Sallypark Odhráns and Thurles Town played out an absolute thriller in the NT&DL earlier today. A game for both defences to forget but some quality finishing was on show as Town survived a big fright.
Thurles started the brighter and on 7mins were unlucky not to be a goal up when a Tommy Brophy corner was met by Ted O’Connor and his header just missed the target. Town took the lead on 11mins when Brophy stood over a free 25 yards from goal and his fantastic low drive flew past Eugene Foley in the goal. Four minutes later it was two nil when a mix up at the back seen the ball land to Barry Ryan in the box and his low drive gave Foley no chance. On 17mins it was very nearly three when Brophy stood over a free some thirty yards from goal and his excellent shot had everyone beat bar the post. Town didn’t have to wait long to get their third as a minute later some slick play down the left seen B.Ryan bearing down on the goal and he calmly rounded the keeper and rolled the ball home to end the game as a contest……. or did it. Thurles were awarded a penalty on 35 mins and B.Ryan stepped up but he was denied his hattrick on this occasion after Foley saved smartly down to his right. Sallypark were given a lifeline on 42mins when a long free from Joe Shanahan found its way into the net thanks to a mixture of the wind and some poor goalkeeping from veteran Jim McDonnell in the goal. In injury time a defensive howler in the Thurles backline seen David Young go through and he rolled the ball past a helpless McDonnell to cut the lead to just one.
The second half started as the first ended and on 51mins Odhráns were afforded a lot of time at the edhmge of the Town area and ‘Youngs shot somehow managed to go under McDonnell and into the net to level the game. This put life into the Thurles side and a Brophy corner was met by 8 only for his header to be blocked on the line. Disaster struck for Town on 61mins when a poor pass out of defence from Aaron Ryan went straight to David Keogh and he ran through and dinked the ball over McDonnell who was left with no chance. Thurles should have equalised two minutes later when a beautiful ball from A.Ryan found B.Ryan through on goal but 1 saved brilliantly at the strikers feet. On 66mins Town were on the attack again when young Fionn Ryan went down the right and his low ball accross found B.Ryan again only for the keeper to once again thwart the front man. Town finally managed to equalise when Brophy found space in the box after a long ball and his brilliant first touch gave him all the room he needed to finish the ball perfectly. Only two minutes later the second penalty of the game was awarded after a catastrophic handball in the box when the ball seemed to be going out of play. Robbie Jordan stepped up and wrong sided the keeper to restore Town’s lead. On 81mins another Brophy corner was met by B.Ryan who powered his header home to finally get his hattrick and end Odhráns challenge.
A final score of 6-4 to Town, both teams showed incredible fight throughout. The best players on the day were Foley, Young and Keogh for Sallypark whilst Barry Ryan, Micheal Foley and substitute Fionn Ryan stood out for Town but the stoppagetime.ie Man of the Match goes to Tommy Brophy who was a constant menace throughout and he really stepped up at Town’s hour of need.
Ref Watch: Tommy Lynch 6/10
A tough game to officiate, maybe a bit card happy but all in all got the two penalty decisions 100% right. Solid performance.