A STAR SHOW from Pat Hartley helped Tullogher-Rosbercon roar to victory.
Hartley’s display over the hour was complemented by a strong supporting role from Liam Barron as Tullogher got the better of their intermediate hurling league battle with Graignamanagh in Thomastown.
The winners made a major step towards the points thanks to a devastating eight-minute spell midway through the second half. Corner-forward Eoin Mullally started the run, grabbing a point that pushed his side seven clear (1-16 to 0-12). By the time Eddie Walsh got Graig’s next score, a 53rd minute point, the losers had leaked another dozen points.
Led by fine scores from sub John Murphy (2) and some Liam Barron frees, Edmund Cullinane put the icing on the cake when he got on the end of a surging Hartley solo and drilled a low shot to the Graig net. Even though Walsh shaved a point off the deficit, the winners were an unstoppable 14 points to the good (2-21 to 0-13).
It was a frustrating afternoon for Graig, who started with a strong breeze in the first half but found that everything seemed to click into place for Tullogher.
Although Graig were narrowly ahead after seven minutes – much of that thanks to three points in succession from Eddie Walsh – by the 20th minute they trailed by double scores.
Tullogher, who were driven on by Hartley’s excellent fielding and powerful runs, hit the front thanks to points from Cullinane and Hartley.
Some quick thinking saw Richie Dollard call for John Barron’s quick sideline and point it, before a Liam Barron double helped them open up a four point gap (0-8 to 0-4).
Graig weren’t out of the game by any stretch. Three points in as many minutes, including a Walsh brace, had them trailing by the bare minimum. It could have been so different though, as Lee Kinsella latched on to a long ball and skipped inside his marker, but his searing shot from a tight angle flashed across the face of goal.
Tullogher heeded that scare, and put together a run that helped them take control of the game by the 28th minute. They started with three impressive points before Walter Walsh soloed through on goal before crashing the sliotar home from point-blank range.
Sean O’Brien and Lee Kinsella led the Graig charge, fighting back with two late points, but they still trailed by five at the interval (1-11 to 0-9).
Although Graig tried to shuffle their pack, even bringing goalkeeper Ronan Dowling outfield into corner-forward, they couldn’t bridge that gap. Although Dowling and Leonard Blanchfield picked off a point each, Liam Barron (2) and Pat Hartley ensured Tullogher stayed that bit further ahead, before they went on that impressive scoring run to seal the spoils with ten minutes to spare.
SCORERS: Tullogher-Rosbercon – Pat Hartley (0-7); Liam Barron (0-7, 0-5 frees, 0-1 65); Edmund Cullinane, Walter Walsh (1-1 each); John Murphy (0-4); Richie Dollard, John Barron, Peter Meggs, Eoin Mullally (0-1 each). Graignamanagh – Eddie Walsh (0-6, 0-5 frees); Sean O’Brien, Nigel Flynn (0-2 each); Lee Kinsella, Leonard Blanchfield, Ronan Dowling (0-1 each).
Tullogher-Rosbercon – M. Roche, J. Grennan, G. Heffernan, D. Grennan, M. Grennan, J. Cotterell, M. Cotterell, R. Dollard, P. Meggs, J. Barron, L. Barron, P. Hartley, E. Cullinane, W. Walsh, J. Mullally. Subs: E. Mullally for J. Mullally, 39 mins; J. Murphy for J. Cotterell, 41 mins; J. Hartley for M. Cotterell, 45 mins.
Graignamanagh – R. Dowling, B. Hennessy, J. Cahill, J. Meaney, D. O’Neill, G. Dowling, P. Hamilton, B. Foley, J. Doyle, N. Flynn, E. Walsh, S. O’Brien, J. Ryan, L. Blanchfield, L. Kinsella. Subs: C. O’Brien for O’Neill, 30 mins; S. Kavanagh for Ryan, 31 mins.
Referee – J. Walsh (Rower-Inistioge).