Magpies no match for high-flying Tinahely
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.