Tullamore 2-9 Ferbane 1-9

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Lone Shark
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Tullamore 2-9 Ferbane 1-9

Post by Lone Shark » Mon Oct 17, 2005 5:55 pm

When these clubs met in the senior championship back in June, it was exactly this margin that separated them, although at the time a three point defeat flattered Ferbane as Tullamore dominated throughout. This was most certainly not the case in Mucklagh on Sunday, as Ferbane can consider themselves very unlucky to have come out on the wrong side of this result, having conceded a needless second goal and missed a penalty in the dying stages, not to mention suffering from a very costly missed call from referee Paul Jordan with ten minutes to go at a vital stage of the game.

However there are two sides to every story, and although Tullamore were very fortunate to escape with the win, they were far from lucky in the run up to this game, with Gearóid Ó’Grady absent due to rugby commitments, James Keane still out due to his shoulder injury, and Paul McConway forced to withdraw after barely a quarter of the game had passed. These are three county under 21 players, and in the case of Keane and McConway, players who will in all likelihood be in Kevin Kilmurray’s senior panel next year, so perhaps it was just a case of luck balancing out.

Tullamore led for almost the entire game, starting from the fourth minute, when a good move up the left hand side, started by wing back Stephen Tuohy passed through Stephen Egan and Shane Dooley, with Tullamore having the overlap the whole time. Every pass was inch perfect, and when the ball found Seán Martin with only the keeper to beat, he made no mistake, putting his side 1-0 to 0-1 in front after John Mollen had opened the scoring with a free. This was quickly followed by a Shane Dooley free, before John Mollen got his and Ferbane’s second on 8 minutes. The following 16 minutes were scoreless, as neither side’s forward lines really looked like creating any good close in scoring opportunities. There were wides on both sides, particularly by Tullamore, before Bernard Collins broke the run on 24 minutes. Another fine Mollen reply on the run brought the deficit back to two, before the game had its first crucial swing moment.

A long ball was hit into the Ferbane backline, and overshot the forwards and was heading wide, as keeper Tadgh Devery left his goal to come and claim it. He then inexplicably took the ball into pressure, and lost it some 15 metres out from goal along the endline. Collins played the ball back inside, and it was met by a first time half volley from Shane Dooley that rattled the unguarded net. With Ferbane rattled, a quick score from wing back Paul Buckley before the break compounded their gloom, and they went in at half time 2-3 to 0-3 in arrears.

The low scoring trend was broken early in the second half, when Dooley and Eddie Dunne for Tullamore along with Mollen and Mick Daly for Ferbane put over scores in the first five minutes. John Mollen was really the only consistent threat to the Tullamore backline for most of the game, showing he has developed all the scoring instinct once displayed for club and county by his father Paul, albeit with a very different style and build. This was changed when minor player Gerry Grehan was moved up to the forwards, as his speed and directness caused real problems for the Tullamore backs. He won a free and scored himself pulling Ferbane back to within four, before the game was really set alight by a goal from substitute Eoin Kelly. County under 21 hurler Alan Egan used his pace to break past his marker and take a straight line for goal before playing it across to David Kenny. He drew out the last defender before finding Kelly, who blasted the ball home from close range. Another free from Mollen then tied the game up, and Ferbane looked like favourites to win it.

The second huge swing moment came on twenty minutes – another run from Alan Egan left space in the middle, where Eoin Kelly had another shot for goal from 20 metres out – a defender just got across and blocked it with his foot, which should have resulted in a simple free and Ferbane going in front for the first time. Instead Tullamore swept down the field and created a goal chance of their own, Shane Dooley rattling the crossbar before Sean Martin caught the rebound and hit it over the bar. Ferbane’s period of dominance had come and gone, and they had failed to get in front. Ronan Monaghan doubled the lead, before Stephen Egan had a chance to finish the game when he was 10m out with only the keeper to beat, but his shot came off the legs of Devery and deflected over the bar.

Ferbane’s last big chance came as the 30 minutes expired – ironically it was again from a foot block from an Eoin Kelly shot, this time it was whistled and the penalty was awarded. However David Lowry’s shot was saved low to the keeper’s right, and the rebound smuggled away.

Injury time saw John Mollen and substitute David O’Neill trade scores, but at no stage did Ferbane look like getting the all important goal, and it will be Tullamore who will go on and try and wrest the crown from St. Michael’s in the coming weeks.

Tullamore: Eoin Bannon; Mark Conlon, Niall O’Donoghue, Cillian Bane; Paul Buckley (0-1), Paul McConway, Stephen Tuohy; Johnny O’Donoghue, Jason Holleran; Eddie Dunne (0-1), Sean Martin (1-1), Stephen Egan (0-1), Ronan Monaghan (0-1), Shane Dooley (1-2, 0-1 frees), Bernard Collins (0-1).

Sub: Padraig Clooney for Paul McConway (inj.), David O’Neill (0-1) for Bernard Collins.

Ferbane: Tadgh Devery; John Doyle, Paddy Moore, Dara Guinan; Trevor Guinan, Colm Gavin, Gerry Grehan (0-1); David Kenny, David Lowry; Richie Guinan, Mick Daly (0-1), John Mollen (0-7, 0-4 frees); Eoin Egan, Aidan Keenaghan, Alan Egan.
Sub: Eoin Kelly (1-0) for Eoin Egan, Joe Butler for Trevor Guinan, Warren Walsh for Richie Guinan, Paddy Dooley for Warren Walsh.

Referee: Paul Jordan

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