Wolfe Tones 0-11 Aiden McAnespies 2-12
McAnespies put in a scintillating first 30 minutes, and were unfortunate not to have been further ahead than the five point advantage that they held at half time. A goal got the northerners off to a great start. David Conway got around his marker and slid the ball home low under the advancing keeper. The Tones responded with three points; Marty Farrell, Willie Milner, and Jamie Murphy each pointed and after 10 minutes the sides were level again. McAnespies turned things up a notch or two from that point on. Johnny Laverty was in fine form at center forward, full of running and covering a lot of ground in the forward line, and McAnespies midfield of Declan Lally and Danny McBride had a distinct edge in that area of the field. Laverty scored two lovely points from play and followed with a third from a free. Sean McVeigh stemmed the tide with a nice point from play but David Conway put two over the bar, and Laverty a fourth for himself before the half time whistle. The Tones breathed a sigh of relief on at least two occasions as McAnespies looked to have a goal on. Wille O’Dowd did well to put David Conway’s shot out for a 50, and another chance went wide of the posts as the first half wound down.
The Tones opened the second half with a brace of points to raise their spirits. Former Kerry Under-21,Eamon Hickson, and then Willie Milner pointed for the Tones to reduce the gap to a single score, but McAnespies replied with two points of their own from Colm McCrory and Johnny Laverty. The Tones threatened to make a comeback on a couple of occasions, but did not follow through. Joey Farrell got the deficit down to four points with a point from a free, but the Conway/Laverty scoring duet each put one over in response. Marty Farrell and Sean McVeigh again got it back to four, but this time the response from McAnespies was a point from Colm McCrory and then a goal from David Conway. A Wolfe Tones attack broke down and the ball was worked down the other end of the field until Conway had just the keeper to beat and the Laois man duly obliged. With just over ten minutes to go and the way the game was going, that seemed to end the contest.
Marty Farrell and Michael O’Brien each pointed to level the scores on points, but the goals on the scoreboard, and a point from a late David Conway free, proved to be the difference between the teams.
McAnespies: D. Traynor, C. Lynch, S. Magill, D. Donegan, M. Stanbrook, A. Feeney, D. Lally, D. McBride, M. Gottsche, Johnny Laverty (0-6), Colm McCrory (0-2), S. McGettigan, David Conway (2-3). Tones: W. O’Dowd, Mike O’Brien (0-1), P. Holland, Jamie Murphy (0-1), D. Scullane, Eamon Hickson (0-1), Sean McVeigh (0-2), J. Farrell, K. Gorham, C. Farrell, Willie Milner (0-2), S. O’Brien, Marty Farrell (0-4).
By Rory O'Donnell