Adamstown's morale boost
First point before key battle
Adamstown go into their Tom Doyle Supplies Senior football championship relegation final with a timely confidence boost after claiming a deserved Group B draw with Shelmaliers in Bellefield on Saturday.
Shelmaliers 0-12 Adamstown 1-9
Indeed, the New Ross District club might even feel they should have taken the victory after hitting the post three times in the 60 minutes. Undoubtedly, Adamstown would swap the bad luck they suffered in this tie for some good fortune when they face Starlights in two weeks' time.
But more than that, there was a lot of positive signs in this performance. Their battling qualities, in what was a nothing, dead-rubber, tie were impressive. There was a positivity about the Adamstown approach and while every ball didn't come off, they showed enough to suggest that they may well retain their Senior status.
From Shelmaliers' point of view this one will be forgotten quickly. They certainly didn't play with the intensity they will need to find when they meet Glynn-Barntown in the quarter-finals.
The Over The Water side didn't need to do anything special in the opening half against the breeze as they coasted in leading by 0-8 to 0-6.
Derek Walsh couldn't be accused of not finding his best form, as he was on target for half of the Shels' first period points.
Adamstown, who went closest to finding the net when Tomás Harrington cracked a shot off the post, had Conor Hickey pick off three scores while Harry Cosgrave, Eric Bradley and Paudie Barden were also on target.
Walsh opened the scoring in the second-half before Adam Whitmore took in Tommy Barron's crossfield ball one-handed over his head, like Shelmaliers' answer to Odell Beckham Junior, only to crack his shot off the metalwork.
Points from Seán Barden and Conor Hickey closed the gap to one by the 44th minute (0-9 to 0-8). In a game of some woeful kick-passing, Paudie Barden broke the trend with a superb ball to Eric Bradley who sent his shot shuddering off the post.
A pair from Walsh made it 0-11 to 0-8 but Adamstown finally got their goal when Eric Bradley picked out Shane Bradley in-stride and the attacking substitute punched past Graham Lawler to the net.
Walsh put Shelmaliers back in front with a point in the 55th minute. Eric Bradley then poked onto the foot of the post with Lawler beaten, but the ball was worked back out and Shane Bradley registered the point to tie the game for the fourth and final time.
Both sides had chances to win it. Michael Furlong missed the target with two tricky attempts while, at the other end, the last shot of the game came from Simon Donohoe and tailed well wide of the posts.
Shelmaliers: Graham Lawler; Andre O'Brien, Eoin Doyle (capt.), Graham Staples; Tommy Barron, Simon Donohoe (0-1), Jody Donohoe; Ciarán O'Shaughnessy, Glen Malone (0-1); Adam Whitmore (0-1), James Gordon, Colin Cleary; Aidan Murphy (0-1), Derek Walsh (0-8, 3 frees), Barry O'Connor. Sub. - Liam Rockett for O'Connor (48).
Adamstown: Alan Bradley; John Whelan, Lorcan French (capt.), Michael Boland; Tomás Harrington, Johnny Connors, Shane O'Gorman; Paudie Barden (0-1), Michael Furlong; Harry Cosgrave (0-1), Seán Barden (0-1), Liam Stafford; Conor Hickey (0-4, 3 frees), Eric Bradley (0-1 free), Ian Bradley. Subs. - Tony French for Cosgrave, inj. (20), Shane Bradley (1-1) for S. Barden (42), P.J. Carroll for Stafford (45).
Referee: Fintan O'Reilly (Kilmore).