Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Sun Aug 28 - Senior Football Final: Wolfe Tones v Galway

Galway 2-11 Wolfe Tones 3-16

Wolfe Tones made history winning their first senior football championship with a controlled, professional performance.  The Tones scored when they needed to score and slowed things down when things needed slowing.  All around the Tones did well, from corner back to corner forward, but for the second week in a row, it was Rathnew man, Leighton Glynn, whose imprint was all over the Tones performance.  The game almost resembled last week’s semi-final when the Tones put the game to bed in the latter stages of the first half.  This week, however, Galway put up a spirited second half performance and gave themselves a glimmer of hope five minutes to go, reducing the gap to five points with time left, but the Tones erased that hope with a goal in response almost right away.

Gerry Prior lifts the Pat Mulvihill Cup with Ronan O'Driscoll and Mike O'Brien.
It was a cagey enough opening period.  Galway played patient build up football, while the Tones moved in bursts of speed.  Galway edged into a one point lead after the early exchanges.  Michael Daly, Eoin Finnerty, Barrry McHugh and Kevin Cummins had a share of the spoils for the Tribesmen.  For the Tones Leighton Glynn was again instrumental, the oil that greases the machine.  Along with Paddy Keenan in midfield and Kevin O’Brien in the half backs, the Tones started to take the game over in a manner reminiscent of last week’s semi-final.

Galway had a couple of slack passes out of defence and were punished on the second one with a goal from Shea Tennyson after a back and forth with Glynn.  The Tones then proceeded to tally seven unanswered points while Galway searched for openings that did not present themselves as the Tones swarmed in defence.  A handful of chances were missed by the westerners.  Tennyson, Glynn, Keenan and Gerry Troy were on the mark for the Tones and it was a 9 point lead at the break.

Galway got the start they needed to the second half.  Quick points from Finnerty and Daly were followed by a goal from Cillian O’Sullivan.  O’ Sullivan had been well marshalled all game, but again, it was a bad pass out of the Tones defence that presented the opportunity, and the Meathman finished well.  The Tones kept their patience however and did not let the flurry of scores rattle them.  The response to the goal took the form of three points, Furlong and Keenan the scorers, and the benefit of the goal for Galway was erased.

All in as the team and supporters celebrate the first Wolfe Tones senior football victory.
The final quarter saw the Tones hold on to their 2 goal lead as the teams swapped points, but the breakthrough that had the Tones supporters preparing to celebrate the first championship in the history of the club came when substitute, Tomas O’Connor, won a ball in his corner and use his strength to beat his man and plant the ball into the far corner of the net.  Galway pushed to end and a glimmer of hope briefly opened when a Kevin Cummins goal reduced the gap to five points with five minutes to go, but true to form the Tones replied immediately with a goal from Leighton Glynn as Galway had numbers upfield.  It has been a long wait for the Tones for their first championship, but for all of their supporters in Canton on Sunday, it was well worth it!

Galway:  J. Kelly, J. Kennedy, K. McDonnell, S. Cullen, P. Naughton, C. Mannion, E. Kavanagh, E. Stritch, M. Daly, C. O’Sullivan, B. McHugh, K. Cummins, E. Finnerty.   Subs:  Subs:  J. Kehoe, J. Naughton, L. Kelly, G. McCoy, G. Lundy.

Tones:  L. Molloy, M. Grady, B. Fortune, S. Driscoll, K. O’Brien A. McDonnell, I. Whelan, P. Keenan, M. O’Brien, L. Glynn, G. Troy, S. Tennyson, S. Furling.  Subs:  R. Driscoll, J. Naughton, T. O’Connor, D. McCabe, G. Brilly.

By Rory O'Donnell

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