Monday, August 22, 2016

Senior Football Semi-Final: Connemara Gaels v Wolfe Tones

Connemara Gaels 1-8 Wolfe Tones 3-17

Wolfe tones played their best game of the season to get themselves into their third senior football final in a row.  The Connemara Gaels played second fiddle throughout, although had one of the Gaels early goal chances went in the game might have taken on a different complexion.  As it turned out the Tones were on top in all facets of the game and got some great performances from Leighton Glynn in the forward line and, Andy McDonnell and Mick Grady in defence.

Wolfe Tones head into their third senior football final on the trot.
Wolfe Tones went into the break with a commanding lead.  The game was well balanced over the first 15 minutes, and the Gaels could have had three goals.  Thanks to a great save from Lorcan Molloy from Ronan Rafferty, and a couple of close calls the Tones remained clean in the goals against column.  It was the Tones who netted early.  Shea Tennyson finished into the roof of the net after a great burst forward from Kevin O’Brien.  The Gaels managed four points, and seemed to be well in the game, when the Tones turned up the gear a couple of notches.

Paddy Keenan can only watch as John O'Brien
pounces on a loose ball.
Leighton Glynn in the half forward line was everywhere for the Tones and there seemed to be acres of space as the South Boston side moved like a well-oiled machine.  Jerry Troy was the man on the spot to play the role of finisher on four occasions as the Tones were first to breaks and sliced through the Gaels defence.  Additionally Ryan Rafferty was well marshalled by Mike Grady and a major Gaels threat was kept quiet.    10 points on the trot seemed to drain the will of the Gaels and saw the Tones to a 1-12 to 0-4 half time lead.

The second half turned into a formality, especially following a second Tones goal about 10 minutes in from Sean Furling.  The Gaels were playing for a bit of pride, with Ryan Hyde, Joe O’Shea, John O’Brien, and David Larkin working hard.  The Tones were surely looking ahead to next week’s final where they meet a Galway team that had put Donegal to the sword earlier in the day.  Galway are looking for their first senior championship since 1989, while the Tones are looking for the first in the history of the club – which, coincidentally, was founded in 1989. 

Based on this performance it looks as though the Tones have figured out where the pieces fit and there was no lack of motivation from the players.  Next week’s final holds a lot of promise, Galway’s young guns of Michael Daly, Colm Mannion and Cian O’Sullivan against the experience of Paddy Keenan, Leighton Glynn and Andy McDonnell. 

Gaels:  E. Connolly, Lee Cullen, F. Cooney, J. O’Shea, D. Larkin, R. Caffrey, R. Hyde, C. Davey, C. Sheehan, N. Graham, J. O’Brien, R. Rafferty, R. Kennedy.

Tones:  L. Molloy, M. Grady, B. Fortune, S. Driscoll, K. O’Brien, A. McDonnell, I. Whelan, P. Keenan, G. Troy, L. Glynn, M. O’Brien, S. Tennyson, S. Furlong.

By Rory O'Donnell

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