Wolfe Tones 0-13 Shannon Blues 0-14
There was no shortage of drama when the Tones and Blues clashed in the final game of the day. The Tones got out of the gates strong to begin the game, and again to begin the second half, but the Blues worked extremely hard to close down the spaces and deny the Tones room to work the ball. Steven Coogan's free taking kept the eventual winners in it over the first 30 minutes, and there were late game heroics as Darren Wallace pointed twice in the final minutes for the Blues to record a big win.
|It was a tough battle between the Blues and Tones.|
Wolfe Tones opened up an early 4 point lead. Lee Carr accounted for one score from a free and a second from play. Marty Farrell and John Ross Bodkin added 2 more as the Tones overran the Blues defences in the early going. It would not last however. James Walsh opened the Blues account with a point and through determined defensive work, the Blues got themselves back into the game.
The Tones found it hard to move the ball out of their own half as the Blues hassled and harried, forcing the Tones to cough up possession. Steven Coogan's steady free taking accounted for 3 points as the Tones were forced to foul when the Blues broke. With 3 more from play, the Blues found themselves in a 2 point half time lead.
The second half was as tightly contested as the first. Once again the Tones got off to a flying start. Four points on the trot had the Tones in a 2 point lead, and once again, the Blues dug in and got back into it. Things became scrappy as Jason Long had to issue a number of yellow cards. One score had an air of controversy. Shane Kavanagh's looping shot was initially called wide, but after reconsideration was judged a score - which leveled the game at 9 points each.
|Denis McElligott gets a shot off for the Blues.|
Marty Farrell's free with 4 minutes left had the Tones ahead, but points from David Clifford and two from Darren Wallace put the Blues two to the good. Clifford capitalized on a slack free kick out of the Tones defence, while Wallace pointed following a run from Ciaran Byrnes. Wallace pointed again to make it a two point lead in injury time. The Tones had a chance to steal the win, but Michael O'Brien fired over the bar from a tight angle. A huge win for the Blues, while the Tones will be back at the drawing board to try and figure out the formula for success.
Blues: C. Wallace, S. Kelly, C. Long, T. Wallace, D. McElligott, C. Moriarty, C. Byrnes, J. Walsh, D. Clifford, S. Kavanagh, S. Moriarty, S. Coogan, D. Wallace. Tones: C. Hynes, G. Scanlon, S. O'Hagan, S. Higgins, K. Clarke, M. O'Brien, G. Brilly, C. Talty, D. McVeety, M. Farrell, C. Carr, J. R. Bodkin, L. Carr.
By Rory O'Donnell