Tullaroan have been promising for ages without delivering the results, and it appeared as if all their birthdays came together when they whipped up a right hurling storm when blazing to a comprehensive victory over Danesfort in the senior league at Palmerstown, writes John Knox.
Hard to believe, but this was Tullaroan’s first victory in the league since the 2010 season when wins over Fenians (Johnstown) and Erin’s Own (Castlecomer) were registered. Once the victors caught hold of this game on Saturday they absolutely strangled the opposition, the one black mark on an overall fine effort coming in lost time when defender Paddy Campion was dismissed when shown a second yellow card.
So dominant were Tullaroan that they won by 16 points after harvesting a mere point from two penalties.
In some ways, wasteful Danesfort contributed to their own demise. During most of the first half when the contest was alive, they hit wide after wide, 10 in all by the rest. Indeed, up to the 26th minute before the first goal was scored both sides were guilty of poor shooting seeing that the number of wides far out-stripped scores (7 scores against 13 wides).
Firm grip on things
Tullaroan led by 0-5 to 0-2 at that stage. They had failed to get any reward from a 12th minute penalty, Tommy Walsh’s ‘lift and toss forward’ effort – he stole at least five metres – being saved. However, once Chris Maher cracked home the first goal near the 27th minute, after full-forward Eamon Brennan broke a dispatch from Tommy Walsh, they took a firm grip on things.
Tullaroan scored a second goal less than 90 seconds short of the break. The same Walsh blasted another bomb towards the Danesfort goal. Martin Walsh contested the dropping ball with two defenders. The ball fell free near the edge of the square. Eamon Walsh smashed it into the net, and his team into a good interval lead of 2-5 to 0-2.
The losers opened the new half smartly, and a pair of points from Richie Hogan suggested they might make a game of it. Within five minutes the opposition had replied in kind through Padraig Walsh, who was about to take over the game, and Mark Walsh, with an assist from Eamon Brennan.
However, the remainder of the game belonged to Padraig Walsh. He could do no wrong, apparently. He produced a hurling show, and walked off the pitch with five second half points to his credit. He has rarely if ever bettered this effort.
The more the game wore on and the points flowed, the more confident Tullaroan became. Okay, the opposition lost their way, but Tullaroan’s hurling was so sure and positive you had to wonder how they have taken so long to win a league match.
Anyway, on this occasion they had stars galore, led by the lead man Padraig Walsh, and also including Tommy and Mark Walsh, Richard and Stephen Maher, Ken Coogan and David Dowling.
Danesfort have known better days. Three defeats in as many outings since joining the senior ranks piled the pressure on them. They were even deprived of a bright finish when a cracking low drive in injury time by sub John Doheny was turned around the post by a spectacular save from goalie Richie Holland.
Paul Murphy and Paddy Hogan played really well for the losers during the opening half, but much of the possession driven forward was wasted. Robbie Walsh was the only player who made any impression up front.
Scorers: Tullaroan – Mark Walsh (0-6, one free, one penalty); Padraig Walsh (0-5); Chris Maher, Eamon Brennan (1-0 each); Richard Maher (0-2, frees); Paul Buggy (0-2, one free); Tommy Walsh, Martin Walsh (0-1 each). Danesfort – Richie Hogan (0-4, frees); Robbie Walsh (0-3).
Tullaroan – Richie Holland, Paddy Campion, Michael Maher, Paul Glennon, David Dowling, Stephen Maher, Richard Maher, Tommy Walsh, Ken Coogan, Martin Walsh, Chris Maher, Paul Buggy, Mark Walsh, Padraig Walsh, Eamon Brennan. Subs – Ned Sweeney for P. Buggy; Mark Simpson for C. Maher; Shane Cuddihy for S. Maher (inj).
Danesfort – Frank Manogue, Philip Walsh, Ciaran Treacy, Michael Cunningham, Paul Murphy, Paddy Hogan, Liam Forristal, Stephen Duncan, Tony Woodcock, Gavin O’Keeffe, David Forristal, Cathal O’Neill, Cillian Treacy, Richie Hogan, Robbie Walsh. Subs – Darragh Sheehan for C. O’Neill; Ben O’Connor for S. Duncan; James Cunningham for D. Forristal; John Doheny for C. Treacy.
Referee – Gavin Quilty (Slieverue).