Tullamore Town 9
The scoreline comes nowhere close to reflecting the drama swirling around this amazing game in Leah Victoria Park last Saturday. Finding themselves 2-0 down after only 15 minutes, the Tullamore boys had to draw on all their resources before running out comfortable winners. The game started disastrously for the home side when, with only a minute gone, Portumna pounced on a loose ball out of defence for Simon Curran to lift his shot into the roof of the net, and within minutes, almost increased their lead when a free kick came back off the crossbar and only a wonderful save by Jamie Coyne prevented the rebound finding the net.
As Town hit back Shane Martino had his effort saved by Niall Royston and Jordan Quinn saw his header flash the wrong side of the post. With quarter of an hour gone Portumna increased their lead when Curran squeezed the ball home at the near post following a corner. But within minutes, Tullamore were back in the game when John McEvoy raced on to a through ball to fire low into the net. Good play between Terry Byrne and Martino set up McEvoy but again the keeper came to his side's rescue, but he was helpless on the half hour when Tom Touhy's clever back heel sent Shane Martino clear and deep cross to the far post was superbly volleyed into the roof of the net by Eoghan Coffey. Within minutes they had hit the front for the first time when Alan Heffernan played a great ball out of defence to Byrne and he picked out McEvoy who made no mistake. With minutes remaining in the first half, Tullamore went further ahead when great play by Coffey on the right set up Touhy, who sent a thirty yard rocket crashing off the underside of the crossbar, and the predatory Terry Byrne was on hand to fire home the rebound to leave the score 4-2 at the interval.
With 50 minutes on the clock, Tullamore were rocked back on their heels when a great ball out of defence by Ronan O'Meara sent Colm Burke clear and he fired home to leave the score 4-3. As the home side looked to wrest back control of the game McEvoy again went close and they went even closer when Terry Byrne crashed a great effort off the inside of the upright with Adam Shelly firing the rebound over. Tullamore's pressure finally paid off when Byrne slipped a great ball through to John McEvoy to clinically complete his hat-trick. Byrne was again in the thick of the action when he picked out Tom Touhy and his fine pass sent McEvoy clear to fire the ball low into the far corner of the net. With ten minutes remaining the visitors were thrown a lifeline when they were awarded a penalty but they drove the spotkick wide and, as their resistance crumbled, Byrne got on the end of a long Jamie Coyne kick out to knock the ball on to McEvoy, who fired home his fifth goal of the game.
Terry Byrne then pounced on a loose ball to squeeze it inside the near post to round off a great individual performance. With minutes remaining, Jordan Quinn rose above the defence from a corner to power his header into the back of the net to complete the scoring.
Tullamore: Jamie Coyne, Ken Hogan, Alan Heffernan, Jordan Quinn, Gareth Byrne, Shane Martino, Tom Touhy, Kacper Skura, Eoghan Coffey, Terry Byrne and John McEvoy. Subs: Adam Shelly, Bradley Cromack and David Doyle (all used).
Tullamore Town FC would like to extend sincere sympathy to Schoolboys/Girls chairman Eanna Gowran and his family on the death of his mother Noreen. A minute's silence was observed before all underage matches as a mark of respect.