Connemara Gaels 1-8 Wolfe Tones 0-14
The final score may have flattered the Gaels somewhat as the Tones looked the stronger side for three quarters of the game. The Gaels went long stretches without scoring and but for a spree of points from Jack Kielt late in the first half, and a David Larkin goal late in the game, the Tones dominance would have been more apparent in the final score.
|Tones man surrounded by Gaels.|
The Gaels held a one point edge at the end of the first half, thanks to some fine kicking from Derryman, Kielt. With the Tones holding the Gaels scoreless for the first 15 minutes or so while tallying four points themselves, Kielt fired four points over the bar, two frees and two from play to pull the Gaels within a point. Jerry Troy and Charles McCarthy pointed for the Tones to keep them two ahead before Eoin Connolly was called upon to make a fine foot save from close range, and keep his side in touch. Later in the half the Tones had another great chance to add a goal to their tally after Ryan Caffrey was adjudged to have fouled Shea Tennyson in the box, however the low, hard shot from Donie Nugent canonned wide of the post.
The Gaels took advantage of both let offs; Jason Cully, Kielt and Brendan Boylan each pointed before the break to make it a 0-7 to 0-6 Gaels advantage at the break.
|Dan McCabe shoots as Ryan Caffrey Blocks|
It all fell apart for the Gaels in the second half however. The Tones defence absorbed most of what the Gaels could throw at them, while the forwards had regained the lead with two quick points from Dan McCabe after the restart. Tennyson, Andy McDonnell and McCabe added to the lead, while Joe O’Shea mustered the Gaels only score. The Tones were able to make adjustments, Nugent moved towards the middle of the field and the entry of Cormac Joyce-Power maintained the advantage for the Tones while the Gaels seemed short on options.
The loss Sean Conneeley to a groin strain also did not help the Gaels cause. A late David Larkin goal, who advanced from corner back to score, halved the Tones lead, however, the Gaels could not penetrate a second time and the Tones start off 2016 with a reasonably comfortably earned 2 points.
Gaels: E. Connolly, A. Girvan, D. Larkin, J. O’Shea, R. Caffrey, D. Doolan, B. Boylan, N. Graham, J. O’Brien, J. Cully, P. Sullivan, J. Kielt, S. Conneeley. Tones: P. Miskell, R. Driscoll, D. Maguire, G. Brilyl, S. Driscoll, A. McDonnell, I. Whelan, C. McCarthy, M. O’Brien, S. Tennyson, J. Troy, D. Nugnet, D. McCabe.
By Rory O'Donnell