton to prevent another score for Tinahely. Stephen Hurley pulled two longrange frees wide for Arklow. Phil Healy settled things down with a point. The Arklow backs spilled a ball when trying to clear and Jason Cush tapped over a point. Cormac Hyland played a great ball to Cormac O’Shea who pointed in the 30th minute for AGB. However, Tinahely added two more points in the additional minutes played, to leave the half-time score read- ing 2-05 to 0-07 in favour of the Arklow side.
Tinahely must have got one hell off a dressing down at half-time as they came out a different beast for restart. Tony Darcy pointed a free after 45 seconds and Stokes landed another monster of a 45 moments later.
Tinahely hit two bad wides to let Arklow off the hook, as Mervyn Travers was now slowing down his kick-outs to stem the Tinahely upsurge.
Stokes won the resultant kickout and fed Tony Darcy a peach off a pass and Darcy hit the back of Travers net in the 38th minute to put Tinahely a point up, after being nine down at one stage.
Stephen Hurley levelled matters from a free before Cormac Hyland raised a third green flag for Arklow in the 45th minute.
A minute later, we had a huge turning point as Stephen Dillon saw red after a late tackle on an opponent, that was spotted by the linesman.
This was a huge blow to Tinahely after getting back into the mix, losing a man in a moment of indiscipline. Arklow now with the extra man made better use of the space and in the 48th minute, Darragh Fitzgerald won possession 50 metres out and soloed through the heart of the Tinahely defence and unleashed a rocket from 30 metres that cruised through the air, into the net as it bulged at the dressing room end, as the fourth green flag was waved for Arklow as we went into the final ten minutes with Arklow leading 4-06 to 1-09 to turn the game back in their favour.
William Dillon was introduced for Tinahely and made an impact straight away as they won a penalty.
Up stepped Jason Cush, and his shot rose over the bar to let AGB of the hook to leave four points in it. Stephen Hurley added another point from a free. Arklow played keep ball going into injury time to thwart further Tinahely pressure.
Wing-back, Ciaran O’Shea rounded of the scoring with a great point.
More handbags followed before the final whistle sounded in the 65th minute to bring closure to an epic battle.
AGB scorers: Cormac O Shea 1-02 (1f), Cormac Hyland 1-01, Phil Healy 1-01, Darragh Fitzgerald 1-01, Stephen Hurley 0-02 (2f), Ciaran O’Shea 0-01.
Tinahely scorers: Tony Darcy 1-04 (3f), Rory Stokes 0-03 (2 45s), Jason Cush 0-02, Alan Dillon 0-01.
St Patrick’s and Rathnew battle for possession during their SFC match in Joule Park, Aughrim.
Tinahely’s Alan Dillon challenges AGB’s Danny O’Harte during the SFC in Joule Park, Aughrim.