Aidan McAnespies came into Sunday’s match-up unbeaten and looked to keep that unbeaten run going. While on the other side of the field was the Wolfetones, who had only recorded one victory so far in this year's championship. If they managed to break McAnespies unbeaten streak, then they’d almost guarantee a spot in the semi-finals.
|Wolfe Tones were on the short end again v McAnespies|
The Wolfetones started the match strongly with a number of frees from Joey Wallace to bring them into a 3 point lead, before a set play from Robbie Smyth to Barry Kerr lead to McAnespies getting their first score of the match. A good run from Down and Carryduff player Daniel Guinness, who was assisted with a 1-2 play from Dr Crokes’ Tony Brosnan, broke through the Wolfetones defence, before passing on to Kerr, who slotted it over the bar from a tight angle. Brosnan would go on to score the following point to level out the match at 3 points a-piece. The Wolfetones would go on to have a number of shots go wide in their attempt to go ahead, however scores from Carroll and Kennedy would bring the Tones into the lead once again off great on field plays.
The lead wouldn’t be long lived though, as Steven O’Hanlon would get the first goal of the game as he palmed the ball into the net after a series of passes past the Tones defence.
O’Hanlon would quickly score another goal to extend their lead, after an error from the Tones shot stopper. Both teams day got a bit more difficult after both Michael O’Brien and Peter O’Connell were sent off due to an off the ball incident where they were headbutting. The Wolfetones started to claw back at the deficit, with points from Darragh Kennedy, and Joey Wallace, and would have extended it even further were it not for McAnespies keeper Robbie Croft who punched the shot wide, and saved the subsequent 45, to end the half Aidan McAnespies 2-6 to 0-8
The 2nd half began with back and forth scores,with both teams getting 2 points each early on. McAnespies would begin once again however to outscore the Tones, and a goal from Barry , would Kerr, who had made a great run and 1-2 play into the square to kick the ball into the net. The Wolfetones would have a chance to cut the 9 point deficit when a penalty was conceded by Steven O’Hanlon, who received a yellow card for a pulldown in the square. Joey Wallace stood up to take it, and sent Croft the wrong way to score in the lower right corner. With a 6 point deficit, and potential Momentum, the Tones tried to press on and chip away at the deficit, however, McAnespies regained control when passes from Higgins to O’Hanlon into Brosnan led to the Macs extending their lead by 9 once again to close out the game. A consolation goal would be scored by Chris Sallier, but the McAnespies would go on to win 4-15 to 2-13.
McAnespies continue to show their strong dominant force, and have laid the marker as the team to beat as they remained undefeated and top of the table. Wolfetones didn’t go down without a fight, and it will be a dogfight next week when they meet Galway who need to win to to take the championship into knockout scenarios where the fourth placed team more than likely have a semi-final against today’s winners.
Aidan McAnespies: Robbie Croft, Conor Mansell, Pierce Laferty, Daniel Guinness, Oisin McConvey, Anthony Cournane, Declan Hughes, Barry Kerr, Peter O’Connell, Evan Cronin, Steven O’Hanlon, Robbie Smyth, Tony Brosnan
Wolftones: Shane Hayes, Paudie Keneally, Emmet Maloney, Sean Egan, Jack Lynch, Darragh Kennedy, Paschal Connell, Jack Kennedy, Michael O’Brien, Jerry Troy, Benny Carroll, Joey Wallace, Chris Sallier
By Evan McDonagh