Moyle Rovers kept their county senior football title ambitions alive with a well-deserved five points win over Mid challengers, Drom-Inch at Boherlahan last Wedneday.
It was a satisfactory win for the Clonmel lads, and one achieved without their county captain Peter Acheson, sidelined with a broken bone in his hand.
They will not have him for the concluding stages of the championships either as he moved abroad last Friday to take up an appointment. Rovers missed his dynamism against Drom and his extended absence is a big blow to their title-winning prospects.
They needed to win this game by at least a four points margin to top their group in the round-robin series .
They achieved their goal but made life difficult for themselves by spurning a number of promising goal chances in both halves that could have killed off the Drom-Inch challenge.
Instead, they found the battling Mid men difficult to shake off, but a blistering ten minutes at the start of the second half when they shot eight points without reply, to go seven clear, was to prove decisive, and gave them a cushion when Drom rallied late on.
The Mid lads were without injured James Woodlock, and county senior hurlers Seamus Callanan and Liam Ryan, and their influence was missed in a well-contested encounter.
Callanan and Woodlock are two of the driving forces in the side and had they been available, Drom’s challenge would surely have been even more vigorous. Still they had the first point from Jamie Moloney after only thirty seconds and Rovers goalie Ciaran Kenrick had to be alert to prevent a Tommy Nolan goal a minute later.
Moyle Rovers soon settled into stride. Philip Quirke was a key figure as they ran up five points without reply courtesy of Danny Lyne (2), Stephen Quirke, Diarmuid Foley, and Danny Owens by the twentieth minute, and they seemed to be heading for a comfortable win.
Drom-Inch have been holding their own with the best in football and they put in an impressive last ten minutes to the half with scores from David Collins (3), Tommy Nolan and David Butler for an interval lead of 0-6 to 0-5.
It was all looking good for the beaten Mid finalists but on the resumption Rovers ran them ragged, scoring eight points without reply in ten minutes, Stephen Quirke, Danny Lyne, David McGrath, Thomas Hill, Diarmuid Foley, MartinDunne (2), and Shane Foley the marksmen. Sub Rian Clancy had a good goal chance too as the South lads surged 0-13 to 0-7 clear.
Drom were in big trouble but they never gave up. They had points from Kevin Butler, Paul Kennedy and Tommy Nolan in a five minute spell to cut the deficit to four with seven minutes to play.
Rian Clancy and Martin Dunne steadied Moyle Rovers with points but David Butler had a goal chance for Drom only to skew his shot wide of the posts under pressure, and when possibly entitled to a free. David Collins followed with a Drom point but it was not enough and Moyle Rovers were safely over the line by a five point margin.
It was an important win for Moyle Rovers. Peter Acheson’s absence will be sorely felt as the competition intensifies and they know they will have to do better than this if they are to make further progress. However, their divisional and county campaigns are still on track and they can be expected to pick up the tempo now that the business end of the year is at hand.
Stephen Quirke, Alan Campbell, Martin Dunne, Diarmuid Foley and Danny Lyne were their key men with David McGrath also to the fore.
Drom-Inch could yet make the county series, depending on results elsewhere, and if at full strength, will give any side enough to do. Under county minor manager, Mick O’Sullivan they are making great strides in football, with David Collins, David Butler, Tommy Nolan, Jamie Moloney, and Mikey Connors their key men in this game.
Moyle Rovers scorers- M Dunne and D Lyne(0-3 each); S Quirke and D Foley (0-2 each); T Hill, R Clancy, D McGrath, D Owens, S Foley(0-1 each);
Drom-Inch scorers- D Collins(0-4), T Nolan(0-2), D Butler, J Moloney, K Butler, P Kennedy(0-1 each);
Moyle Rovers - C Kenrick; D Fitzpatrick, A Campbell, M Irwin; D McGrath, D O Dwyer, D Lyne; L Boland, M Dunne; S Foley, S Quirke, D Foley; C Condon, T Hill, D Owens; Subs- R Clancy for Condon; D Ryan for Hill;
Drom-Inch - Jerome Ryan; K Hassett, M Purcell, K Butler; Johnny Ryan, E Moloney, R Long; T Nolan, J Moloney; J Bergin, D Collins, S Nolan; M Connors, D Butler, P Kennedy; Sub- C Kinane for Johnny Ryan;
Referee - Paddy Russell, Emly.