Mag­pies no match for high-fly­ing Tinahely

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT -

TINAHELY se­cured top spot in Group 1 of the Boom and Plat­form Hire Se­nior Foot­ball Cham­pi­onship with this seven-point vic­tory over Newtown in Aughrim last Satur­day evening.

Both sides had al­ready one out­ing un­der their belts with the red and whites suc­cess­ful against Hol­ly­wood while Newtown, although de­feated, had per­formed well against Rath­new. Con­di­tions were warm and dry with a stiff breeze favour­ing the side play­ing into the town goal.

Tinahely got off to the brighter start and pinned Newtown back in their own half in the open­ing min­utes. They were mix­ing their game up be­tween a fast run­ning, short pass­ing game and the oc­ca­sional long ball for­ward to Rory Stokes, who be­gan the game at full for­ward.

Eoghan Byrne and Brian Walsh were han­dling a lot of ball and Cur­tis Keat­ing was also com­ing for­ward in sup­port. The south men had es­tab­lished a three-point lead com­ing up to ten min­utes with scores from Tony Darcy, Cur­tis Keat­ing and Eoghan Byrne.

How­ever, Newtown were be­gin­ning to awaken from their slow start and be­gan to bring their lively, smaller for­wards into play. Their cen­tre back Shane Mooney also be­gan to get for­ward in sup­port. Dean Od­lum had their open­ing point af­ter ten min­utes fol­low­ing a great run for­ward by Mark Fitzsi­mons.

Play was more evenly bal­anced for the next few min­utes be­fore Newtown struck a de­ci­sive blow. A long ball for­ward put Ross Davis in pos­ses­sion on the thir­teen-me­tre line and slightly to the left of goal. The lively cor­ner-for­ward used his pace to round a de­fender and beat Alan Nolan with a shot to the roof of the net.

With the first quar­ter now gone, Newtown led by 1-1 to 0-3. Tony Darcy lev­elled the game with Tinahely’s first score in al­most ten min­utes.

Newtown now hit a pur­ple patch and added three points in two min­utes from Shane Mooney, a great left-footed score from Sean Hef­fer­nan fol­lowed by a Sean Gre­gory score. They now led by 1-4 to 0-4.

How­ever, the fi­nal min­utes of the first half be­longed to Tinahely. Rory Stokes pointed, Tony Darcy got an­other, and Stokes again lev­elled the game with a hard-earned point. Then came a bit of drama when Jason Cushe was top­pled over as he at­tempted to get a shot in, and a penalty was awarded. Cushe took the spot kick but Ken Turner saved bril­liantly at the butt of his right-hand post and the ball was even­tu­ally cleared.

Tinahely cap­tain Brian Walsh put his side back into the lead com­ing up to the break to leave Tinahely ahead by 0-8 to 1-4 at half time.

Newtown would now turn over with the ad­van­tage of the breeze but Tinahely ef­fec­tively killed off the game in the third quar­ter. Jason Cushe struck for a goal af­ter three min­utes. Tony Darcy pointed when a Stephen Dil­lon blocked kick broke to him, Wil­lie Quaile floated over an ex­cel­lent score, Brian Walsh got his sec­ond point and when Eoghan Byrne con­verted a ‘45’, Tinahely were now 1-11 to 1-4 in front.

Paul O’Rior­dan got Newtown’s first point of the half af­ter thir­teen min­utes but Eoin Darcy, in his first ac­tion on the field as a sub­sti­tute, pointed a free on 15 min­utes.

The tempo of the game dropped con­sid­er­ably as Tinahely played a pos­ses­sion game to con­sol­i­date their score and flooded their de­fen­sive area by pulling back play­ers when­ever dan­ger threat­ened.

In a sim­i­lar cir­cum­stance to the end of the first half, Newtown were awarded a penalty with four min­utes left. Dean Od­lum put his shot away but it was aca­demic at this stage.

In the fi­nal few min­utes Tinahely added three more points from Jason Cushe, Eoin Darcy and Walsh. The Darcy score was note­wor­thy in that it came fol­low­ing a long solo run out of his de­fence by Wil­lie Quaile who set up a fine score.

Newtown’s fi­nal point came from a Ross Davis free. It was only their third score of the half. They fell away badly in the sec­ond pe­riod, which was dis­ap­point­ing fol­low­ing their en­cour­ag­ing out­ing against Rath­new. In con­trast, Tinahely are mov­ing well. Eoghan Byrne slot­ted in com­fort­ably at mid­field and his silken left foot is very rem­i­nis­cent of a young Fer­gus Daly from an­other era.

Scorers – Tinahely: Tony Darcy 0-4, Jason Cush 1-1, Eoghan Byrne 0-2, Brian Walsh 0-3, Eoin Darcy 0-2, Cur­tis Keat­ing 0-1, Rory Stokes 0-2, Wil­lie Quaile.

Newtown: Dean Od­lum 1-1, Ross Davis 1-1, Shane Mooney 0-1, Sean Hef­fer­nan 0-1, Sean Gre­gory 0-1, Paul O’Rior­dan 0-1.

Rory Stokes watches as an­other Tinahely point sails over the bar.

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