Tones goals kill off Skryne challenge
Wolfe Tones 3-09 Skryne 0-12
Fairyhouse Steel Senior Football Championship. Group A – Round 1.
Skryne opened their Senior Football Championship campaign against defending champions Wolfe Tones in Pairc Tailteann yesterday evening without talisman Darragh Campion. Tones were also missing keyman Cian Ward. The concession of 3 goals proved costly for the Tara men who put in a good display but ultimately fell short on the night as the Gibbstown men secured the victory.
Wolfe Tones tested the Skryne full-back line with their first attack when they sent a high ball into Saran O’ Fionnagain who fetched superbly inside the penalty area, turned and hit a powerful shot just over the Skryne crossbar to open the scoring. O’ Fionnagain added a second point after Oisín Martin won the Skryne kick out and immediately attacked forward before laying the ball off to the big corner forward who tapped over. Skryne opened their account in the fifth minute when Patrick Fox made a run down along the sideline on the right-hand side before delivering a lovely pass to Niall Finnerty in the centre. Finnerty turned and fired over the bar. O’ Fionnagain struck again a minute later adding his third point before Finnerty replied with a pointed free for Skryne. Caolan Ward extended the Tones lead with a pointed free. Skryne almost hit a goal in the eighth minute when John O’Regan fetched the Skryne kick-out after Ward’s free. He picked out John Finnerty on the left-hand side. Finnerty hit a beautiful pass to brother Niall in the middle. Niall immediately laid off to Mark Battersby who was making a run-through on goal. Battersby hit a good shot which was saved well by the Tones keeper Ciarán Gallagher. John Finnerty added a third point for Skryne when Conor O’Brien sent a 45 into the Wolfe Tones penalty area. Harry Rooney collected the ball and offloaded it to Finnerty who shot over. Oisín Martin found the net for the Tones midway through the half after Thomas O’Reilly attacked down the right-hand side. He hit a pass to a teammate in the left corner. They centred the ball to Martin who had made an excellent run from midfield. He made no mistake firing a powerful low shot past Ian Gillett into the bottom right of the goal. Skryne had another goal opportunity snuffed out by Ciarán Gallagher in the 23rd minute when he smothered Eoin Smyth’s shot. Niall Finnerty pointed a free for Skryne before Niall O’Reilly sidefooted an excellent point for the Tones from the right-hand side. Skryne had another goal chance when a Shane Smyth shot dropped into the square invitingly. Niall Finnerty swung a fist at the ball but the ball was just too high and it landed safely in the hands of the Tones keeper who cleared. A Niall Finnerty shot a minute later looked to be sailing over but it struck the post and rebounded away to a Tone defender. Tones attacked forward and Stephen Sheppard tacked on another point to give Tones a five-point lead at halftime. Half-time Wolfe Tones 1-6, Skryne 0-4.
Skryne started strongly in the second half with early points from Niall Finnerty and Mark Battersby(both frees). Shane Smyth who was excellent throughout made a run down the right-hand side. He passed across to brother Eoin who under pressure managed to hit a pass to Oisín Keogh on the left-hand side. Keogh hit a fantastic point to reduce the deficit to just two. Tones pulled a point back but Conor O’Brien replied for Skryne with a point after picking up a pass from Eoin Smyth. OB evaded a few challenges before firing over. Mark Battersby hit the point of the day in the ninth minute with a superb shot with the outside of his boot from wide on the right-hand side to leave just the minimum between the sides. However, it all went pear-shaped for Skryne in the tenth minute when Conor Sheppard raced through the heart of the Skryne defence sucking in a number of Skryne defenders before finding Saran O’Fionnagain in front of the Skryne goal. O’Fionnagain finished to the net from close range. Tones had another goal disallowed for a square ball just a minute later before Skryne settled again and Shane Smyth pulled a point back with a beautiful side-footed shot from the right-hand side. Tones did get their third goal at the midway point of the half when Saran O’ Fionnagain fielded an excellent ball on the 40 before delivering it to Thomas O’Reilly who had made a run forward. O’Reilly struck a low shot to the bottom right corner of the net. Tones continued to press and forced an excellent save from Ian Gillett which would have finished the game had it gone in. Skryne pressed forward in the final quarter but some wayward shooting saw them struggle to reduce the deficit. Two pointed frees from Niall Finnerty in the 26th and 27th minutes were to be Skryne’s last scores. A Caolan Ward point in injury time put the icing on the cake for the Tones. Full-time: Wolfe Tones: 3-09, Skryne 1-12
Skryne – Ian Gillett. Frank Carty, Ciarán Lenehan, David Carroll. Tommy Carpenter, John O’Regan, Shane Smyth(0-1). Harry Rooney, Patrick Fox. Oisín Keogh(0-1), Eoin Smyth, John Finnerty(0-1). Niall Finnerty(0-6, 5fs), Conor O’Brien(0-1), Mark Battersby(0-2, 1f).
Subs used – Stephen O’Brien, Eoghan Greene
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