Baltinglass prove too hot to handle for Tinahely
BALTINGLASS advanced to the county under-17 football final and a date with Éire Óg after a deserved victory over a talented Tinahely side at Pearse’s Park, Arklow last Sunday.
A superb second half display saw the Baltinglass men turn a three-point half-time deficit into a comfortable six-point victory.
Baltinglass sprung out of the blocks with a goal from their first attack.
John Keogh launched a delivery in on top of towering full-forward Jack Kirwan and he broke the ball to the incoming Emilio Faulkner with the wing back burying to the Tinahely net.
Matthew Ging and Eoghan Byrne - with a superb effort from the outside of the left boot - got Tinahely ticking before Baltinglass struck for a second goal.
Jason Steed hammered a long ball in on Kirwan and as the Tinahely defence all converged on the big man the ball alluded them all, allowing the unmarked Jack Fleming to stride in on goal and place beyond the despairing reach of keeper Alex Byrne.
John Keogh stretched the lead before Tinahely, led brilliantly by centre back Cillian McDonald, got a grip of the game.
Ruairi Tompkins and McDonald struck points then Tinahely drew level when Callum Mutton blasted home from an acute angle after Tompkins had done great work to feed him.
Further points from Ging (2) and McDonald had Tinahely three clear at the break.
With Sean O’Brien’s words of wisdom ringing in their ears, Baltinglass came out rejuvenated in the second half. Sean Doody pointed from the throw in.
Then impressive wing backs Alan Corcoran and Faulkner combined with pace to create a chance for corner-forward Tom Keogh to drill another Baltinglass goal.
John Keogh pointed again, after Tom Keogh landed a skyscraper from 50 yards, and captain Steed landed a Garryowen the lead was out to four with 15 minutes to play.
Tinahely kept plugging away but with Baltinglass on top at midfield and their wing backs mopping up everything, the south Wicklow men just could not get the supply of ball into Ging and Eoin Darcy to cause the opposition trouble.
Darcy did get a point to close the gap, but it was token resistance as Baltinglass were growing all over the pitch.
A further run of scores from John Keogh, Fleming, centre back Alan Barrett and Keogh again stretched the lead to six and thats how it was to finish.
An enjoyable championship game which saw Baltinglass in clinical form when they got a foothold in the second half.
For Tinahely, Eoghan Byrne, Ging and centre back McDonald had fine games.
For Baltinglass, John Keogh, Jack Fleming and Jack Kirwan were pivotal.
Their midfield duo of Steed and Doody were instrumental too in a fine victory man of the match was Faulkner who picked up so much loose ball and drove forward at every opportunity, scoring one goal and setting up the other.
The pride and passion displayed by O’Brien on the sideline will have these young men running through walls on county final day. Éire Óg could be in for a hell of a battle.
Scorers - Baltinglass; John Keogh 0-4, Jack Fleming 1-1, Tom Keogh 1-1, Emilio Faulkner 1-0, Alan Barrett 0-2, Sean Doody 0-1, Jason Steed 0-1.
Tinahely: Callum Mutton 1-0, Matthew Ging 0-3, Eoghan Byrne 0-2, Ruairi Tompkins 0-2, Cillian McDonald 0-2, Eoin Darcy 0-1
Baltinglass: Darren Walshe; Arun Daly Danne, Chris Grimes, Hugh O’Toole; Emilio Faulkner, Alan Barrett, Aaron Corcoran; Sean Doody, Jason Steed; Jason Kenny, John Keogh, Adam Germaine; Jack Fleming, Jack Kirwan, Tom Keogh. Subs: Adam Keogh, Niall O’Connor, Conor Flood.
Tinahely: Alex Byrne; Daniel Hedderman, Brad Hickey, Gearoid Donaghue; Cian O’Neill, Cillian McDonald, Jack Murrey; Eoin Darcy, Adam Hadden; Rory O’Dare, Ruairi Tompkins, Diarmuid Lambert; Matthew Ging, Eoghan Byrne, Callum Mutton. Subs: Patrick Murphy, Thomas Hayden.
Referee: Gareth Whelan (Kiltegan)