Friday 24 May 2019

Reddin a Tower of strength

St Maur's 1-16 Round Towers C 0-10

Rory Kerr

Such was the quality of Conor McGuire's goal at Balgriffin in Thursday night's Senior 2 group one championship clash, that one was was tempted to trawl through the archives for comparisons.

His exquisite left-footed strike off Ciaran Reddin's through-ball had one thinking of Marco van Basten's goal from the Euro 1988 finals, not to mention Glenn Hoddle's two wonder strikes from the '78-79 season which left the BBC commentator gasping for breath.

Of course things are done a bit differently over here - no celebrations, no exclamations - but Maur's will be quietly pleased to have opened their account at the earliest possible opportunity, particularly with games to come against Fingallians and Cuala.

The six-point winning margin was probably a fair reflection of the game, even though Towers have been consistently knocking on the door of promotion to Division 1 this decade.

For the most part there was a gulf between the sides. Towers corner forward Eric Finn troubled the Maurs defence early and the aouth Dublin team had their goal chances in a game where both keepers had a busy night between the posts.

However, by the time Liam O'Connor eventually managed to find the back of the net for Towers with a neat left-footed finish into the bottom corner, Maur's had built up a comfortable nine-point lead and the final quarter passed by without too much trouble for the Rush men.

Under their new manager and former captain Cathal Sweetman, Maur's are playing a nice brand of football.

Former O'Byrne Cup-winning captain Reddin is arguably playing the best football of his career and his six-point haul, combined with some terrific distribution, made him the most influential performer on the night.

Former Dublin underage player Eoin Fletcher played a pivotal role in midfield, while both Jack Burke and David Carthy gave Maur's an added attacking edge down the left flank in the second half. Attacker turned defender Mark McGrath is also worthy of a mention as he held the half back line together well.

That said, there were some nervous moments in the Maur's defence early on, with Finn looking menacing every time he got possession.

Maur's had enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges, with Reddin and Chris Carthy sending over early points before McGuire's fisted effort required an early intervention from the Towers keeper.

Ciaran Archer, however, sent over the resulting 45 before Burke put four between sides with nine minutes gone in the game.

However, Round Towers were soon back into the game, with Finn registering two quick points before defender Shane Byrne saw his effort tipped onto the crossbar by Mark Butterly and over for a point.

Thomas Galvin would then level proceedings, but with Reddin dropping back to give cover to the under-siege defence, Maurs began to get on top again.

And after Reddin had edged Maur's back in front, he then supplied McGuire for the crucial score.

The corner forward, having let the ball drop once, volleyed into the top corner of the net.

Burke would then extend the gap to six points, but Towers then rallied with a hat-trick of scores which included two 45s from Galvin after a particularly busy time in the Maur's goalmouth.

However, having weathered the storms, Maur's posted the last three points of the half through Chris Carthy (2) and Reddin to lead 1-9 to 0-7 at the change of ends.

Maur's would continue where they left off after the break, with Reddin registering a brace before Chris Carthy saw an effort put out for a 45 which Archer converted.

Dave Carthy then extended the gap to nine before O'Connor shifted onto his left foot before squeezing the ball past Butterly with 46 minutes gone.

At this stage, Maur's had begun to bring on fresh legs, which included last year's Junior A Hurling Championship-winning captain Craig Harford.

And while Galvin attempted to keeper Towers in touch, an unrelenting Maur's side kept coming at them, with Chris Carthy sending over a free and then seeing an angled effort tipped over for a point.

Reddin, who was virtually unmarkable in the second half, sent over his sixth point of the game before Archer finished proceedings with a free.

St Maur's: Mark Butterly, David O'Donnell, David McGuinness, Andre Berg, Tom O Neill, Mark McGrath, Jack Burke 0-2, Luke Fletcher, Vinny Whelan, David Carthy 0-1, Ciaran Archer 0-4 (0-1f, 0-2 45') Ciaran Reddin 0-6 (0-1f), Chris Carthy 0-3, Danny Byrne, Conor McGuire 1-0. Subs: Gary O'Brien for Byrne (41), Adam Kennedy for Whelan (45), Craig Harford for Chris Carthy (55).

Fingal Independent