Championship run comes to an end for beaten Tullylish

Tullylish 1-7 St John Bosco 0-11

Tullylish bowed out of the Intermediate Championship on Monday night following a narrow one-point defeat to Bosco in Pairc Esler.

Having already lost twice to Tullylish this season Bosco needed little motivation going into the game and raced into a four point lead after just 10 minutes with points from Patrick Magill, Chris Duggan, Conal Gallagher and a ’45 from Neil Tumilty.

Bosco should have been further in front at that stage but Tullylish goalkeeper Aaron O’Hagan pulled off a great point blank save to prevent an early goal. John McAreavey opened Tullylish’s account with a pointed free in the 11th minute but Duggan responded with another Bosco point to restore his team’s four point advantage with 15 minutes gone.

Struggling to win primary possession, Tullylish moved Shannon Drainey back to midfield and benefited almost immediately when he collected a ball from Ronan O’Dowd’s brave interception before playing a 50 yard pass to Chris McGovern who flicked the ball to the net. Fiontann O’Dowd followed up with a point a minute later and suddenly Tullylish found themselves level on the scoreboard despite being on the back-foot for most of opening quarter.

However, Bosco continued to dominate possession and it took another outstanding save from O’Hagan, either side of two Tumilty points, to keep Tullylish in the match. With both teams struggling to create chances from open play Tumilty pointed yet another free in the 23rd minute and in the closing stages of the half Drainey responded with two similar scores for Tullylish to leave the half-time score: Tullylish 1-4 Bosco 0-8.

The game became very disjointed in the second half as both teams defended in numbers to restrict their opponents to just 3 points each. Magill opened the scoring in the 5th minute with a Bosco point before McGovern and Drainey tied the match with 15 minutes left. Duggan edged Bosco in front again with their first point in 16 minutes but McGovern responded almost immediately when he fisted over to draw the teams level again with seven minutes left.

However, Tullylish could not get their noses in front as they failed to convert the few half chances that came their way whilst at the other end Bosco looked more and more anxious as their wide count increased.

Just when it looked like the superb defending of Ronan O’Dowd, Kevin McKiverigan, Conor McManus and Kevin McCartan would be enough to give Tullylish as share of the spoils a Darragh Murphy point deep in injury time won the game for Bosco and put them into the final against Drumgath in two weeks time.

Although considerably weakened by injuries - before and during the game - Tullylish battled to the end but unfortunately it wasn’t enough against a committed and well drilled Bosco team.