Clinical Toreen block Four Roads

AIB Connacht Club IHC quarter-final:
Tooreen 2-23 Four Roads 2-14

Four Roads’ Michéal Kelly scored two goals in Monday’s Connacht Club Intermediate Hurling Championship quarter-final loss to Tooreen. File pic: Bernie O’Farrell

Four Roads’ Connacht Club championship campaign ended at the first hurdle when they were defeated by impressive Mayo champions Tooreen in Athleague on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon.

The 2-14 tally amassed by the Roscommon kingpins might suggest this was a close contest, but Four Roads’ two goals came in the final four minutes of play when Tooreen had already more than comfortably secured their semi-final spot.

The first quarter was in fact competitive and hard-fought, with Four Roads giving as good as they were getting at that stage. It was 0-4 apiece after 18 minutes, with Johnny Moran and Cathal Dolan particularly prominent for Shane Curley’s men.

But once Shane Boland got motoring for Tooreen, the Mayo side began to take control. Some of their passing, movement and score-taking was a joy to behold. They outscored the Roscommon men by 0-10 to 0-4 in the final 11 minutes of the first half, going in at the break leading by 0-14 to 0-7.

Four Roads needed a good start to the second half if they were to get back into contention. Instead, it was the Mayo team which started best, quickly putting the outcome beyond doubt. In the 34th minute Kenny Feeney capitalised on hesitancy in the Four Roads defence to fire home the first goal of the game, a strike which created a 12-point gap.

David Kenny and Stephan Coyne were majestic in the Tooreen half-back line as the Mayo team continued to march to victory. Cathal Dolan was keeping the scoreboard ticking over for Four Roads, but Tooreen’s gallop could not be halted. In the 46th minute Eoin Delaney took advantage of another mix-up in the Four Roads defence to crash home a second goal for the Mayo men, now 2-18 to 0-13 in front.

In fairness to Four Roads, they kept plugging away. Veteran Michéal Kelly blasted home a free from 25 metres for a brilliant goal in the 59th minute, and four minutes later – three minutes into injury-time – he converted a penalty after Brendan Mulry had been fouled.

While those two late goals gave the scoreboard a more respectable look from the perspective of Four Roads, Tooreen had done more than enough to book another outing. Indeed a club that came close to All-Ireland intermediate glory earlier this year will be determined to go one better in this new campaign.

For Four Roads, it was another indication that although they are fresh from dominating the Roscommon championship, there is a big step up when they meet teams like Tooreen.

Teams & scorers

Tooreen: Bobby Douglas; Gary Nolan, Michael Morley, Conal Hession; Joe Boyle, Stephen Coyne (0-1), David Kenny; Sean Kenny (0-2, 1 ’65), Daniel Huane (0-1); Liam Lavin (0-1), Kenny Feeney (1-2), Oisin Greally; John Cassidy, Eoin Delaney (1-3), Shane Boland (0-10, 8 frees). Subs: Sean Regan for Cassidy (42), Brian Morley (0-2) for Boyle (50), Cormac Henry for Nolan (53), David Harrison (0-1) for Lavin (56), Shane Crinnigan for S Kenny (61).

Four Roads: Noel Fallon; Jimmy Hoey, James Dillon, Johnny Moran; Adam Donnelly, Tommy Morris, Darren Fallon; Conor Coyle, Eamon Mulry; Brendan Mulry (0-1), Padraig Kelly, Jack Donnelly; Michéal Kelly (2-1, 1-0 free, 1-0 pen), Conor Mulry (0-3), Cathal Dolan (0-9, 7 frees). Subs: Cormac Mulry for Donnelly (26), Brian Lawlor for E Mulry (42), Conor Kelly for Hoey (55).

Referee: Shane Hynes (Galway).