N Tochar 1-12
If you wanted a game in early January to fill football hearts with hope for the coming season and beyond, you got it in style at Roundwood on Sunday morning as the Baltinglas and Ann Tocher Under-19 teams played a major role in the game. Produced complete belter.
As always, a warm welcome and luxurious facilities awaited the large crowd who made it to the semi-finals of this ‘A’ Championship, and were treated to an amazing display of quality football between two very good teams.
When referee Diarmuid Haughian blew his final whistle after a breathtaking 60 minutes, it was Baltinglas players and supporters who rejoiced, although, to be fair, as the old saying goes, football was the real winner here.
You actually fought among some strong footballers across the field. Baltingglass full-back Hugh O’Toole’s Ann Tocher exit with full-forward Niall Sheehan was terrific, Sheehan probably taking the lead in the first half but O’Toole commanding the second.
Arun Daly Dan’s fight with ghosts like JP Nolan was pretty special, with excellent dargh charges and Tommy Keogh enjoying a ding-dong at Ann Toucher 45, and Jordan Brady coming in on the mighty Jack Hanlon.
And in the middle of the field, you had Jack Kirwan and Jason Kenny for Baltiglass against Pierce Morris and Matt Nolan for Ann Tochar.
Throw in performances from James Fleming, William Bryan, Jamie Furlong and Robert McHugh for Baltingglass and excellent Connor Fee, Dale Brady and Jack Volohan for Ann Tocher, and for football supporters the game was like walking into a sitting room. When you were a kid on Christmas morning. Magical!
Baltinglass started like a train, Jamie Furlong grabbed the game with a neck-scraper and within minutes took a 0-3 0-0 lead, two freebies and a peach to his left.
Early pressure on the Ann Tochar kick-out earned dividends for the Baltinglas, but Jack Kirwan would hit the post twice before collecting from Tommy Keogh and making it 0-4 to 0-0.
Hugh O’Toole pressure on Matt Nolan saw him fire wide to Ann Tocher after five, while Niall Sheehan called Robert Bryan into action with an opening shot, but a Tocher not yet to his feet. Were met.
Conor Fey soon gave him a big boost in that regard when he exchanged it with Sheehan before dropping a beauty on his left.
Overcaring by the Baltinglas gave JP Nolan a chance from a free and he bound but Tommy Keogh went for a free, winning himself at the end of the dressing room and making it 0-5 to 0-2 after 11.
The movement from both the sets of the forward was worth watching. The effort of the players in the engine room around the middle was excellent. The speed of thought, the urgency of the attack and the quality of the footsteps really impressed supporters on both sides.
Niall Sheehan’s showdown with Hugh O’Toole was really heating up at this stage and when Ann Tocher was out past the forward Baltinglas defender, won the ball and swung on a grand score you knew we had our hands. But there was a delicious struggle.
And then a Tochar got a huge boost. A rising run from JP Nolan ended with a sharpshooter while being chased by William Bryan, with Bryan firing a sharpshooter into the Baltinglas goal and making it 1-3 to 0-5 with 13 and thus making it to the first water. Stayed till the break.
Both full-backs after an early wide from Ann Tocher, O’Toole robs Sheehan and Jordan Brady does a good job catching a long Baltinglas ball.
Quality play starting with Tommy Keogh on the sideline stand ended with Jamie Furlong splitting the post with a surprise shot to level matters from his left and then Robert McHugh scoring 23 to push the visitors forward. Entered the scoring act.
A JP Nolan was free after an excellent Connor fee score, but Baltinglas hit back powerfully through McHugh and through two furlongs (one free) leaving him two clear with almost half-time.
However, given the nip-and-tuck nature of the encounter it was no surprise that a wicked ball from JP Nolan followed by a Tocher rally and two Connor Fee scores dragged the level, one free and one from play. .
An early score from Matt Nolan put Ann Tochar ahead after the restart, but Tommy Keogh dealt a damaging blow to the home side’s hopes when he received the ball behind the home side’s defense and struck it 1–10. Dodge the house in the top corner to make. up to 1-8. Jordan Brady had committed a dangerous ball, but Baltinglas held on and Keogh occupied the back spot.
The same man added a free to put three between the teams, while a hitter went through a mini barren spell that included two wides and Hugh O’Toole interrupted a ball to Sheehan, before JP Nolan hit one on Connor. After the foul stopped the rot with a converted free. Fee.
A Tocher had a chance to score early but Robert Bryan was strong in scoring for Baltinglas. Jack Kirwan’s savage play helped Tommy Keogh add a sublime point from distance after 12, but thanks to a good play from Luke Kenny at first, Darragh fee bombed ahead at the other end. 1-12 to 1-10. Some football game.
Things began to go against a toucher. JP Nolan dropped a free short to William Bryan while a 45 was dropped and was handled on the ground by the home team, but they would take the first water break just one point behind when Niall Sheehan hit a sizzler after a brilliant work from Darragh Fee. Make. Dale Brady and Matt Nolan.
Robert Bryan would be called into action shortly after the restart when he collected an effort from JP Nolan, which fell short, but we were all square after 23 when the now packed Baltinglas before punching Nolan. swam through the defense.
The Baltinglas were closing the channels that a Tocher had used at this stage to supply the beloved ball to the men inside him and often his wanted passes by William Bryan, Adam Byrne, the excellent Jack Buckle or the now wide Robert. were cut. McHugh.
Jack Keenan won a free, Tommy Keogh pointed out, went 24. A toucher came to watch but William Bryan was intercepted, and the ball was working for Keogh. Same result.
A tocher tried a few long balls to Sheehan, but they were overcooked and as they looked into the dying seconds it was Robert McHugh who intercepted and Diramuid Haughian’s whistling sound was heard.
It was the best game of football. The Baltinglas face Tomnafinnoge and they must have certainly benefited immensely from this fight.
BALTINGLASS: Robert Bryan; Connor Flood, Hugh O’Toole, James Fleming; William Bryan, Arun Daly Dan, Adam Keogh; Jack Keenan, Jason Kenney; Jack Kenny, Tommy Keogh (1-5, 3f), Jack Buckle; Jamie Furlong (0-6, 3f), Jack Hanlon (0-1), Robert McHugh (0-2). Later versions: Evan Frahill for Jack Kenny (38), Jack Kenny for Sea Floor.
A Toucher: Aaron Smith; Luke Kenny, Jordan Brady, Jack Volohan; Lorcan Smith, Darragh Fee (0-1), Enda Murphy; Pierce Morris, Matt Nolan (0-1); Dale Brady, JP Nolan (1-4, 3f), Anda Byrne; Connor Fee (0-4, 1f), Niall Sheehan (0-2), Ciaran Murphy. Later editions: Darragh Volohan for E Bern (48).
Referee: Diarmuid Haughian (Lacken-Kilbride)