It was nip and tuck all the way in Templenoe but eventually we came good in the second half to take the two points on offer against a resolute and determined home side who never gave up and were still attacking at the final whistle.
Playing with the aid of a slight breeze in the first half we were quickly out of the blocks and led by 0-03 to 0-01 after 5 minutes following scores from Tommy Walsh (2) and Cormac Coffey – a late addition to the panel. Templenoe having added a point then struck for the first of their two goals when a quick ball inside saw the corner forward lose his marker and fire to the net; worse was to follow in the 15th minute when the home side again breached our defence raising another green flag – it was now 2-03 to 0-05 and we looked to be in trouble. Ross O’Callaghan was moved from his full back berth to mark Killian Spillane at centre back and this was to have a more settling effect on the side – Danny O’Sullivan and Shane Brosnan too were to the fore and we pegged back the deficit to one point following 3 good scores from Gearoid Savage, who had the beating of his man. The home side again fought back and two points before half time to a pointed free from Tommy Walsh left the score at the short whistle – 2-05 to Templenoe to our 0-09.
Though facing the breeze in the second half we began in determined fashion and Tommy had the margin down to the minimum when pointing a free; a good inter change of passing saw John Ferguson bearing down on goal but he was taken out of it by two defenders and the referee pointed to the penalty spot – strangely he failed to administer any further punishments by way of cards when black looked the obvious colour to brandish – Tommy kept his composure and fired the penalty high to the roof of the net, 1-10 to 2-05 – shortly afterwards Cormac increased this to 3 points with a great score from far out.
The scores were level on 3 further occasions from here to the end as both sides vied for supremacy – with 22 minutes gone it was 1-13 to 2-10 but we raised 3 of the next 4 white flags all frees from Tommy who was unerring all through – the final point went to the home side but it was too little, too late and we emerged victorious.
This was a very encouraging start to the league and two valuable points gained; in the end, it was down to big performances in the final 10 minutes from Ross O’Callaghan, Con Barrett, John C O’Connor, Gavin O’Brien, Cormac Coffey and Tommy Walsh that ensured we were victorious. We next play St Marys in Strand Road on Sunday 25th March in round 2.
Team: Gary Kissane, Danny O’Sullivan, Ross O’Callaghan, David Murphy, Cian Sayers, Shane Brosnan, Karl Mullins, Con Barrett, John C O’Connor, Gavin O’Brien ( 0-02), Tommy Walsh ( 1-08), Cormac Coffey ( 0-02), Gazza Savage ( 0-03), Diarmuid O’Sullivan, John Ferguson ( 0-01). Subs used: Padraig Griffin and Donagh O’Brien.