Castleconnor 1-10 Owenmore Gaels 2-12
Our Junior B team headed west this evening for a showdown with Castleconnor knowing only a win would keep our interest in the competition alive after an opening day defeat to Coolaney/Mullinabreena.
We opened the scoring through an Adrian Egan free, before Castleconnor leveled it up. We then hit the opening goal following a flowing move, started by a Bryan McPartland interception in our half back line. A quick interchange between Kyle Taheny and Joe Walsh lead to Niall Dunican been released forward. His ball inside found Thomas Kerins who helped it onto the onrushing Nathan O’Malley who finished emphatically to the net. However our joy was short lived as Castleconnor struck back with an excellent individual goal to level soon after.
Two points in a row from the opposition had them in the ascendancy but we managed to hit another 3 pointer just at the right time. Again Dunican provided the movement to gain some space upfront. He found the supporting Shane Maye who’s ball inside caught out the Castleconnor cover leaving Kerins one v one with the keeper and ‘The Bomb’ kept his cool to nonchalantly stick the ball in the bottom corner. Egan followed up with a free after O’Malley was fouled and we reached the water break 2 in front, 2-2 1-3.
Castleconnor hit the next point before Egan hit a super score with the outside of the boot after patient play where we worked the ball over and back the pitch to fashion the chance. O’Malley followed up with another point before half-time to put us 3 up at half time 2-4 1-4. The key to the strong finish in the half was driven from the back with Taheny, Maye and Walsh getting on top in this sector.
Castleconnor came out determined to turn things around in the second. They hit 4 of the next 6 points as they dominated this period, Our scores coming from Egan after excellent work from Walsh and O’Malley and O’Malley profited after an excellent fetch and pass from Ross Trill.
The opposition had got within one point and were in the assendancy at this point but crucially we managed to stem the tide with two quickfire points just before the water break to maintain our three point lead. The first of these came from O’Malley after a one-two with Dunican, the second a free from Egan after a strong walsh run was illegally halted. 2-8 1-8
Castleconnor got the first score after the break, unfortunate from our point of view as a heroic diving block from Taheny deserved better than to rebound back to a Castleconnor forward to point. However this block and the tigerish work of our back line inspired us to go on and take control for the remainder of the game. Egan pointed after a super pass from Calum Tonry that took out numerous defenders. Patient and controlled play saw us keep the ball for long periods, one of these culminating in Tonry been fouled for Egan to tap over another. O’Malley followed up with a free from the left after Egan was fouled to put us 5 up. Castleconnor hit back with what would prove to be their final score. Walsh incisively cut through the middle to land a score his performance fully deserved. This was the final score as we saw the game out retaining possession impressively. FT 2-12 1-10
A gritty and controlled performance from the lads who now await the final group game between Castleconnor and Coolaney/Mullinabreena to see if we progress.
Best on the day for the Gaels Kyle Taheny, Shane Maye, Bryan McPartland, Joe Walsh and Nathan O’Malley.
Team: Gavin Phelan, Kyle Taheny (c), Shane Kirrane, Shane Maye, Joe Walsh (0-1), Bryan McPartland, Ross Trill, Callum Tonry (Alan Anderson), Niall Dunican, Nathan O’Malley (1-4, 1F), Conall O’Dwyer, Thomas Kerins (1-0), Adrian Egan (0-7, 4F)