McManus led Tubber fightback falls just short as Gracefield hold on

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Despite a stirring fightback led by the evergreen Ciaran McManus, Tubber couldn’t overcome a nine point half-time deficit as they slumped to their third consecutive defeat of this year’s Offaly Senior Football championship at the hands of Gracefield on Thursday evening.

Despite a stirring fightback led by the evergreen Ciaran McManus, Tubber couldn’t overcome a nine point half-time deficit as they slumped to their third consecutive defeat of this year’s Offaly Senior Football championship at the hands of Gracefield on Thursday evening.

Tullamore Court Hotel SFC

Gracefield 2-9

Tubber 1-9

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Gracefield were on top the first-half and had built a healthy 2-5 to 0-2 lead at the interval.

Scores were hard to come by in the first 20 minutes with Gracefield leading 0-4 to 0-2 but a goal from John Knight put five points between the sides.

A second goal from veteran Karol Slattery just before half-time extended the lead to nine and left Gracefield in total control going into the second-half on a very warm evening.

However led by Ciaran McManus, who finished the game with 1-6, Tubber began to claw their way back and McManus’ goal midway through the second-half gave his side a renewed confidence.

That cut the deficit back to four and the momentum was with the Tubber men howver after failing to score for 15 minutes, Gracefield managed to steady the ship kicking four points in the closing minutes.

Tubber added another five in the final quarter but they couldn’t manufacture the all important second goal.

With the rest of the weekend’s games still to come, Gracefield are currently in second place in the Group 2 table while Tubber will likely have to win their last two games to have any chance of avoiding the relegation play-off.