An Tochar march on to un­der-15 ‘B’ de­cider

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT - At Ash­ford

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

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