Two Mile House 4-15
Round Towers Lusk (Dublin) 1-16
Leinster Club IFC quarter-final
There wasn’t a sweeper in sight as Two Mile House and Round Towers Lusk played out an absolute epic encounter in Newbridge on Saturday, with the former's ability to find the net eventually telling in the end as they emerged with an eight-point victory.
It was end to end, with defence the last metric in which either of these teams seemed to be scaling their performance on, and it allowed for a simply brilliant game of football that was lit up by some fine scores, bizarre incidents and, for such a high-octane game, was played in a really sporting nature.
Round Towers will rue a couple of the goals they conceded as they were easily avoidable, but a Two Mile House side that carried a number of injuries into this game were good value for their win.
It took just over a minute for Two Mile House to open the scoring as Chris Healy found a chink of space before curling over a fine point on the turn, but the Dublin men settled into the tie after that.
A Jack Hussey point got them up and running, before Kieran McKitterick kicked them into the lead by slotting over a simple free. Two Mile House took over for a spell after that however as they dominated the middle of the field and looked menacing on the break. Didier Cordonnier’s kickouts were pinpoint and provided a fine platform for attack, while the likes of Peter Kelly and Caomhan Doolan were big figures in the engine room.
Aidan Casey, who returned from injury having missed the win over Shandonagh, levelled the game with a point from a free, before Niall Browne’s side got their big break with a sixth minute goal. It came when Jack Collins claimed a Round Towers kickout 50 metres from goal and fed the ball across to Chris Healy, who then found the unmarked Conor Keogh who drove a low shot past Adam Burns and into the net.
Round Towers almost hit back with a goal of their own when Cormac Howley burst in from the left and fired a shot at goal, and while Cordonnier parried his effort it fell to Adam Caul who knocked over the rebound.
Peter Kelly responded with by claiming Cordonnier’s resultant kickout, running all of 60 metres with the ball and splitting the posts to register a brilliant solo score. Towers came close again to finding the net soon after when McKitterick hit the bar and Cillian Healy’s follow up was deflected wide by Cordonnier.
The game was really swaying from side to side as neither team was really dominating, but Two Mile House did enjoy a good purple patch where they looked to be asserting some control in the middle of the first half. They scored three in a row as Healy curled over a superb point, while Kelly excellently set up Keogh for his first point of the afternoon, and Casey angled over a free to send the Kildare champions six clear after 18 minutes.
Towers roared back into contention by picking off some excellent points, with Dublin U20 star Cormac Howley getting them moving with a score from play before wing-back Caul continued his impressive performance by clipping over two fantastic points in quick succession.
Doolan stymied their momentum with a good score before Casey fired over another point from a free, but Towers hit back with two in a row from McKitterick and Howley as half-time approached. The final score of an exhilarating first half fell to the hosts as Mark Sherry clipped over a point from close range to send his send into the break with a 1-9 to 0-8 lead.
Towers enjoyed just a short stay in the dressing room at the break, and it felt like the two halves of football almost merged into one another as the game continued to be a frankly bonkers and open affair.
Collins opened the scoring with a point for Two Mile House, but Towers responded by firing over points through the excellent duo of McKitterick and Harford. Sherry kept his side ticking over with another point before Healy responded at the other end as Towers kept the gap down to three. Two Mile House looked to be pulling clear when Peter Kelly netted in the 35th minute after set up by an energetic run from Sherry, but the Dublin champions rallied brilliantly after that.
Half-time substitute Liam Bohan made an immense impact, firing over a fine point before slotting home a goal that really energised his side, and they almost had another were it not for a fine block by Finian Breen to deny McKitterick.
There were just two points in it at that stage, but the House steadied the ship by netting their third goal in bizarre fashion as Kelly knocked the ball from the grasp of goalkeeper Adam Burns and straight into the opposition net.
Another somewhat fortuitous goal arrived shortly afterwards when Casey’s long range free dropped under the bar towards Harford who was standing on the line, but he let the ball slip to Healy who gleefully tapped it in from a yard out.
Despite Round Towers’ never-say-die attitude, they couldn’t reel in Two Mile House after that. Manager Niall Browne brought himself on with eight minutes left, and his first involvement was to ship a crippling shoulder from Harford who lined up the unsighted Browne as he received possession.
Aaron Duffy, Bohan and Harford all raised white flags for the visitors, but late scores from Kelly, Casey and Browne himself at the other end saw Two Mile House over the line in a pulsating encounter.
Scorers for TMH: P Kelly 2-2, C Healy and C Keogh 1-2 each, A Casey 0-4(3f), M Sherry 0-2, C Doolan, N Browne and J Collins 0-1 each.
Scorers for Round Towers: L Bohan 1-3(1’45), K McKitterick (1f) and A Caul 0-3 each, C Howley and S Harford 0-2 each, J Hussey, C Healy and A Duffy 0-1 each.
Two Mile House
Didier Cordonnier; Nathan Sherry, Willie Burke, Finnian Breen; Joe D’Arcy, Matt Kelly, Chris Burke; Peter Kelly, Caomhan Doolan; Stuart White, Chris Healy, Jack Collins; Aidan Casey, Mark Sherry, Conor Keogh.
Subs used: Chris Burke for G Burke 40mins, Andrew Cregg for Breen 43mins, Niall Browne for White 51mins.
Adam Burns; George Leech, Kyle Connell, Gary Clare; Robert McGee, David Hurley, Adam Caul; Stephen Harford, Donal Clarke; Dermot Leech, Jack Hussey, Luke White; Kieran McKitterick, Cillian Healy, Cormac Howley.
Subs used: Chris Tonge for D Leech 22mins, Liam Bohan for Clarke HT, James Hanratty for McGee HT.
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