Once again in the Junior A Championship, Father Tom Burkes faced off against Offaly in what was going to be a preview of the Junior A Final. Offaly came into today’s match unbeaten and intended to keep it that way, while Father Tom’s were looking to get retribution for their previous match where they failed to secure a victory.
The match started off slowly, with the Tom’s initially struggling to get going. Offaly had struggles of their own as they had a number of shots go wide. It would be Offaly who would open the scoring with a point from midfielder Chris McMahon. Tom’s would respond with two quick points from Frank Dowd and Niall Gleeson. Offaly would then go on a points run and build a lead of 3 points and looked to be flowing and having one up on the Tom’s. A well placed goal from Niall Gleeson however would give the Tom’s hope, as the goal and the following point would put them in the lead once again, Offaly would reply in kind though as Chris McMahon once again would step up for the Offaly men and score a goal and a point before the end of a slow paced half where Offaly would lead 1-7 to 1-4
Offaly would continue the 2nd half and add to their tally with points from Jimmy Rigney and Gary Sherlock. Tom’s would not lay down though as they retaliated with a well worked goal as Chris Donaghue would make a pass to Niall Glesson who made a good run into the Offaly defence and slotted it past the keeper. Donaghue then fielded the subsequent puckout and passed to Conor O’Kane who scored another point. Both teams would go back and forth, Tom’s looking to further close the gap, and Offaly looking to maintain their lead. It would be Offaly who would set the game to bed though as Sean Kinsella would score a goal from a free from outside the square, which was well placed in the lower left, just out of reach of Tom’s keeper Fran Keenan. Tom’s would try and work on their deficit with multiple scores, including a good side line cut for a point from Conor O’Kane, and a goal from outside the square from Niall Gleeson. But Offaly would seal the victory with a goal from Sean Kinsella once again, who hit the rebound off a great save from Tom’s keeper Fran Keenan, to win the game 3-17 to 3-8.
With this win, Offaly finish top of the table and the league undefeated. Father Tom’s have one more match to play against Galway next weekend to work on their form and to fine tune before facing the undefeated Offaly once again in the Junior A Hurling Final
Father Tom’s: Fran Keenan, Peter Boylan, Paddy Critchley, Seamie Higgins, Ryan Maher, Ciaran Mulhall, Conor O’Kane, Colm Kearns, Frank Dowd, Chris Donaghue, Niall Gleeson, Conor Eddery, Terry Doran
Offaly: Noel Graham, Michael Markham, Simon Sinnot, Jimmy Rigney, Brian Murray, Jack Lynch, Emmet Moran, Chris McMahon, Gary Sherlock, CIan Clifford, Sean Kinsella, Oisin McCormack, Killian Cambell
Portland vs Hartford - Junior C Hurling Championship (July 28th)
Hartford and Portland met on a muggy Sunday morning to compete in the Junior C hurling championship. Portland were in the hunt for their first win of the season, while Hartford were looking to get their 3rd win of the season.
Portland started the game strong and scored a number of points without reply before Hartford got onto the scoresheet. But before they could build some momentum, Portland would score 2 quick goals to widen the gap. Hartford had moments of brilliance as I.Fischer made a great run from his own half to score a goal, and B.Park would get a goal from the 45 yard line to give their team hope. However, Portland drove on and continued to add to their tally to win comfortably for their first win of the season. By Evan McDonagh