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GAA Club Notes 19th September 2011

posted Sep 18, 2011, 3:08 PM by Mark Baldwin
Sponsored by Tallow Area Credit Union

Senior Hurling County Quarter Final
Tallow 1-15 Lismore 0-16
Tallow and Lismore duked it out in Fraher Field on Saturday and it was a sterling performance by our lads to claim victory in a tense battle. Just three short weeks ago we were wondering where our season was heading after a heavy defeat to Ballygunner but we got back on the horse these last few weeks and our reward was a stunning victory over our near neighbours.

We played with the wind in the first half and got on the board quickly with a Kevin Curley point. Lismore responded with two points of their own and this was the pattern of the first half with points from Evan Sheehan, a Thomas Ryan sideline cut, Eoin Condon and further Thomas Ryan frees edging us in front only for Lismore to keep the scoreboard ticking over with frees and points of their own. Two moments from that first half highlighted our quality and desire: Eoin Condon's shuddering Michael Fennelly-style shoulder on a Lismore midfielder and subsequent point and Sean O Sullivan's blinding save from close range late in the first half. Our half-forward line were getting through a huge amount of work and tackling and our performance levels were high all over the field. Halftime saw both teams level at seven points apiece.

On the restart, a Thomas Ryan free put us in front and the seesaw nature of scoring resumed with Lismore pulling ahead on a few occasions only to be pegged back by some excellent Tallow points. Against the wind our team dug deep and never let Lismore get more than two points ahead through Thomas Ryan's frees and an excellent point from out on the right wing from Evan Sheehan. As the game entered the final ten minutes Lismore again pushed ahead by two points only for a superb Thomas Ryan point, again from the right wing, to keep us in touch. Lismore restored their two point lead through a free but Evan Sheehan scored his fourth point to leave us a point behind as injury time loomed. Searching for an equaliser, a lung-bursting run by William Henley up the left wing brought play up the field and his high crossfield ball hung in the air just long enough to be gloriously finished to the net by substitute Shane Finn Mc Carthy to leave us two points in front with seconds remaining. However the drama wasn't finished as from the resulting puckout Lismore broke through on goal only for Sully to be our saviour again as he brought off another unbelievable save to keep our lead. The subsequent puckout brought the final whistle and was the cue for delirious scenes of joy from the Tallow contingent.

Team: S O Sullivan, A Kearney, D O Brien, K Kearney, J Murray, M O Brien, W Henley, K Geary, T Ryan, A Pratt, E Condon, K Curley, T Feeney, P O Brien, E Sheehan. Subs T Mc Grath, S F Mc Carthy
Even now as we digest the sweet joy of victory it's difficult to think of a more satisfying win in recent times. It had to do with the calibre of the opposition as our neighbours Lismore have been regulars at the business end of the championship for many years. It was the breaking of our pattern of playing well in early season games only to fall flat when it came to the knockout stages. Ultimately it was the quality of performancce that our team put in that leaves a warm glow of satisfaction by the Bride. We had heroes from one to fifteen and beyond, our goalscorer Shane Finn only having returned to training last week after ten weeks out through injury. Sean O Sullivan's two top-class saves kept Lismore from registering a crucial goal while the full back line was very solid and cleared everything in the second half. Our halfback line were aggressive in attacking every Lismore puckout and and at midfield Kieran Geary battled for everything while as usual Paul O Brien punched far above his weight especially in the air. Our half forward line chased and harried the Lismore halfback line throughout and prevented them from delivering quality ball while inside Evan Sheehan's points showed his class and quality throughout to augment the excellence of both Thomas Ryan and Paul O Brien who regularly alternated between full forward and midfield.

We are now into a county semi final against Ballyduff to be played on the weekend of October 1st and we are under no illusions as to what awaits us. It is another local derby, again against a team that have huge experience of county semi-finals and finals. If it provides half of the drama and quality of last Saturday we will be lucky.