DCSIMG

Late Dooley goal snatches draw for Tullamore against defending champions Edenderry

Tullamore's Michael Brazil dances through the Edenderry cover in the Tullamore Court Hotel Senior Football Championship at O'Connor Park. Picture: Jeff Harvey/HR Photo

Tullamore's Michael Brazil dances through the Edenderry cover in the Tullamore Court Hotel Senior Football Championship at O'Connor Park. Picture: Jeff Harvey/HR Photo

This was a fixture where Tullamore scarcely deserved any kind of result, but yet Edenderry were probably the more relieved team after Shane Dooley’s late goal looked to have completed an unlikely comeback for the Blues.

Tullamore Court Hotel Senior Football Championship

Tullamore 2-10

Edenderry 1-13

This was a fixture where Tullamore scarcely deserved any kind of result, but yet Edenderry were probably the more relieved team after Shane Dooley’s late goal looked to have completed an unlikely comeback for the Blues.

When Edenderry corner forward Seán Doyle curled over his third point of the game after 53 minutes, an immaculate finish from a tight angle out on the left wing, it looked for all the world as if the county champions had just produced an old-fashioned ‘insurance score’. Edenderry had dominated possession in the second half, suffocating the life out of the game at midfield, and while they would have been disappointed not to have been further in front at that stage, you could have forgiven supporters for heading for the exits to beat the traffic.

Indeed you could have forgiven the Edenderry full back line for doing the same. Tullamore’s second half was nothing more than a backs-to-the-wall battle and while Phil O’Reilly will be delighted with the resolve and commitment that he got from his troops, he’ll have to go back to the drawing board and take a fresh approach to winning primary possession.

The Edenderry half back line picked up every breaking ball going and in a match where clean catches were few and far between, that hunger to secure possession and dominate the middle third of the field was perhaps the county champions’ biggest asset.

The first half was an even affair with both sides leading at different stages. Edenderry scored two of the first three points of the game, corner forwards Doyle and Derek Kelly each scoring either side of a great solo effort from Tullamore wing back Declan Hogan.

The first goal of the game came after 11 minutes and it came from the penalty spot, Kevin Williamson converting well after Shaun Martin had been dragged to the ground in the penalty area. Williamson deserved credit for the goal too after it was his defence-splitting pass that put Martin clean through on goal.

Again Edenderry took two out of the next three points, and indeed they could have had a goal when Stephen Guing blasted the ball over from close range, though Eoin Brennan did really well to narrow the angle and give the Edenderry midfielder a small target.

The next Edenderry goal chance wasn’t missed however, and teenage wing back Dan Nolan is unlikely to score a better or more memorable goal in his long career to come. The roving wing back always attacked with real purpose and he made a great purposeful run when he joined the attack on 18 minutes, before being picked out by a good pass from Mark Young. Nolan picked his spot from twenty metres out and gave Eoin Brennan no chance, squeezing the ball inside the top corner off the outside of his right boot.

Tullamore did get back on level terms by half time, helped by a very soft free awarded for a foul on substitute John Kenny, and at the break it was a brave punter who would have confidently picked a winner in what was a very even contest.

However the second half played out very differently as Edenderry dominated possession. Two Keith McGuinness scores from the middle of the attack put them two up and while Tullamore levelled with scores from Williamson and Shane Dooley, they were working off scraps up front. Then Edenderry hit a purple patch with four points in as many minutes, starting in the 50th with a McGuinness free. Mark Young split the posts on the run under pressure to follow, before St Mary’s student Seán Doyle coverted two immaculate points to leave his team in control.

Tullamore dug deep and mustered one last surge and after halving the deficit, they got the break they needed when Shane Dooley touched in a long ball from John Kenny at the start of injury time. All they needed was one last defensive push, but Edenderry were equal to the challenge and Keith McGuinness was the man who levelled things up, scoring from play after a quick one-two with Richie Dalton.

TULLAMORE: Eoin Brennan; David Buckley, Paul McConway, Mark Conlon; Dean Foster, John Moloney, Declan Hogan (0-1); James Keane, Jonathan O’Donoghue; Shane Kelly, Michael Brazil, Shaun Martin; Kevin Williamson (1-6, 1-0 pen, 0-2f), Brian O’Reilly, Shane Dooley (1-3, 0-1f). Subs.: John Kenny for Keane, Brian Maxwell for Kelly Alan Martin for Shaun Martin

EDENDERRY: Brian Quinlan; Diarmuid Maleady, Adrian Murphy, Sean Pender; Colin McNamara, David Hanlon, Dan Nolan (1-0); Stephen Guing (0-1), Richie Dalton; John Hurst, Keith McGuinness (0-4, 0-1f), Ciarán Hurley; Sean Doyle (0-3), Mark Young (0-3), Derek Kelly (0-2) Subs: Sean Moriarty for Hurst, Dan Moloney for Hanlon, Stuart Cullen for Derek Kelly, Martin Keogh for Hurley

REFEREE: Martin Carty

 

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