The value of a good free taker can never be taken for granted. Ask Glenmore!
The All-Ireland club junior champions had the man of the moment in free taker, Alan Murphy, when they scored their second win in the intermediate hurling Shield final in Thomastown on Sunday.
The final score was 1-24 to 2-10.
Marksman Murphy helped himself to a wonderful 15 points, 11 from placed balls, as near neighbours Tullogher Rosbercon were put to the sword with a certain amount of ease.
The losers took the really bad look off things when county man, Walter Walsh, burst through the opposing defence in the 60th minute before rifling a vicious shot to the net.
Tullogher would want to be careful that they don’t allow that goal cloud their summary of proceedings. Because truth to tell, they were well beaten by a team that dominated them in a lot of areas.
What matter, but Tullogher opened full of promise. They registered the opening two scores through Conor Hennessy and Tarek O’Connor, which finished off a powerful run by Walter Walsh.
By the fifth minute they were behind after Eoin Aylward flicked a slow dropping ball from Liam Hennessy to the net from close range. A minute later Alan Murphy opened his scoring show by pointing a 65.
Murphy hardly missed all afternoon, and the more chances he got, the more time he appeared to take over them to make sure everything about his technique was correct. This was a display by a performer who likes to get things right.
Once in front, Glenmore began to move away, slowly but surely. They were dominant on their own ‘40’, and the losers hardly got a look in at midfield either.
The ever widening gap was 1-11 to 0-3 passing the 20 minute mark. It was not an unreasonable reflection of what was happening on the field.
By half-time it stood at 1-14 to 0-7. By that stage young Murphy had registered eight times, three from play.
Things didn’t get any better for Tullogher after the restart when they conceded early to Murphy again, following a foul on Emmet Vereker.
Billy Ryan hit back for a point for Tullogher, but as the opposition out-worked them and played the game at a higher tempo, they were hounded into errors.
A lot of them came by way of misdirected clearances from defence, which were the result of pressure being applied by the opposition.
There was an exchange of pointed frees between Cian O’Donaghue and Alan Murphy before Tullogher scored a goal in the 44th minute.
Daire McGrath finished smartly from close range after a shot by Jason Shiely from the right wing at the country came back into play off the left upright (1-17 to 1-9).
Moments later Walter Walsh sent a whistling shot across the face of goal and wide from close quarters on the right.
The response from Glenmore came in the shape of quick points from Mark Aylward and Murphy (free) after Darren Aylward had his jersey pulled (1-19 to 1-9).
The winners high pressure game, and the skills set of such as Sean Duggan, Richard Mullally, an in-form Mark Aylward and Alan Murphy, of course, simply proved too much for the losers, despite what the late goal might suggest.
SCORERS: Glenmore - Alan Murphy (0-15, ten frees, one 65); Mark Aylward (0-5); Eoin Aylward (1-0); Shane Murphy, Liam Hennessy, Michael Phelan, Darren Aylward (0-1 each). Tullogher-Rosbercon - Cian O’Donaghue (0-4, three frees); Walter Walsh (1-1); Daire McGrath (1-0); Conor Hennessy (0-3); Tarek O’Connor, Billy Ryan (0-1 each).
Glenmore - Davy Aylward; Sean Duggan, Mark Phelan, Shane Doherty; Steven Cody, Richard Mullally, Philip Roche; Shane Murphy, Liam Hennessy; Alan Murphy, Darren Aylward, Emmet Vereker; Eoin Aylward, Michael Phelan, Mark Aylward. Subs: Dean Croke, James Cody.
Tullogher-Rosbercon - Martin Roche; John Hartley, John Cotterell, Sean Murray; Moling Cotterell, Pat Hartley, Jason Shiely; Tarek O’Connor, Liam Barron; Billy Ryan, Walter Walsh, Conor Hennessy; Cian O’Donaghue, Daire McGrath, Brendan Lawlor. Subs: Edmund Cullinane, Donnacha O’Connor, Kevin Hennessy.
Referee - Paul Cahill (Dunnamaggin).