Hard work yields rewards for relentless Tullaroan

Gillian Mooney

Reporter:

Gillian Mooney

Email:

sports@kilkennypeople.ie

The Hurling  League - the story now

Goals may win you games, but as Tullaroan will tell you hard work is just as vital for success!

One of the contenders for a bright 2017, they got their intermediate hurling league campaign off to a good start when they ground a game Tullogher-Rosbercon down on Sunday evening.

The winners cut a neat dash in Dunnamaggin, rifling three first half goals that laid the foundations for victory. However, it was a string of second half points that highlighted the work ethic in this side.

After seeing a good lead get whittled down to two points (3-10 to 1-14), Tullaroan acted accordingly. Shane Walsh led the way, converting a 46th minute free before, seconds later, John Walton picked off another score after the resulting puck-out was directed his way.

They continued to drive on, creating a bigger gap when Martin Keoghan split the posts, but Tullaroan were grateful to the reflexes of Richie Butler after that, the netminder making a superb save to save a stinging Cian O’Donoghue strike from point-blank range.

Kicked On

When Tullogher spurned the chance to pull a point back from the resulting 65, Tullaroan kicked on. Shane Walsh fired over a fine point from long-range, then watched as brother Padraig picked off their elder brother Tommy’s crossfield pass and drilled it over the bar.

Tullaroan were on form at that stage and pulled even further in front with another Shane Walsh free. When the dust had settled, they had picked off six points in little over nine minutes – and kept Tullogher scoreless. That was the run which led them to the points.

Tullaroan really had to bring their ‘A’ game on Sunday evening, especially as Tullogher hit the ground running and threatened to leave their rivals behind.

It took Tullogher just six minutes to roar in front, Conor Hennessy following up to slam the sliotar home after Shane Ryan’s initial shot had been saved by Richie Butler.

They kept their momentum going, Cian O’Donoghue ending a searing run with an impressive point from an acute angle. He added another from a free, a score which left the Southerners three clear after 12 minutes (1-3 to 0-3).

Tullaroan had been a little slower to get going but, once they found top gear, there was no stopping them. Martin Keoghan rifled his side into a 14th minute lead when he dashed on to Tommy Walsh’s zippy ball down the line, cut outside his marker and drilled a low shot to the far side of the Tullogher net.

Tullaroan liked scoring that goal so much that they added another within 60 seconds. Again, Keoghan was the man in the right place at the right time, following up to finish after Padraig Walsh’s shot had been beaten away by Rosbercon netminder Martin Roche.

Double Whammy

Tullogher regained some of their composure after that double whammy, their hard-working half-forward line helping to drive their side on. O’Donoghue weighed in with two pointed frees, then saw Hennessy and Liam Barron follow up with two from play to leave the bare minimum between the sides after 27 minutes (2-5 to 1-7).

If the half had finished there and then, Tullogher would have been pleased with their comeback. Instead, they made to feel the sting of another Tullaroan flurry. Padraig Walsh did a lot of the damage, racing on to Walton’s popped pass and surging through to rifle the sliotar to the net in the 28th minute, before Tommy Walsh helped himself to a point from some distance out.

Tullogher did manage a response before the interval, O’Donoghue converting a late brace of frees, but they knew they still had some ground to make up in the second half (3-6 to 1-9).

Both sides had bright spells after the restart. Tullogher were first to sparkle with some good points from Walter Walsh and Conor Hennessy, but also needed Martin Roche to make a big save from a searing Padraig Walsh shot.

With Martin Keoghan (0-2), Peter and Shane Walsh in good mood Tullaroan managed to stay ahead, but it was their closing run which impressed the most.

That final quarter haul of six unanswered points, during which time they limited Tullogher to just two, went a long way towards pushing them to victory.

SCORERS: Tullaroan – Martin Keoghan (2-4); Shane Walsh (0-8, 0-6 frees); Padraig Walsh (1-1); Peter Walsh (0-2); Tommy Walsh, John Walton (0-1 each). Tullogher-Rosbercon – Cian O’Donoghue (0-9, 0-8 frees); Conor Hennessy (1-3); Walter Walsh (0-3); Liam Barron (0-1).

Tullaroan – Richie Butler; Diarmuid Doheny, Stephen Maher, Stephen Dowling; Tommy Walsh (M), Martin Walsh, Tommy Walsh (V); Ger Luby, Jack Keoghan; John Walton, Padraig Walsh, Martin Keoghan; Peter Walsh, Ken Coogan, Shane Walsh. Subs: Eddie Campion for Luby, 31 mins; Mark Walsh for Coogan, 38 mins; Dylan Simpson for Walton, 60 mins; Bill Gaffney for Peter Walsh, 60 mins.

Tullogher-Rosbercon – Martin Roche; Declan Gannon, John Hartley, Sean Murray; Moling Cotterell, Pat Hartley, Kevin Hennessy; Jason Shiely , Liam Barron; Walter Walsh, Billy Ryan, John Cotterell; Cian O’Donoghue, Conor Hennessy, Shane Ryan. Subs: Brendan Lawlor for Barron, 38 mins; Tarek O’Connor for Shiely , 52 mins.

Referee - John Kennedy (Ballyhale Shamrocks).