O’Tooles 0-12 Thomas Davis 3-21
If ever there was a game of two half’s today’s match was one. The Junior Hurlers traveled to Kiltipper Road for the third round of the Hurling Championship. With one win and one loss under their belt so far, they needed a win or a close result today to progress to the knock out stages. Conditions were perfect and the pitch was in great shape. Thomas Davis shot in to an early lead and led 0-8 to 0-4 at the first water break right on 15 mins. All four scores came from the placed ball as Paul Donoghue rolled back the years in the free taking stakes
After the restart, O’Tooles hit a purple patch and had the upper hand for the next fifteen minutes. Oisin Nolan scored a great point from way out on the right wing and Liam Kiernan followed up with a long range effort from his own 45 meter line. Cian McGovern fetched a high ball over the full back on the 21 yard line and was unlucky not to get a goal when his delivery narrowly shot over the crossbar. O’Tooles were also awarded a penalty 2 minutes before the break. With a total absence of any volunteers, Paul Donoghue stood up to take it and his effort was well saved by the keeper. Lenny commented that he thought it was a backpass! The teams were level at half time, 0-10 a piece.
Thomas Davis came out flying in the second half and had 2-2 on the board within 3 minutes of the restart. Unfortunately there was no way back and the lads struggled to take the game to Thomas Davis from this point on. By the second water break Thomas Davis had outscored O’Tooles 2-4 to 0-2. The final 15 mins saw Thomas Davis empty the bench with some great young hurlers coming on and picking off some great individual scores. The final score was 3-21 to 0-12.
Manager Lenny Rock said afterwards that there was plenty of positives to take from the day, most notably the fighting spirit right to the final whistle. Club stalwarts Liam Donoghue, Mick Healy and Paul Donoghue were playing with lads such as Jack Stone and Cian McGovern, 25 years younger. The blend of old and young put together some great passages of play. The Full Forward line had a combined age of 87 (down from 140 in the first game v Na Fianna). At full back, A Man of the match performance by Rossa Wilson was a highlight for Lenny. Special mentions also for current Minors Liam Kiernan and Cian McGovern who stood out from the crowd with big performances on the day.
There were audible gasps as Lenny announced afterwards that there was at least 3 more shield matches to come. The goal remains to get the combined age of the full forward line below 60.