Pearses win but were pushed all the way

Graham Tarmac Junior Football Championship

 Wolfe Tones 1-8 – Pearses 3-7

Pearses arrived at the Valley on Friday evening as firm favourites against Greencastle Wolfe Tones having hammered them a number of times over the previous 2 years. Things however didn’t go according to plan as Wolfe Tones raced into a 4 point lead thanks to an early point from Martin Connor and 3 on the bounce from Gerard McDonnell. It took until the 19th before the visitors registered their first score through a hotly disputed penalty.

Liam Campbell stepped up and sent keeper Danny McIvor the wrong way to leave the score Wolfe Tones 0-4 Pearses 1-0. The visitors then scored 2 points in quick succession in the 25th and 26th minutes before that man McDonnell kicked a great score with the outside of his right boot to leave the half time score Wolfe Tones 0-5 – Pearses 1-2.

Those in attendance expected Pearses to come out firing on all cylinders after the break but their progress was hindered by an excellent point from Cillian Comiskey from 40 metres in the 4th minute. Pearses then scored twice in the 6th and 7th minutes to take a slender 1 point lead that lasted for all of 2 minutes before a Wolfe Tones goal converted expertly by the big man from Banagher, Declan O’Neill.

This was followed by a quick fire point from the excellent Jack Parke following an audacious back heel from man of the match Tomás Austin to Parke who drove a rising shot just over the bar. This was followed by a breakaway goal in the 16th minute from Liam Campbell who slipped his marker Declan Moloney on the forty before winning the race to goal to plant the ball in the top right hand corner of the Tones net.

Campbell followed this up with 2 points in the 18th and 19th minutes to put some daylight between the teams as Pearses opened up a 2 point gap. Gerard McDonnell then hit a point for the Tones in the 20th minute before 3 wides in a row in the 21st, 24th and 27th minutes left spectators thinking that it was not going to be Wolfe Tones day.

Following an unfortunate slip by corner back Fergal McQuillan Pearses scored their third goal of the evening in the 29th minute. This was followed by a point deep into injury time and allowed them to run out 5 point winners. Despite this loss it represents huge progress by the reborn Wolfe Tones who lost out at this stage to the same opposition last year by almost 20 points.

Pearses showed their experience over the final 5 minutes to get the win having only lead by 1 in the 28th minute of the second half when Gerard McDonnell hit the post. A point at this stage would have levelled the game and who know what would have happened.

Wolfe Tones to a man were outstanding and were hugely disappointed to lose, a massive reflection on the steps they have taken over the previous 2 years. If they continue to improve at this rate, who knows where that will lead to. Both teams have their next round of games on Friday 12th August and on this showing have much to look forward to.

Wolfe Tones – Danny McIvor, Fergal McQuillan, Declan Moloney, Joe Carmichael, Neil Brannigan, Connor Burrows (Captain), Kieran Moloney, Stephen McKee, Eoin McKee, Martin Connor (0-1), Cillian Comiskey (0-1), Jack Parke (0-1), Gerard McDonnell (0-5), Declan O’Neill (1-0), Tomás Austin. Subs. Matt McCann, Ciaran Higgins, Jamie Carberry, Kevin McCallion, Odhrán Hasson for Tomás Austin, 50 minutes, Ciaran Lavelle, Caolan McBrien.

Pearses scorers: Liam Campbell 3-2, James Begley 0-2, Naoise O’Cuilin 0-1, Philip Murray 0-1, Ciaran McCavana 0-1

Pearses: Niall Largey,Cormac Gillespie,Andrew Goodall, Ciaran McCavana, James Begley, Aodhan McCavana, Jack McKeown, James Smyth, Barry Harpur, Piaras Donaghy, Philip Murray, Conal Hughes, Naoise O’Collin, Liam Deegan-Campbell, Sean Moreland,

Referee: Richie Leahy (Niamh Comhghall)

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