Wolfe Tones 1-15 Shannon Blues 1-13
With the championship entering the critical second phase of games, points would be of utmost importance to secure a top four place. The Blues and Tones battled hard in a game that went to and fro and the affair was not decided until the final 2 minutes of a tense, exciting game.
|Brian Egan on the ball for the Blues.|
The Blues and Tones played a tough, hard first half of football with win a must for placings in the table. There was nothing between the sides, an opening salvo of points from the Blues was answered by the Tones and after 10 minutes the teams stood a three a-piece. Daragh Roche was his usual busy self in the Blues full forward line, and when he was given any daylight punished the Tones with 3 points. Paul O’Donoghue’s sure kicking kept the Blues side of the scoreboard ticking over.
The Tones connected well and when in flow looked very good. Paddy Keenan and Ronan Jones around the middle of the field won plenty of possession, while Jack Lynch did well at center back. Keenan, James McEntee, and Thomas O’Reilly pointed, and later in the half it was Curran, Jones and Keenan finding the mark as the Tones spread the wealth in the scoring department. At the break the Blues held a one point edge.
|James Dolan's way is blocked.|
The second half saw the Tones put four unanswered over the bar and it looked as though the scales were tipping in their favor. Keenan showed a keen aim from distance and pointed 4 in a row, with 3 coming from dead balls. Goal chances presented themselves at each end, one right after the other, as the excitement built with the game coming into the final quarter and in the balance. The speed of the game kept up at a time when tired legs usually take over. The Tones held a two point lead when the Blues hit with a goal following a gritty upfield run by Steven Cahill. David Mannix was on hand to finish it off, and just when the Blues thought they had an edge, right back came the Tones with a goal after Aaron Eliott found an unattended Curran at the far post to palm the ball into the empty net.
The Blues tied the scores with Paul O’Donoghue point and through the final 15 minutes it was tit for tat. Each side gave as good as they got and three times the teams were level heading into the last couple of minutes as each go ahead point was matched. Twice the Tones inched ahead and were pegged back, and then it was the Blues one up only for the Tones to level it. With the chips down it was Meathman, James McEntee, who had the legs to swing the game in his team’s favour. McEntee made deep runs from his wing back berth to set up points for Paddy Keenan and Chris Sallier that ended up being the difference between the teams.
Tones: Shane Hayes, Kevin Maguire, Eoin Buggie, Mike O’Brien, Jack Lynch, James McEntee, Ronan Jones, Aaron Elliott, James Dolan, Paddy Keenan, Thomas Beckett, Dean Curran, Thomas O’Reilly.
Blues: Mike Moriarty, PJ Hand, Brian Fanning, Steven Cahill, Mike Cotterill, Denis McElligott, Jerry Troy, Maurice Young, Conor Fitzgerald, Darren Wallace, Paul O’Donoghue, Brian Egan, Dara Roche.By Rory O'Donnell