Wolfe Tones 6-15 Connemara Gaels 2-4
Wolfe Tones demolished the Connemara Gaels in the second of the junior A semi-finals. The game remained relatively close until shortly after the restart when the floodgates opened and the Tones put in three goals in quick succession. From then on the result was in no doubt as the Gaels soldiered on while the Tones looked forward to a date with Donegal next Sunday.
|James O'Donnell and Kevin Gorham challenge for this kickout.|
Wolfe Tones held the edge in the first half, and netted twice towards the end of the period. The Gaels got off to a two points start, AJ Maguire and Brendan Walsh each did the honors. The Tones were on level terms soon enough with points from Noel Crowe and Kyle Lynch, and the exchanges were fairly even over the first 20 minutes. The Gaels then went through a long period where they struggled to get the ball out of their own half, the Tones half back line were well on top.
With the teams on level terms at three points a-piece the Tones won a penalty after Crowe was pulled down in the penalty area by Fergal Cassidy. Lynch expertly slotted the kick into the bottom corner. Lynch followed with a point, and after the Tones opened up the Gaels defence, Pa Collins put a close range effort into the back of the net. The Gaels managed to make some inroads thereafter, however all their efforts could not yield a score which was badly needed to make up some of the deficit. At the break it was a 2-4 to 0-3 Tones lead.
|Stephen Murray peels away from Gavin Walsh.|
Shortly following the restart the Tones were firmly in command. The warning signs were there for the Gaels after O’Brien hit the crossbar with a goal on the cards, and soon afterwards another shot flashed across the face of goal. Lynch, Danny O’Callaghan, and Cathal Moriarty extended the Tones lead with a point each before a 3 goal salvo put the game away. The first came from Lynch, and was followed by another after Willie Milner found O’Callaghan who had just Stephen Murray to beat. A third came right from the kickout which fell to Pa Collins, and the midfielder put the game away with the finish.
Down by a massive score, the Gaels battled on. AJ Magure pulled on a loose ball in the box to tally a goal, and then Tommy McDonagh took advantage of a lapse in concentration on the Tones line as he lined up a 14 yard free. McDonagh hit it low and found the back of the net. Although the Tones work was done, Luke Purcell, Brian Joyce, Coleman Conroy, and Maguire tried to lift their side for the final quarter, however the Tones saw out the game with points from Lynch, Crowe, Milner and Lyndon Kiley. And so, it will be a Donegal versus Wolfe Tones junior A final next Sunday with Donegal going for the pat Callaghan Cup for the third time in 4 years.
Gaels: S. Murray, C. Lafferty, F. Casssidy, K. Walsh, L. Purcell, C. Conroy, B. Joyce, T. McDonagh, AJ Maguire, J. O’Donnell, K. Lowe, K. Owens, B. Walsh. Tones: P. Miskell, A. Rooney, C. Corrrigan, L. Kiley, J. Carroll, K. Regan, N. Crowe, P. Collins, K. Lynch, K. Gorham, C. Moriarty, F. O’Brien, G. Walsh.
By Rory O'Donnell