Great start to campaign as South Tipp put four past Kilkenny

FAI Oscar Traynor Trophy

FAI Oscar Traynor Trophy

TSDL 4

KILKENNY LEAGUE 0

The Tipperary Southern & District League got their FAI Oscar Traynor Trophy Group 4 campaign off to the perfect start as they put four past Kilkenny under the lights of Cooke Park, Tipperary town last Saturday night.

In the opening minute the TSDL had a great chance to break the deadlock when Jimmy Carr had only the ‘keeper to beat but lost his footing at the wrong moment. It did not take Kilkenny long to gain a foothold, with Paul O’Brien intercepting a pass across the face of the goal, but a heavy touch saw Tipp’s former youth ‘keeper Evan Comerford smothering the ball. Kilkenny came close again after 5 minutes when Dylan Whearty managed to get past the outrushing Comerford, but Paul Breen read the danger heading the ball off the goal-line. This was Kilkenny’s best period and it took some crucial interceptions to deny the visitors taking the lead. Simon Scully had to be spot on with his tackle on Paul O’Brien as he burst into the box and Chris Higgins headed clear for a corner-kick from under his crossbar from another O’Brien centre. Kilkenny followed that with a number of corner-kicks but the Tipp defence managed to clear on each occasion.

Tipp weathered the storm and broke the deadlock after 27 minutes albeit against the run of play when Simon Scully on the edge of the Kilkenny 18-yard box cushioned the ball to Richie Ryan, whose spectacular volley found the top left hand corner of the net. Now it was Tipp’s turn to apply the pressure and following good approach work by Pat Quinn and Evan Maguire it left Jimmy Carr cutting in from the right, but dragging his shot across the face of the goal when it looked easier to score. After 38 minutes Jimmy Carr with another effort from the end-line forced Kilkenny net-minder Owen Wall to finger tip his shot/cross over the crossbar. From the corner-kick that followed Brian Waters set-up the unmarked Thomas Fahey whose well executed strike from 20 yards prove unstoppable giving Tipp a 2-0 interval lead.

David McGrath replaced Paul Tobin at the start of the second half for Tipp, but it was Kilkenny that came close in the opening minute when Paul O’Brien shot from an acute angle and stung the gloves of Evan Comerford. However, with both sides struggling to maintain the electrifying pace of the opening half it left openings for both to exploit. Tipp using the speed of both Jimmy Carr and Evan Maguire were causing endless problems for the Kilkenny defence with Maguire forcing a good save from Owen Wall. Robbie Quan at the heart of the Kilkenny produced a superb tackle on Pa Quinn as he was about to pull the trigger.

Kilkenny brought on Robbie Nugent who was unlucky not to score on 65 minutes when he forced Tipp net-minder Comerford to produce a fantastic reflex save from under the crossbar. Nugent then sprung the Tipp offside trap, but Comerford again came to Tipp’s rescue, saving with his feet, to stop the inrushing Alan Whearty.

Over the final fifteen minutes Tipp began to regain the upper hand, but it was only when Kilkenny’s outstanding defender Robbie Quan was forced to retire injured that Tipp added another two goals. In the 80th minute Pa Quinn, who was being well shackled by Quan up to that point, latched onto a defence-splitting pass from Simon Scully and neatly turned the ball home past the advancing ‘keeper to make it 3-0. Kilkenny net-minder Owen Wall had to come quickly off his line to deny David McGrath from scoring before Tipp made it 4-0 on the stroke of full-time when Pa Quinn added his second goal from close range following Alan Hayes defence splitting pass.

TSDL: Evan Comerford (Clonmel Town), Chris Higgins (St. Michael’s), Paul Tobin (St. Michael’s), Simon Scully (Clonmel Celtic), Paul Breen (St. Michael’s), Richard Ryan (St. Michael’s), Jimmy Carr (St. Michael’s), Thomas Fahey (St. Michael’s), Kevin Waters (Clonmel Celtic), Evan Maguire (Clonmel Celtic), Pat Quinn (St. Michael’s)

Subs used: David McGrath (Clonmel Town), John Connery (St. Michael’s), Alan Hayes (St. Michael’s). Not used: Richard Ryan (Clonmel Celtic) (GK)

Kilkenny Lge: Owen Wall (Callan Utd), Jack Poyntz (Evergreen), Ger Hayes (Freebooters), Derek Brennan (Freebooters), Robbie Quan (Evergreen), Niall Andrews (Evergreen), Chris Whearty (Evergreen), Eddie Clifford (Freebooters), Dylan Whearty (Evergreen), Henry O’Neill (Newpark Utd), Paul O’Brien (Freebooters)

Subs used: Edward Nugent (Fort Rangers), Emmet Nugent (Front Rangers)

Referee: P. Keane; Assistants: T. Keating, J. Hadnett (all Tipperary)