Tullaroan backed up their opening round draw with Lisdowney last weekend on Saturday in Thomastown as two goals from Pádraig Walsh proved decisive against Rower-Inistioge in Group B of the St. Canice’s Credit Union Senior Hurling League.
In similar fashion to their draw with 2020 intermediate champions Lisdowney, Tullaroan could not get up to the pace of the game in the opening stages of what was a tentative affair throughout.
Rower-Inistioge, seeking their first points of the group after their 1-20 to 0-15 defeat to James Stephen in their opener, rattled Liam Keoghan’s side early on as a string of Eoin O’Brien frees along with sublime scores from left half back Jack Walsh and left half forward Kevin Murphy gave them a 0-06 to 0-02 lead at the first half water break. A Shane Walsh free and a Martin Keoghan point from play were all that Tullaroan had to offer in the first quarter.
Keoghan led the comeback attempt for his team immediately after the water break as he halved the deficit with his second and third points. But Jack Walsh cancelled out those scores as he added to his early point with another from open play before a long-range free moved Rower-Inistioge 0-08 to 0-04 ahead as the first half entered its final moments.
Dylan Simpson and a Walsh free kept the scoreboard ticking over for an under-par Tullaroan but points from Jim Ryan (x2), Kevin Murphy and midfielder Pat Lyng looked to have given Michael Doyle’s men a considerable cushion at half time.
However, a critical moment in this clash came on the stroke of half time as Pádraig Walsh found the back of the net with a powerful shot that pulled Tullaroan back into the game and within three points of their opponents at the interval, 0-13 to 1-07.
Jack Walsh and Shane Walsh exchanged early frees at the start of the second half and two points from Tullaroan corner forward Dylan Simpson, one a trademark free from distance, along with a fine Pádraig Walsh point meant the game was level at the second half water break for the first time since the second minute, 0-15 to 1-12.
That scoring blitz was further added to from Walsh as the centre back got his second point and swiftly got his and the game’s second goal as from seemingly nowhere Tullaroan now had a four-point lead with 10 minutes remaining, 2-13 to 0-15.
Rower-Inistioge failed to recover from that body blow despite the best efforts of both David Kelly and Eoin O’Brien from placed balls as they got within two points of the 2020 All-Ireland intermediate champions, but Walsh fittingly wrapped up the scoring with another point and in the process finished with an individual tally 2-03 from centre back as Tullaroan came out on top.
Rower-Inistioge take on an in-form Bennettsbridge side next weekend while Kilkenny’s two most successful clubs Tullaroan and Ballyhale Shamrocks will prepare to do battle in the third round.