Poor start costs Taghmon
Spirited comeback not enough as AGB win by a goal
Taghmon-Camross left themselves with just too much ground to make up a ten-point deficit at one stage in the first-half and bowed out of the AIB Leinster Intermediate club football championship at the first hurdle in Pearse Park, Arklow, on Saturday.
Arklow Geraldines Ballymoney (Wicklow) 2-11 Taghmon-Camross 1-11
Barry O'Gorman and Ian Carty won the midfield battle against the Hurleys of Arklow Geraldines Ballymoney but their forward line, with the exception of Seamus McLoughlin, were very well marshalled by a tigerish defence. McLoughlin was the only forward who won any sort of ball but even when he did his options were limited and he was generally crowded out.
Taghmon-Camross played with one, and sometimes two, sweepers that made life difficult for the Arklow attack, but it also meant their own forwards were outnumbered and unable to create chances.
Much of their attacking impetus came from O'Gorman and Carty in midfield, along with wing-back Darren Carty and full-back Alan Nolan late in the game when he moved forward into an attacking position.
However, it was that ten-point deficit in the first-half that left them with just too much to do to salvage the match.
Arklow came out of the traps very quickly and led by three points to no score after five minutes. Philip Gleeson converted a free when John Paul Hurley was foule, and then Minor star Darragh Fitzgerald set up the next two points, one each for Stephen Hurley and Pádraig Kelleher.
Barry O'Gorman registered the first Taghmon-Camross point with his left foot in the sixth minute but it took his team another 19 minutes before they scored again, during which Arklow put another 2-2 on the board.
Cormac O'Shea scored an exquisite first Arklow goal when Stephen Hurley won a kick-out and passed to him about 55 metres from goal, and O'Shea ran straight at the posts. Philip Healy intelligently ran out of the way and took a defender with him, and O'Shea finished brilliantly into the top corner.
Ex-Good Counsel (New Ross) man Philip Gleeson converted a couple of frees and Cormac Hyland slotted home a penalty for their second goal.
Gleeson had a goal chance that was foot blocked by David O'Keeffe and the referee had no hesitation in giving a penalty that Hyland dispatched into the bottom corner. There were 22 minutes gone and Arklow led by 2-5 to 0-1.
To their credit however, Taghmon-Camross came back into the match and reeled off 1-3 in a three-minute period. Stephen O'Gorman started the scoring with a good goal and Ian Carty, Darren Carty and Seamus McLoughlin got the points.
Arklow scored another couple of points to calm their nerves but with the last kick of the half, McLoughlin sent his team in at half-time five points down and back in the match (2-7 to 1-5).
They could have done with a quick start to the second-half but Taghmon-Camross went another 13 minutes without a score. McLoughlin had a relatively easy chance to score early in the half but he somehow didn't kick the ball hard enough from a 30-metre free and Mervyn Travers comfortably caught it under his crossbar.
They then compounded their problems by gifting Arklow a free in front of goal. Seán O'Gorman received a handpass and rather than play it out quickly he took a moment and was challenged.
The referee blew his whistle for over-carrying and moved it straight in front of goal after some dissent. Moments later O'Gorman took Philip Healy out and received a black card while Arklow scored another free.
Taghmon-Camross once again responded well when they eventually scored with three on the trot before Philip Healy kicked over a point from an outrageous angle. With ten minutes to go Arklow still led by five points (2-10 to 1-8).
Ian Carty, Alan Nolan and Seamus McLoughlin all scored a point each to give their team a sliver of hope towards the end, but it was just too little, too late for the team and Arklow Geraldines Ballymoney marched forward.
New Wexford Senior football manager, Seamus McEnaney, was among the interested onlookers.
Taghmon-Camross: Seán O'Gorman; Mark O'Gorman, Alan Nolan (capt., 0-1), Stephen Stafford; Darren Carty (0-1), David O'Keeffe, Páuric O'Gorman; Barry O'Gorman (0-2), Ian Carty (0-4, 3 frees); Stephen O'Gorman (1-0), Darren Hayden, Eoin Doyle; Pierce Doyle, Seamus McLoughlin (0-3, 2 frees), Luke Sinnott. Subs. - Jack Dunne for Seán O'Gorman, black card (41), Michael O'Gorman for Sinnott (46), Shane Doyle for E. Doyle (50), Derek O'Hanlon for D. Carty, inj. (53).
Arklow Geraldines Ballymoney: Mervyn Travers; Karl Kirwan, Tom Maher, Danny O'Harte; Pádraig Kelleher (0-2), Ciarán Hyland, Gary Tyrell; John Paul Hurley (0-1), Stephen Hurley (0-1); Cormac Hyland (1-0 pen.), Darragh Fitzgerald, Cormac O'Shea (1-2, 0-2 frees); Philip Healy (0-2), Philip Gleeson (0-3 frees), Christopher O'Brien. Subs. - Ross Hynes for Tyrell (44), Ivan Hurley for O'Brien (54).
Referee: James King (Dublin).