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Wolfe Tones take the points after tentative opening

Wednesday, 21st July, 2010 4:49pm

Story by Conall Collier
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Wolfe Tones take the points after tentative opening

Ciaran McLoughlin of Wolfe Tones clears the danger as Hank Traynor of Simonstown Gaels closes in.

Wolfe Tones survived the early Simonstown gales in this crucial fourth round SFC clash at Pairc Tailteann on Sunday.

The victory leaves Wolfe Tones certain of a place in the knock-out stages along with Dunboyne.

However, Simonstown have to rely on a favour from Dunboyne in the their last game against Skryne and the Navan side must beat Trim.

For the opening 20 minutes on Sunday it looked like their would only be one winner as Simonstown played the Tones off the park, but then ran out of ammunition.

Shane O'Rourke had the ball in the Wolfe Tones net after only two minutes with a deft flick which took goalkeeper Sean Power and full-back Ciaran McLoughlin out of the game.

However, it was a defence-splitting pass from returning-to-action Hank Traynor that made the opening.

During the early exchanges Simonstown played a lot of possession-football which frustrated the Tones who fell further behind to a brace of O'Rourke points.

The first of those was from a free after Shane Barry was fouled and the other from a fisted effort after Barry provided the pass.

Predictably, Cian Ward got Wolfe Tones on the scoreboard after 13 minutes, but Simonstown replied with a fortunate goal for a 2-2 to 0-1 first-quarter lead.

Sean Tobin claimed that second goal after Tones custodian Power parried O'Rourke's point attempt into the path of the Simonstown corner forward.

Wolfe Tones fell further behind to a Seamus Kenny point before Stephen Sheppard carved an opening for Ward who earned a penalty after he was blatantly fouled by Gary Lynch.

The Simonstown netminder earned a yellow card from referee Liam O'Brien and then saved Ward's spot kick.

Simonstown failed to score for the remainder of the half, but all the Tones could manage was a brace of Ward points (one free) as the Kilberry / Oristown side trailed by 0-3 to 2-3 at the interval.

The second-half belonged to Wolfe Tones and they were back in contention within eight minutes.

Ward sent over three points (two frees) and then Niall McLoughlin's shot-come-cross from about 30 metres ended up in the net from Sheppard's flick on the edge of the square.

Goalkeeper Lynch claimed a square ball, but referee O'Brien indicated to the umpire to raise the green flag.

Tobin managed Simonstown's solitary point in the third-quarter when he gained possession from Kenny's sideline and split the posts, but the Tones remained in the ascendancy and were on terms (1-7 to 2-4) by the end of the third-quarter from an Alan Fox point.

Further points from Ward and Darren McGrath eased the Tones in front, but Traynor kept his side in the hunt at the other end with a good point three minutes from time.

The Gaels squandered subsequent chances and in the final minute Ward converted another free to seal victory.

"We were out of that game for about 20 minutes, Simonstown got two very fortunate goals and that was the difference between us at half-time," Wolfe Tones manager Cathal O Bric told the Meath Chronicle.

"They pushed us very hard during that period, they played the ball fast and we were chasing shadows.

"Then, in the last 10 minutes we just managed to get a grip on the game although we missed a penalty, but we were able to sort out a few things at half-time.

"The conditions were very difficult, but we got back into the game after the break and Stephen Sheppard will be claiming that he got the vital goal.

"We needed to win the game and we managed that, so we can move on to the next round now, whenever that might be," he added.

Wolfe Tones - S Power; R Brady, C McLOughlin, A McKeown; B McGinn, E Harrington, P Caffrey; S Corrigan, M McNally; A Fox (0-1), N McLoughlin, M Coleman; D McGrath (0-1), S Sheppard (1-0), C Ward (0-8 five frees).

Simonstown Gaels - G Lynch; S McGivney, S Carr, M O'Rourke; S Kenny (0-1), E Donoghue, P McKeever; S O'Neill, PJ McAuley; M McCabe, S Barry, J Lyons; S Tobin (1-1), S O'Rourke (1-2 one free), H Traynor (0-1). Subs - S O'Reilly for McCabe 42 mins, J Lunney for Lyons 55m.

Referee - Liam O'Brien (Duleek / Bellewstown).

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