14 Man Late Mellows Rally Falls Short in a Low Key Championship Encounter

November 8, 2018

Turloughmore … 3-6 
Liam Mellows  … 1-7

Report by Sean Walsh

The old adage that goals win matches was again proven as Turioughmore’s ability to snatch three goals proved decisive as they won their first brace of points in the senior hurling championship in Athenry on Friday.   This was a hard fought but poor championship tie, with little flowing hurling and a paltry scoring return, and on this evidence both sides still have plenty of work to do to keep their championship hopes afloat in what is a most competitive group.   In the end, Turloughmore will have been the happier side with this victory leapfrogging them over Mellows in Group D by virtue of scoring difference. They laid the groundwork by being level at half time on a bizarre scoreline of 2-1 to 1-04 having played into the stiff breeze. However, the second half proved to be a major disappointment.

It was a half punctuated by stop start hurling and a series of unsightly melees, which developed on a regular basis largely because of he lack of control exerted by referee Tomas Holian. A number of players were extremely lucky not to have been dismissed, as the referee failed to stamp his authority on the second half proceedings – surprising given that he had issued three yellow cards in the opening 12 minutes of the game.

Suffice to say that those players must have been relieved by the referee’s leniency, though Liam Mellow’ David Kelly did receive a straight red card six minutes from time. Zero tolerance this certainly was not!   Francis Forde proved to be Turioughmore’s chief scoring threat in the opening period. On seven minutes his shot, seemingly for a point, deceived Paddy Gannon in the Mellows goal to end up in the net, while Forde goaled again on 23 minutes when a Conor Feeney cross and a neat Diarmuid Moore flick set him up for a fine goal.

Forde also pointed a 65 after Darren 0′ Shaughnessy forced a good save from Paddy Gannon, and by the 30th minute Liam Mellows trailed by 2-1 to 0-03.   Ciaran Hynes with a free and a beauty from play allied to a well-taken score from sub Conor Hynes accounted for the Mellows’ scores, though the city side were dealt a major blow with the loss of Geoff Lynskey through injury after only 19 minutes.   Both sides were guilty of supplying their forward lines with poor quality ball, while Mellows inability to use the breeze — they also shot eight first half wiles — was to prove crucial.

Yet Mellows finished the half well. A Shane Hynes clearance was the launch pad for a welltaken Aonghus Callanan goal, as Callanan got inside the defence and finished well. It was about the only time Mellows managed to release Callanan in such a manner. Within a minute, a fine David Collins surge led to a well converted Ciaran Hynes free to tie the teams at the break. Whatever hopes of an improvement in the second half fare soon evaporated as it developed into a dour struggle, littered by melees. Brian Holland shot a rallying Turloughmore point, before Ciaran Hynes and Francis Forde exchanged frees to leave Turloughmore 2-3 to 1-5 ahead on 39 minutes. The influential Barry Cullinane along with Brian Holland were winning the midfield battle for Turloughmore, while Padraig Walsh and Cathal Moore were defending well.

Then on 41 minutes, the game’s most crucial moment arrived – Padraig Walsh’s long range free was won by Turloughmore sub Cian Burke, and Burke weaved through the defence before crashing home a well-taken goal and by the 51st minute Darren 0’Shaughnessy (a fine effort) and Francis Forde had added points to edge Turloughmore 3-5 to 1-05 ahead. It was a significant lead.  Turloughmore goalie Paul Dullaghan made a fine double save from John Hughes and Eugene Keville as Mellows upped the tempo, but their hopes were dealt a blow with the 54th minute dismissal of David Kelly. Despite being a man short, Mellows to their credit did finish strongly.  Centre back John Lee, who along with David Collins, was leading the fight back pointed, before sub Brian Keville blazed over a minute into injury time to leave Mellows 3-5 to 1-7 behind.

Eugene Keville saw a goal chance fly wide before a free from inside his own half from clinched a Turlough 3-6 to 1-7 victory, though Aonghus Callanan did rattle the woodwork in the dying embers of the game. Mellows were left to rue the concession of a soft goal, the loss of Geoff Lynskey and a dozen wiles, and their final group game with Sarsfields now assumes major significance.

This win will buoy up Turloughmore’s campaign, but they will realize improvement is a must. They too shot a dozen wiles, while managing only two points from play on a day when Padraig Walsh and Cathal Moore led the way, while Fergal Moore, Brian Holland, Barry Cullinane, Francis Forde and subs Cian Burke and Brian Murphy also did well.

Shane Hynes, John Lee, Eugene Keville, David Collins, David Fahy, Ciaran Hynes and sub Conor Hynes were to the fore for Mellows.

Turloughmore: P. Dullaghan; P. Wa1sh; T. Caulfield; S. Hughes; D Murphy; C. Moore; F. Moore; B. Cullinane; B. Holland (0-1); D. 0′ Shaughnessy (0-2; 0-1 free); D. Moore; P. Quirke; G. Hurney; C. Feeney; F. Forde (2-3; 0-1 65, 0-2 frees).

Subs: C. Burke (1-0) for Murphy (H.T.); B. Murphy for Hurney (42 mins); S. Greaney for Feeney (60).

Liam Mellows: P. Gannon; M. Grealish; S. 0′ Brien; S. Hynes; E. Ryan; J. Lee (0-1); E.. Keville; D. Collins; D. Fahy; A. Callanan (1-0); N. Mclnerney; J. Hughes; D. Kelly, G. Lynskey, C. Hynes (0-4; 0-3 frees).

Subs: Conor Hynes (0-1) for Lynskey (inj 19 mins), B. Keville (0-1) for Mclnerney (40 mins); K. Murphy for Ryan (56 mins).

Ref: T. Holian