An Tochar march on to under-15 ‘B’ decider
AN TOCHAR finished this game with 1-03 in the last few minutes to come from a point down to beat Derry Gaels and reach the U15 B final. In a game that ebbed and flowed with both teams enjoying their period of dominance, An Tochar deserved their victory if perhaps the margin of victory is a little high.
Jordan Brady was in fine form for them in midfield and kicked two of their last three points when the game was still in the melting pot. The game also featured some fine defending from both teams, An Tochar are obviously well drilled in blocking while the Derry Gaels full back line intercepted more passes than most to keep the An Tochar full forward line in check.
Derry Gaels started the game the better team but couldn’t convert their chances, Luke Kenny got a good block in on Dylan Lynch before the An Tochar defence won the next ball coming in. Their first few attacks into the Derry Gaels half were snuffed out by good defensive play but they got the first couple of scores of the game, Cian Brady scoring 1-01 from wing forward.
For the first point Darragh Fee was in lots of space to take possession from a free and Brady was on hand to slot the ball over the bar. For the goal a moment later corner forward Matt Nolan’s shot hit the cross bar and Brady buried the rebound.
That spurred Derry Gaels into life and while they kicked three wides they dominated the game. Their good play was rewarded quickly however and they scored 2-03 without reply by the 19th minute to lead to 2-3 to 1-01.
Dylan Lynch was fouled for the first free and then converted his own chance for the first couple of points. The goals came quickly afterwards. A John Toomey shot fell short in around the square but James Doyle was on hand to fist the ball into the net. Those two were involved again for the second goal, Toomey passed to Doyle who laid the ball off to full forward Colm Walsh to finish. That attack was made possible by an interception by Shane Arthur to stop An Tochar in the Derry Gaels half.
If that ten minute period belonged to Derry Gaels, the final ten minutes of the first half belonged to An Tochar. Darragh Fee won the ball back and Niall Sheehan raised a white flag to signal the revival. John Paul Nolan added another before Derry Gaels goalkeeper Sean Campbell did well to save Sean Lacey’s shot. Fee however scored a point to make it 2-03 to 1-04 to Derry Gaels by the 24th minute.
Within another couple of moments An Tochar led 2-05 to 2-03. Wing forward Ciaran Murphy was fouled for a penalty and Jordan Brady smashed the ball into the roof of the net. John Paul Nolan scored the point. Just one the stroke of half time Ben Stephenson pulled a point back for Derry Gaels and An Tochar were a point ahead at half time.
The second half didn’t feature as many scores but was still as exciting. Sean Campbell pulled off another excellent save in the Derry Gaels goal while his teammates found their range to retake the lead. John Toomey and Stephenson kicked over three points between them either side of a Jordan Brady score and Derry Gaels led by point, 2-07 to 2-06, with fifteen minutes to go.
The tension rose as darkness fell and ten minutes later Brady equalised with a free. Reece Scott, who had a fine game, got forward to kick An Tochar into the lead and Brady then scored again, this time with his left foot, and the lead was two.
Derry Gaels couldn’t get their hands on the ball at this stage and midfielder Sean Leacy thumped the ball off the cross bar. An Tochar’s full back Andrew Nolan moved to full forward a few moments earlier and it appeared like he got on the rebound to Leacy’s thunderous shot.
Derry Gaels didn’t have time to reply and An Tochar march into the final.
Scorers – An Tochar: Jordan Brady (1-00 pen, 2f) 1-03; Cian Brady 1-01; Andrew Nolan 1-00; John Paul Nolan 0-02; Darragh Fee, Reece Scott, Niall Sheehan 0-01 each.
Derry Gaels: James Doyle, Colm Walsh 1-00 each; John Toomey (1f) 0-03; Ben Stephenson 0-02; Adam Keegan (1f), Dylan Lynch 0-01 each.
An Tochar: Cian Timmons; Ben Staunton, Andrew Nolan, Sean Brady; Bobby Brady, Luke Keny, Reece Scott; Jordan Brady, Sean Leacy; Cian Brady, John Paul Nolan, Ciaran Murphy; Darragh Fee, Niall Sheehan, Matt Nolan. Subs: Dale Brady for Niall Sheehan (37 mins); Marc Walsh for Bobby Brady (40 mins).
Derry Gaels: Sean Campbell; Shane Arthur, Oisin Dunne, Conor Byrne; Euan Harper, Dylan Byrne, Paraic Doyle; Robert Doyle, Ben Stephenson; James Doyle, Dylan Lynch, John Toomey; Philip Toomey, Colm Walsh, Adam Keegan. Subs: John Moran for Colm Walsh, Dara O’Shea for Philip Toomey (both 38 mins); Evan Doyle for Dylan Byrne (53 mins).
Referee: Tony McLoughlin
Enniskerry’s Alan King and Rathnew Lee Kavanagh compete for the ball during the JBFC final in Joule Park, Aughrim. Picture: Garry O’Neill