Laois Shopping Centre Intermediate Football Championship Rd 1
St Joseph’s 0-9
By Denis J. Croke
WHAT was a tense encounter over the hour look set for a replay, that is until a Ruairi O’Connor free two minutes into time added on tipped the fixture in 14-man Timahoe’s favour.
Timahoe wasted no time in getting off the mark in Ratheniska on Sunday, Robbie Foyle splitting the posts less than 30 seconds after the throw-in.
The lead didn’t last long as Conor Kealy was equally accurate for St Joseph’s and then edged them in front with just three minutes on the clock.
Timahoe levelled through Ruairí O’Connor before Robbie Foyle and Bernard Wheatley swapped points with ten minutes gone.
Soon after came the game’s only goal when Timahoe corner-back Richie Oxley raced forward rattle the St Joseph’s net midway through the half.
Timahoe went further ahead thanks to a James O’Connor’s point with Ruairí O’Connor then converting a free.
Timahoe looked to be cruising but they were hit when Richie Oxley was given his marching orders five minutes before half time meaning his side had to llay with 14 men for over half the game.
As Timahoe tired to settle Peter Kealy narrowed the gap with the last point of the half and Timahoe went in four points ahead at the break on a scoreline of 1-5 to 0-4.
The tensions escalated on the restart resulting in referee Tomás Moore handing out a number of yellow cards before order was restored.
When the play resumed it was St Joseph’s who looked the hungrier and began to eat into Timahoe’s lead with a brace of points from Murtagh Condron, one from a free and one from play, with James Smith then closing the gap to the minimum in the 37th minute.
Nerves now seemed to be getting a ho;ld of the players as scoring dropped off completely with 13 minutes passing with neither side registering a score.
Eventually Peter Kealy’s free split the posts and the sides were level with ten minutes left to play.
Still scores were a rarity until Micheál Kennedy popped over a point to edge Timahoe into the lead a minute from time. But there was still time for St Joseph’s to draw level through a through that man Peter Kealy with an excellent strike on the hour mark.
With the clock ticking into time added on Timahoe won a free and Ruairí O’Connor displayed nerves of steel to find the target and raise the white flag that would see his side get off to a winning start in the championship.
TIMAHOE: Eoin Culliton; Richie Oxley (1-0), Andy Daly, Jimmy Whelehan; Joe O’Connor, James O’Connor (0-1), Joe Foyle; Micheál Kerr, Damien O’Connor; Micheál Kennedy (0-1), Robbie Foyle (0-2, 0-1f), Paschal Foyle; Conor Whelehan, Colm Dunne, Ruairí O’Connor (0-3, 0-2f).
ST JOSEPH’S: Daniel Nelligan; Niall Brennan, Cian Maher, Dylan O’Brien; Noel Leech, William McDonald, Jack Lacey; Murtagh Condron (0-2, 0-1f), Noel Garvan; Ciaran Ramsbottom, Peter Kealy (0-4, 0-2f)), Bernard Wheatley (0-1); Conor Kealy (0-1), James Smith (0-1), James Fleming.
REFEREE: Tomás Moore (Ballylinan)