10 Aug 2022

Win books Rockwell Rovers place in west Tipperary junior hurling semi-finals

Win books Rockwell Rovers place in west Tipperary junior hurling semi-finals

Gavin Ryan (Rockwell Rovers) tries to get free from the attention of Stephen Moloney (Galtee Rovers) during their Gleeson Conrete WJAHC encounter - Picture Francis Coughlan

Gleeson Concrete West Junior A Hurling Championship

Rockwell Rovers 0-18  Galtee Rovers 1-11

Rockwell Rovers made it two wins from two wins in the Gleeson Concrete West Junior A Hurling Championship with victory over Galtee Rovers in Golden on Saturday evening.

The result now guarantees Rockwell Rovers a semi-final spot in the competition.  Defending champions Galtee Rovers have now completed their round robin part of the competition with one win from four games. Their progression as one of the four semi-finalists will depend on the final three games in the group. Should Lattin/Cullen defeat Cashel King Cormacs in two weeks time, Galtee Rovers will go through as the fourth semi-finalists. Even if Cashel were to defeat Rockwell Rovers in the final game, they could not pass Galtee Rovers as the latter have the head-to-head between the sides. Should Cashel King Cormacs defeat Lattin/Cullen they will move onto two points with the latter and Galtee Rovers and it will all come down to the final game between Rockwell Rovers and Cashel King Cormacs. Cashel would require just a draw to advance and Lattin/Cullen would take fourth spot on the head-to-head with Galtee Rovers. If the three teams finish level on two points, score difference will determine who advances.

Rockwell gradually broke down a Galtee Rovers team which held a three-point advantage at break. Galtee Rovers had been led well by Kevin Power and Robbie Byron from midfield. The accuracy of Kevin Cleary from placed balls and five points from play from midfielder TJ Ryan who always seemed to find pockets of space was a crucial factor in their success. They gradually clawed away at the Galtee Rovers advantage in the second half, limiting them to just 1-2 in that thirty minute before putting distance between the teams in the final few minutes.  

Played in humid conditions Rockwell Rovers played with the advantage of a slight breeze in the opening half. Kevin Cleary was on target from a placed ball to open the scoring for Rockwell Rovers but it was the only time they would lead in the half. Tony O’Brien levelled matters for Galtee Rovers and Daire Egan getting on a lot of ball pointed twice. While TJ Ryan got Rockwell off the mark from play in the eleventh minute Shane Power responded at the other end almost immediately. Power and Byron were on top in midfield for Galtee Rovers and the chief supply to their forwards. Rockwell Rovers were staying in touch with points from midfielder TJ Ryan either side of two Robbie Byron points from placed balls. Ryan their only scorer from play in the half. Though Eoin White did make a brilliant save in the first half to deny Rockwell a green flag. Rockwell were forced to withdraw one of their full forward line in an attempt to get on top further out the field. Eamon Quirke and Tony O’Brien (free) both pointed to extend Galtee Rovers lead with seven minutes of the half to play. O’Brien’s point would be their last score of the half. Kevin Cleary pointed two further frees to leave just three points between the sides at the interval, 0-9 to 0-6.

Scores were at a premium at the beginning of the second half. Pat Hally and Aidan Barron brought the gap to the minimum in the first five minutes. Galtee Rovers were now finding it hard to make the sliotar stick in the final third. Some good pressure from Stephen Moloney eventually saw Robbie Byron make a run and the Rockwell defence before passing across the goalmouth to the unmarked Jim Quirke who made no mistake finding the net. It was their first score in fifteen minutes and gave them a little breathing space. Rockwell were gradually getting on top and Kevin Cleary continued his accuracy from placed balls. Points from Joseph Lawrence and Alan Moloney levelled proceedings at the beginning of the fourth quarter. When TJ Ryan added his fourth from play, Rockwell led for the first time since the opening minutes of the game. Rockwell were finding their range that bit easier while Galtee Rovers were seeing their wides tally mount. Eamon Quirke did have a good chance for goal but his effort was just off target. Kevin Cleary added another free with ten to play and now opened up a three-point advantage for Rockwell. Galtee Rovers responded with points from Tony O’Brien with six to play and two minutes later Daire Egan had the deficit to the minimum. O’Brien working hard to try and win possession in the Galtee half forward line. Galtee Rovers though couldn’t find an equaliser with the Rockwell defence hard to break down. Gavin Ryan time and time again coming out with ball from the Rockwell defence. Three unanswered points in the final minutes with last score from Kevin Cleary sealed the win for Rockwell Rovers, 0-18 to 1-11.  

Scorers and Teams:

Rockwell Rovers: Kevin Cleary (0-7f), TJ Ryan (0-5), Pat Hally (0-2), Aidan Barron (0-2), Joseph Lawrence (0-1), Alan Moloney (0-1) 

Galtee Rovers: Tony O’Brien (0-3, (0-2f)), Daire Egan (0-3), Jim Quirke (1-0), Robbie Byron (0-2f), Stephen Moloney (0-1), Shane Power (0-1), Eamon Quirke (0-1) 

Rockwell Rovers: Michael O’Donnell, Diarmuid Lonergan, Liam Lonergan, Paul Hally, Aidan Barron, Stephen Moloney, Gavin Ryan, TJ Ryan, Alan Moloney, Tom Downey, JJ Cooney, Tom Tobin, Pat Hally, Joe Lawrence, Kevin Cleary
Sub Used: Willie Flynn 

Galtee Rovers: Eoin White, Eamon O’Connell, Conor O’Sullivan, Sean Gubbins, David Harold Barry, Tony Byron, Eric Grogan, Shane Power, Robbie Byron, Stephen Moloney, Jim Quirke, Daire Egan, David Byron, Tony O’Brien, Eamon Quirke
Sub Used: Kieran Marnane 

Referee: Richard O’Connor (Arravale Rovers) 

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