Wolfe Tones 1-8 Connemara Gaels 0-5
James Carlin tries to get something going for the Gaels.
The Wolfe Tones put in a good solid display of football to win both points over the Connemara Gaels. Tight at the back and able to open it up in the forwards, the Tones were always one step ahead of their opponents. The Gaels hung in there for most of the first half, but with time winding down, the Tones hit with a goal with the last kick of the first half to set them up to kill off the game in the second. The Wolfe Tones set the tone for the game early in the first half with some stout defending and some good shooting and at the end of the first 30 were six points ahead.
The Gaels may have felt a little unlucky with the Tones snatching the goal at the very end of the first half. Gary Collins found himself unmarked 21 yards out and beat John Flaherty with a shot into the far corner. In the preceding 29 minutes the Tones had established a three-point lead and had their back line to thank as much as their forwards. The Gaels had plenty of possession and should have had a better return than three points, but the Tones forced numerous turnovers. In the forward line Sean Kelly, Marty Farrell, and Sean McVeigh each pointed, while for the Gaels it was Frank Niblock who pointed three times, twice from frees. With the Gaels still in touch and half time looming the goal was a serious blow.
Sean McVeigh breaks up another Gaels attack.
The second half lacked some spark as curiously the Gaels seemed a bit lethargic and unable to raise their game to a level necessary to threaten to overturn the deficit, while the Tones were happy to sit on their lead. This was underlined by the fact that each side managed only two points for the second period. The Tones got the first score of the half from corner forward Sean Kelly shortly after the restart, and the following 10 minutes was marked by numerous stoppages and a scuffle or two. Marty Farrell put the Tones eight points to the good on 13 minutes, and a comeback from the Gaels looked increasingly unlikely. James Carlin pointed from a free after 19 minutes, the Gaels first score of the half, and Frank Niblock scored a good point from play four minutes later. The Gaels lifted their game for the final ten minutes, but the horse had already bolted the stable. With a businesslike win the Tones are looking good for a spot in the senior semi-finals.
Tones: W. O’Dowd, N. McKenna, K. McGreevey, K. Gorham, D. Scullane, E. Hickson, W. Milner, S. McVeigh, Gary Collins (1-0), J. Murphy, Collie Farrell (0-2), Sean Kelly (0-3), Marty Farrell (0-3). Gaels: J. Flaherty, B. McLoughlin, T. McKiernan, P. McNicholas, M. Geoghan, D. Burns, R. Hughes, R. McAltone, James Carlin (0-1), Frank Niblock (0-4), V. O’Malley, T. McDonagh, G. Crossan.
By Rory O'Donnell