Kilkenny and DL0
The Tipperary Southern and District League got their FAI Oscar Traynor Trophy Group 4 campaign off to the perfect start after getting the better of the Kilkenny and District Lleague under the lights of Cooke Park, Tipperary town on Saturday.
In the opening minute the TSDL had a great chance to break the deadlock when Jimmy Carr had only the ’keeper to beat, but he lost his footing at the wrong moment. It did not take Kilkenny long to gain a foothold, with Paul O’Brien intercepting a pass across the face of the goal, but a heavy touch saw Tipp ’keeper Evan Comerford smothering the ball.
Kilkenny, with Niall Andrews pulling the strings in midfield, came close again when Dylan Whearty managed to get past the out-rushing Comerford, but Paul Breen got back to head the ball off the line. This was Kilkenny’s best period and it took some crucial interceptions to deny the visitors.
Simon Scully had to be spot on with his tackle on Paul O’Brien as he burst into the box and Chris Higgins headed clear for a corner-kick from under his crossbar from another O’Brien centre. Kilkenny followed that with a series of corner-kicks but the under pressure Tipp defence managed to hold out.
Pat Quinn failed to score with the ’keeper off his line as Tipp weathered the storm and broke deadlock in the 27 minute. Kilkenny failed to clear and Simon Scully on the edge of the 18-yard box knocked the ball into the path of Richie Ryan, whose volley found the top left hand corner of the net. Now it was Tipp’s turn to apply the pressure following good approach work by Pat Quinn and Evan Maguire it left Jimmy Carr cutting in from the right, but with just the ’keeper to beat he dragged his shot across the goal and wide.
On 38 minutes Jimmy Carr, with another effort from the by-line, forced Kilkenny net-minder Owen Wall to tip his shot-cum-cross over the crossbar. From the quickly taken corner by Brian Waters to Thomas Fahey the latter saw his effort from 20 yards prove unstoppable to give Tipp a comfortable 2-0 interval lead.
Early in the second half Kilkenny came close when Paul O’Brien beat a defender, but his shot from an acute angle only stung the gloves of Evan Comerford. As the game progressed both sides struggled to keep up the electrifying pace and it left openings for both sides to exploit.
Tipp, using the speed of Jimmy Carr and Evan Maguire, caused endless problems, with Maguire forcing a good save from Wall. Robbie Quan at the heart of the Kilkenny defence produced a superb tackle on Pat Quinn as he was about to pull the trigger on the hour mark.
Kilkenny brought on Edward and Robbie Nugent and the latter was unlucky not to score on 65 minutes when he forced Tipp net-minder Evan Comerford to produce a reflex save. Then Robbie Nugent sprung the Tipp offside trap, but Comerford again came to Tipp’s rescue, producing a save with his feet from Alan Whearty.
Robbie Nugent produced a neat turn as he left his marker for dead, but Comerford easily saved.
Over the final 15 minutes, Tipp regained the upper hand, but it was only when Kilkenny’s outstanding defender Robbie Quan retired injured that they secured a flattering victory. On 80 minutes Pat Quinn, who was being well shackled by Quan, latched onto a defence-splitting pass from Simon Scully and neatly turned the ball home to make it 3-0.
Kilkenny net-minder Owen Wall twice came off his line to deny David McGrath, before Tipp made it 4-0 on the stroke of full-time when Alan Hayes found Pat Quinn, who shot his second goal from close range.
TSDL - Evan Comerford, Chris Higgins, Paul Tobin, Simon Scully, Paul Breen, Richard Ryan, Jimmy Carr, Thomas Fahey, Kevin Waters, Evan Maguire, Pat Quinn. Subs - David McGrath, John Connery, Alan Hayes, Richard Ryan.
Kilkenny and DL - Owen Wall (Callan Utd), Jack Poyntz (Evergreen), Ger Hayes (Freebooters), Derek Brennan (Freebooters), Robbie Quan (Evergreen), Niall Andrews (Evergreen), Chris Whearty (Evergreen), Eddie Clifford (Freebooters), Dylan Whearty (Evergreen), Henry O’Neill (Newpark Utd), Paul O’Brien (Freebooters). Subs - Edward Nugent (Fort Rangers), Emmet Nugent (Front Rangers), Matthew Wong (Evergreen), Robert Skehan (Thomastown), Ger Wall (Newpark Utd), Craig Cummins (Freebooters), Bobby Maher (Newpark Utd).
Referee: P. Keane; assistants: T. Keating, J. Hadnett (all Tipperary).