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Leighlinbridge squeeze past Tinryland in Junior A opener

Eamonn Byrne
August 27, 2023

Leighlinbridge 0-12

Tinryland 1-8

Junior (A) championship favourites Leighlinbridge were given a mighty fright by Tinryland’s 2nd squad before taking the points by the minimum margin on their own patch in Ballinaboley on Saturday evening. 

This was a game that could have gone either way and in the end the picking up of 2 black cards in quick succession probably cost the underdogs at least a share of the spoils.

Tinryland were first out of the blocks registering two points in the opening stages via Glenn Doyle (free) and Conall O’Shea following good play by Shane O’Neill and Keith Jackson. Leighlinbridge responded with two quick points from corner forward Aidan Lillis and wing forward Fiach O’Toole.

Keith Jackson and All Blacks mid-fielder Liam Brennan then exchanged points before the home side began to dominate scoring 3 excellent points from Aidan Lillis to stretch his team’s advantage to 3 points six minutes before half time. In a game played at championship intensity Tinryland responded with another point from a free by Conall O’Shea before Robert O’Byrne restored the All- Black advantage to 3 points once again.

Superb interplay by a litany of Leighlinbridge players resulted in another point scored by Fiach O’Toole before the first half scoring was completed by Glenn Doyle who converted a free won by Keith Jackson. Half Time score Leighlinbridge 0-8 Tinryland 0-5

The 2nd half saw three fresh legs introduced by the Tinryland mentors in Killian Fagan, John Paul Moore and Cian McGuire and the half was only seconds old when Tinryland had the ball in the Leighlin net courtesy of Conall O’Shea following a long delivery by Cormac McElligott via Alan Barrett. Leighlinbridge responded immediately when P.J Hughney gave a superb delivery to Aedan Byrne to edge the home team ahead again.

In a game of changing fortunes Tinryland enjoyed a purple patch between the 34th and 40 minutes scoring 3 excellent points via Glenn Doyle with the first from play the product of good play by new recruit Kyle Holden.

Tinryland now briefly led by two points but a Jonathan Stringer beauty after he cut through the Tinryland defence in the 42nd minute left only the minimum separating the teams once again with the home side now looking to the bench with the introduction of Charlie Nolan, Joe Byrne and Cian Brennan.

A scoreless 8 minutes saw Tinryland still ahead entering the last 10 minutes but Tinryland’s fortunes then turned for the worst when Both Cormac McElligott and Padraig Townsend picked up black cards from referee Lar Murphy. Leighlinbridge with numerical advantage began to turn the screw and they were rewarded with an excellent PJ Haughney point with 7 minutes remaining.

Tinryland shored up their defence with great play by Adam Dunne, John Paul Moore and sub Cian McGuire in an effort to share the points but after weathering the storm for 8 minutes they finally succumbed and a close free was converted by Aidan Lillis in the 62nd minute to give his side victory and maintain their favourites tag for this years Talbot Hotel Junior (A) title. 

The winners will now play the Fighting Cocks (who saw off O'Hanrahans by 1-12 to 1-5), this coming Thursday 31st August at 7pm in Paul Monaghan Park in Round 2 while Tinryland will be at home to O’Hanrahans at 7.30pm on the same evening in Rathcrogue.

Leighlinbridge: Cian Kavanagh, Jonathan Stringer 0-1, Billy Lennon-O’Brien, P.J. Haughney 0-1, Cathal Brennan, Kieran Casey, Geoff Doran, Liam Brennan 0-1, Robert O’Byrne 0-1, Aedan Byrne 0-1, Darren O’Keeffe, Fiach O’Toole 0-2, Aidan Lillis 0-5, Pakie Fleming, Lee Conran. Subs: Charlie Nolan, Joe Byrne, Cian Brennan.

Tinryland: Chris Townsend, Vivian Nixon, Peter Doran, Joey Ryan, Padraig Townsend, Adam Dunne, Luke Broderick, Cormac Mc Elligott, Glenn Doyle 0-5, Kyle Holden, Shane O’Neill, Gregg Murphy, Conall O’Shea 1-2, Keith Jackson 0-1, Alan Barrett. Subs: Cillian Fagan, John Paul Moore, Cian McGuire, Rory Doyle, Eoin Townsend. 

Referee: Lar Murphy