Rockwell Rovers came through in a tight game with Galtee Rovers in the West Tipperary intermediate hurling championship at Leahy Park, Cashel on Friday evening, winning by the minimum margin on a scoreline of 0-13 to 2-6.
The winners got off to a good start with Alan Moloney pointing three frees in the opening seven minutes. They were well on top at this stage, commanding a lot of possession and looking well up for the game.
In contrast Galtee Rovers were sluggish and playing second fiddle. That is until the ninth minute when they were awarded a penalty after Vinny Murphy was pulled down going through and Pa Morrissey made no mistake in dispatching the ball to the Rockwell net.
The sides were now level but Rockwell came back with two points from Barry Shortall and Alan Moloney. Galtee responded with two from Pa and Colm Morrissey to leave the score at the end of the first quarter level at 1-2 to 0-5.
Galtee had the better of the exchanges during the second quarter but scored only three points because of some very wasteful shooting both from play and placed balls. In the course of the first half they hit seven wides to Rockwell’s one. The latter had only one score during the period, a fine rallying point from Pat Hally from beyond centrefield in the 25th minute. It should have roused Rockwell but they failed to score again before half-time when they trailed Galtee by 1-5 to 0-6.
Rockwell were by far the better side after the interval. They scored four points to Galtee’s one in the first seventeen minutes. The latter continued their wasteful shooting and were to exceed their first half tally of wides in the course of the half.
Then in the 18th minute Galtee got a goal very much against the run of play. A long delivery by Colin Morrissey appeared to be going wide. The Rockwell goalkeeper and one of the backs got into difficulties with it and while confused David Morrissey popped in to give Galtee a lifeline with an unexpected goal and the lead by two points. Alan Moloney reduced the margin with a point a minute later.
During the final fourteen minutes, including added time, the game swung from end to end. Both sides were guilty of wasted chances. Galtee clung on to their point lead until the 27th minute, when Barry Shortall equalised. A minute later David Brennan put Rockwell ahead with a point.
Galtee made desperate efforts to get back on level terms but they wasted a number of opportunities and Rockwell held on to win by 0-13 to 2-6.
Many Rockwell players contributed significantly to their win but the most impressive were Liam Lonergan, Stephen Quirke, Eoin Shine, Alan Moloney, Stephen Boland and Gavin Ryan.
Galtee will rue their fifteen wides, any one of which might have given them a draw. They were best served by Colin Morrissey, Pa Morrissey, Ciaran Marnane, Mark O’Brien and Eamon O’Connell.
Rockwell Rovers: Michael O’Donnell, Stephen Quirke, Eoin Shine, Kevin Heney, Diarmuid Lonergan, Pat Hally (0-1), Liam Lonergan, Tommy Flynn, Stephen Boland, Alan Moloney (0-7), David Brennan (0-1), Paul Hally (0-1), Gavin Ryan, Barry Shortall (0-2), James Heffernan. Subs: Eoin Ryan (0-1) for James Heffernan, Eoin Byrnes for Gavin Ryan.
Galtee Rovers: Eoin White, Billy Quinn, Mark O’Brien, Seamus Moloney, Eamon O’Con nell, Andrew Morrissey, Anthony Boles, Pa Morrissey (1-1), Conor O’Sullivan, Damien Burke (0-1), Colin Morrissey (0-2), Ciaran Marnane (0-1), Denis Peters (0-1), David Morrissey (1-0), Vinny Murphy. Subs: Liam Kavanagh for Damien Burke.
Referee: Paddy Russell (Emly)