AIB Connacht Club IFC Quarter-Final
Leitrim Gaels 1-12
A run of seven unanswered points in a ten-minute spell at the end of the game saw Tulsk over the line in the last eight of the Connacht Intermediate Football Championship at Dr. Hyde Park last Saturday. A goal from impressive Leitrim Gaels midfielder Colm Moreton with the second last kick of the game narrowed the gap to one point, but it was not enough to save his side who looked likely winners for most of this entertaining match.
Tulsk players and management will know that they will have to improve if they want to make further progress in this championship, as for 50 minutes it looked like the visitors were going to record a rare Leitrim win against Roscommon opposition in the provincial championship.
Maybe the celebrations last week had taken their toll, but once the dirty petrol was cleared from the Tulsk engine, they finally played some of the football that we have seen all summer. Once again they were heavily reliant on Thomas O’Rourke who scored 1-7 (1-2 from play) and the young centre-forward was front and centre of Tulsk’s challenge all through and especially when it wasn’t going their way.
But he had more help this week: Darragh O’Rourke, David Coyne, Padraig Scott and Callum Fahey all came good especially in the final quarter when the game was in the melting pot.
Leitrim Gaels burst from the blocks and led by four points to no score after only six minutes. But in the space of 90 seconds the sides were level, Thomas O’Rourke pointed a free and in the 8th minute a great move involving Padraig Scott, Robbie Kelly and Callum Fahy saw young O’Rourke fist home a super team goal.
However, the Gaels were the better side on the balance of play in that first half and with Colm Moreton, Donal Casey and Eunan Treacy scoring fine points from play they held the upper hand and they deservedly led by 0-9 to 1-3 at half-time. The Leitrim Gaels captain Aidan Flynn had been given a black card for a blatant pull-down in the 26th minute.
The Leitrim side continued on the front foot on the re-start and they could always keep two or three points ahead of the Tulsk men. Stephen Goldrick and Thomas O’Rourke were accurate from frees for both sides and with 53 minutes on the clock Leitrim Gaels led by 0-12 to 1-6.
But Tulsk suddenly found their form and drove forward. Callum Fahey started the revival with a well-taken point from play and then Thomas O’Rourke stepped up to the plate with three points (2 frees). Captain Padraig Scott was next to stamp his mark on the game with two superb scores from distance, and when Callum Fahey added another super point deep into injury-time, Tulsk were cruising.
The Leitrim men were now struggling and their plight was not helped when their full-back James Flynn picked up two yellow cards within three minutes and was sent to the line by stand-in referee Declan Corcoran in the 59th minute.
There was one late score though as Leitrim Gaels launched one last desperate sally into Tulsk territory and after a number of attempts Colm Moreton blasted home from close range for a goal that was just too little, too late for the Leitrim men.
So Tulsk march on but they know that they will have to up the ante if they are to trouble Oughterard on Saturday next. The most positive thing is Tusk know they can play well. The trick is to do it for the full 60 minutes.
Tulsk: Regan Fahey; Evan Flynn, Darragh O’Rourke, Stephen Lennon; Fergal Moylan, Dara Jones, Ryan Galvin; Tadgh O’Rourke, David Coyne; Robbie Kelly, Thomas O’Rourke (1-7, 5 frees), Liam Cribbin; Jack Conlon (0-1), Padraig Scott (0-2), Callum Fahey (0-3).
Subs: Niall O’Connor for D Jones (29), David Carleton for Cribbin (38), Daniel Connolly for Conlon (39), Richie Feeney for Kelly (49), Timmy Fitzmaurice for Moylan (51), Sean Murray for Thomas O’Rourke (63).
Leitrim Gaels: Brendan Flynn; Stephen McDermott, James Flynn, Paddy Flynn; Enda Moreton (0-2), Jack Flynn, Ryan Goldrick; Colm Moreton (1-2), Daniel Casey (0-2); Aidan Flynn, Shaun Chandler, David Bruen (0-1); Michael McManus, Stephen Goldrick (0-4, frees), Eunan Treacy (0-1).
Subs: David Regan for A Flynn (b/c 27), Liam Moreton for Mc Manus (61).
Referees: John Gilmartin (Sligo) first half. Declan Corcoran (Mayo) second half.