An Tochar and Balto set for quar­ter-fi­nal bat­tles

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT - PAT DUNNE at Hol­ly­wood

AN TOCHAR bat­tled to a hard­earned win by the tight­est of mar­gins over Balt­in­glass, se­cur­ing sec­ond spot in Group 2 of the Fitzger­ald Kitcken’s Ju­nior A Foot­ball Cham­pi­onship in Hol­ly­wood on Fri­day evening last.

This was lit­er­ally a game of two halves as Balt­in­glass took the game to their op­po­nents in the open­ing half, while a stern dress­ing down from man­age­ment dur­ing the in­ter­val, ral­lied the Round­wood side who outscored their op­po­nents four points to one in a low scor­ing sec­ond pe­riod.

Robin Far­rell opened the scor­ing with a point from the first at­tack of the game for the Slaneyside­rs af­ter great work by Tommy Mur­phy from the throw in. In­deed, Mur­phy dou­bled the lead for Balt­in­glass af­ter An Tochar reg­is­tered two wides.

The in­dus­tri­ous Conor Davis got the Round­wood side off the mark in the sixth minute af­ter a ma­raud­ing run by Liam Gaffney.

Davis lev­elled mat­ters from a placed ball af­ter Ea­mon Wolo­han was fouled. It wasn’t long be­fore Balt­in­glass were back in front when Tommy Cullen har­vested a point af­ter a fine pas­sage of play up the field.

Both teams were find­ing the greasy un­der­foot con­di­tions dif­fi­cult, es­pe­cially An Tochar, whom seemed to be af­fected more by the slightly long grass and heavy due on the sur­face.

Niall Kir­wan gave Balt­in­glass a two-point cush­ion to close out the open­ing quar­ter, lead­ing 0-4 to 0-2. Conor Davis fielded a mark on the re­sul­tant kick-out and made a bee­line up the pitch, beat­ing three de­fend­ers and of­fload­ing to Eoin Mur­phy, who clin­i­cally dis­patched the ball past William Rodgers to re­store the lead for An Tochar.

De­spite the goal, An Tochar could not build, only adding an­other point in the clos­ing 13 min­utes of the open­ing pe­riod.

Balt­in­glass took the game to their op­po­nents when Alan Bar­rett pointed to cut the deficit to the min­i­mum. An Tochar were break­ing up the field when Niall Kir­wan bril­liantly turned over the pos­ses­sion, Kir­wan dinked three de­fend­ers as he cut in­roads and fired over an almighty point to level the bat­tle once more.

An Tochar couldn’t buy a point for love nor money af­ter that, as the wide count grew, from placed balls mainly. Gavin Fog­a­rty put Ger Byrne through on goal, but Byrne slipped at the cru­cial mo­ment be­fore shoot­ing.

Balt­in­glass took a stran­gle­hold around mid­field as they pun­ished their op­po­nents as a Robin Far­rell white flag put Balto into the lead.

An Tochar re­stored par­ity once again, as the play was end to end. Peter Byrne cleared his lines af­ter he saved a shot from Lee Fur­long, the goalie soloed up the field play­ing a cou­ple of one-twos, how­ever, he had to make an almighty dash back as Balt­in­glass over­turned pos­ses­sion on their own 21m line, broke back up the field and Tadgh O’Toole ri­fled the ball over the cross­bar be­fore Brian Lord closed out the scor­ing in the open­ing half.

Again Round­wood cursed their luck, as they pulled two gilt edged frees out the wrong side of the up­rights as the half-time whis­tle sounded with the score­board read­ing 1-4 to 0-9 at the in­ter­val.

Balt­in­glass in­creased the lead from a placed ball on the 45m line from the boot of their goalie, William Rodger’s, which un­be­liev­ably proved to be their only score of the sec­ond pe­riod.

Things got scrappy with a num­ber of yel­low cards dished out and we went into seven long min­utes with­out a score reg­is­tered.

An Tochar seemed to grow into the game with Conor Davis in fly­ing form, cut­ting the deficit down to two now af­ter a smash­ing point by the cen­tre half for­ward. An­other bar­ren five-minute spell fol­lowed as nei­ther team scored, how­ever one couldn’t take your eye of this in­trigu­ing bat­tle.

A Gavin Fog­a­rty pointed free was duly fol­lowed by an almighty point of the boot of Liam Gaffney put the game in the melt­ing pot go­ing into the clos­ing five min­utes. It was an almighty dog­fight between two well bal­anced teams but An Tochar were that bit more clin­i­cal as Ste­fan Col­lier put them into the lead with 57 on the clock.

A hel­ter skel­ter fin­ish by both sides en­tailed, how­ever, An Tochar held on to win by the min­i­mum, to set up a quar­ter fi­nal place with Shil­le­lagh/Cool­boy, whereas the fi­nal quar­ter-fi­nal berth sees N81 neigh­bours Balt­in­glass and Bless­ing­ton meet in a mouth­wa­ter­ing en­counter.

Scor­ers - An Tochar: Eoin Mur­phy 1-0, Conor Davis 0-3, Bren­dan Kennedy 0-2, Liam Gaffney 0-1, Ste­fan Col­lier 0-1, Gavin Fog­a­rty 0-1

Balt­in­glass : Niall Kir­wan 0-2, Robin Far­rell 0-2, Tommy Mur­phy 0-1, Tommy Cullen 0-1, Alan Bar­rett 0-1, Tadgh O’Toole 0-1, Brian Lord 0-1, William Rodgers 0-1 (f)

AN TOCHAR: Peter Byrne; Pat Dono­hue, Gavin Kenny, Conor Short; Eoin Mur­phy, Bren­dan Kennedy, Gavin Fog­a­rty; Liam Hal­li­gan, Liam Gaffney; Ea­mon Wolo­han, Conor Davis, Stephen Con­nor; Cian McHugh, Ger Byrne, Bren­dan Swords. Subs: Ste­fan Col­lier, Joe Gaffney, Eanna Ka­vanagh.

BALT­IN­GLASS: William Han­lon; Karl Fur­long, David Gethings, James Keane; Michael Dowl­ing, Aaron Bar­rett, Tommy Cullen; Tom Mur­phy, Niall Kir­wan; Conor Keogh, Robin Far­rell, Alan Bar­rett; Tadgh O’Toole, Lee Fur­long, Brian Lord. Subs: Stephen Quinn, James Quinn, Jack Tim­mins, Sean Doody, Mark Ash­ton.

REF­EREE: Keith Pep­pard (Hol­ly­wood)

An­nacurra cap­tain Emily Rose Byrne, ref­eree Ciaran Gough and Bray cap­tain Or­lagh O’Kane ahead of the In­ter­me­di­ate camo­gie fi­nal in Dun­bur Park last Satur­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.