Strong finish secures tonic Tipperary Football Championship win for Galtee Rovers

Four late points seal the deal for Bansha team

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Sean Daly

Sean Daly helped Galtee Rovers defeat Killenaule in the FBD Insurance County Senior Football Championship first round in Golden

Galtee Rovers 0-15 Killenaule 1-7 

Galtee Rovers finished much stronger to record a welcome win over Killenaule in Golden on Sunday afternoon in a County Senior Football Championship group that also includes Clonmel Commercials and Cahir.

Playing into a gentle breeze in the opening half, The Robins got off to the perfect start with a Michael Doyle goal from the penalty spot after the referee ruled that a Galtee defender was guilty of a foot block.  

Gradually Galtee Rovers began to find their feet, however, and Darren McGrath hit a fine point off his left foot after four minutes before Shane Egan pointed a free following a foul on Edmond O’Dwyer. 

Playing with the breeze in the opening  half, the Bansha-Kilmoyler lads were doing well around the middle of the field and a regular supply of accurate ball to the inside line put pressure on an overworked Killenaule defence, resulting in several scorable frees, duly converted by Shane Egan (3) and Adam McGrath.

Killenaule had to work harder for their scores but Kieran Bergin hit a fine point after a great run by corner back Killian O’Dwyer. However this was soon cancelled out by a similar score from Rhys Byron, as Rovers responded. 

In the same vein, a Tony Doyle point from a free was quickly balanced by a Shane Ryan point and the teams headed for their first water break with Killenaule a point to the good. 

In the second quarter, Galtee Rovers seemed to find another gear and a string of points from Egan and McGrath put daylight between the sides, although Killenaule worked two excellent points through Michael Doyle and the industrious Paudie Feehan to leave the half time score 1-4 to 0-8.

The second half began with a fine point from Dean O’Connor to level the scores but Darren McGrath quickly replied to send Galtee Rovers into a lead they would not relinquish. 

Shane Ryan then popped one over the bar soon afterwards and at this stage the momentum seemed to change, with the hardworking Paddy Codd having to leave the field  injured, which was a blow to Killenaule.  

A point from Shane Egan, sandwiched between white flags from Michael Doyle and Kieran Bergin, left the minimum between the sides heading into the final quarter.

But it was Galtee Rovers who finished the stronger with four unanswered points to claim the win.

Points from play and frees by corner forward, Adam McGrath, put a goal between the sides and somehow Killenaule managed to squander several scoring opportunities before excellent midfielders Eric Grogan and Daire Egan picked off two further points for the Galtees. 

In injury time referee Tom Loughnane awarded Killenaule a second penalty but this decision was reversed in favour of a throw-in, following a melee at the village end, and the final whistle soon followed.

In defence, Colin Morrissey pulled the strings for Galtee Rovers, ably assisted by Eamonn O’Connell and Evan Breen among others, while the youthful nature of their attacking outfit will cause problems for most other teams.  

Killenaule lined out without Jimmy Feehan and John O’Dwyer, so they had to re-jig their lineout considerably for this game. 

Apart from those already mentioned, Joe O’Dwyer and Greg Henry worked hardest, although the loss of Paddy Codd at a pivotal time in the game did not help their cause.

Galtee Rovers: Eddie Grace; Evan Breen, Eamon O’Connell, Kelan O’Connor; Sean Daly, Tony O’Brien, Eric Grogan (0-1); Daire Egan (0-1), Rhys Byron (0-1); Darren McGrath (0-2), Shane Egan (0-5, 3 frees), Shane Ryan (0-2); Adam McGrath (0-3), Edmond O’Dwyer, Colin Morrissey. 

Subs: Jim Quirke for Kelan O’Connor, Stephen O’Dwyer for Shane Ryan, Tony Egan for Shane Egan.

Killenaule: Matthew O’Donnell; Stephen Browne, Joe O’Dwyer, Killian O’Dwyer; Liam Meagher, Paddy Codd, Ciaran O’Dwyer; Paudie Feehan (0-1), Greg Henry; Thomas Keaveney, Kieran Bergin (0-2), Dean O’Connor (0-1); Eoin Barry, Tony Doyle (0-1), Michael Doyle (1-2). 

Subs: Gus Browne for Paddy Codd, Mark Stakelum for Eoin Barry.

Referee: Tom Loughnane, Gortnahoe-Glengoole.

For more Tipperary sport read Moyne/Templetuohy cause major upset by beating Ardfinnan