STEPHEN GLENNON AT KENNY PARK
WHAT this game lacked in quality – and it was by no means a bad game – it certainly didn’t want for excitement at the finish. Both teams could have won it in injury-time and both could have easily lost it. In the end, though, a share of the championship points was no more than each deserved.
Both sides will be critical of their overall performance. From Turloughmore’s point of view, they led for most of this contest but a wide total of 15 – compared to Gort’s nine – and the concession of 16 frees – ten of which Gort’s Gerry Quinn converted – hurt them in the end.
As for Gort, they started tentatively in the first quarter and were it not for the introduction of Paul Killilea just before half-time, this game could have got away from them. At a time when their attack lacked leadership, Killilea, returning from a shoulder operation, provided it.
Indeed, within minutes of the restart – at which Gort had trailed 1-11 to 0-8 – Killilea landed a sweet point to rally the troops while his goal almost three minutes into injury-time, following a Sean Forde delivery, almost snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.
As it was, Garry Burke set up corner forward Conor Shaughnessy for a late, late point to, deservedly, rescue a point for a Turloughmore side that will be kicking themselves for their lack of composure in front of the posts over the 60 minutes of normal time.
Where it hit Micheal Donoghue’s charges the hardest was in the third quarter when they struck six wides and failed to register a score in that 15-minute period. In contrast, 2011 county champions Gort did crucially find the target five times at the other end through Quinn (three frees), Killilea and the lively Richie Cummins.
That salvo cut the six-point interval deficit to just one and Gort deserve great credit for the manner in which they conducted themselves in this time, particularly in not conceding a single free. It was a very disciplined and measured approach.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.