TULLAMORE got back to winning ways last Friday when they travelled to Greystones and came away with a vital three points to keep their promotion hopes alive.
The welcome return of Robbie Shine, Stuart Carroll and captain Stephen Francis greatly added to the team’s confidence and potency as they proceeded to dominate play for long periods.
They began brightly and went close on four minutes when Brian Francis fired narrowly over from distance and they again threatened when Robbie Bracken played a lovely ball through to Shane O’Connell but his effort flew inches outside the post.
They deservedly made the breakthrough on 14 minutes when O’Connell broke clear on the left and fired in a great cross that was expertly flicked home by Brian Francis.
Greystones hit back with Ian Thompson twice going close but, with half an hour gone, Tullamore struck again.
Stephen Francis picked out Brian Francis who played the ball through to Robbie Bracken who was hauled down in the area with the referee immediately pointing to the spot.
Robbie Shine duly stepped up to fire the resultant penalty into the back of the net as they tightened their grip on the game. Despite continuing to control proceedings they failed to add to their advantage as half time arrived with their two goal lead intact.
On the resumption Tullamore went back on the attack with Brian Francis heading on Enda Carroll’s free kick to Shane O’Connell but his effort flew outside the post.
With 52 minutes gone they were rocked back on their heels when Greystones won a corner on the right and Ryan Corcoran headed home at the far post.
Straight from the tip off Shane O’Connell raced clear on the left and sent in a dangerous cross that was fired over by Robbie Bracken. The home side were coming more into the game but, despite forcing a number of corners, they failed to break through the solid Tullamore defence.
With 80 minutes gone they nearly made the game safe when Brian Francis made a surging run through the middle before laying the ball off to Robbie Bracken but, with only the keeper to beat, he was called back for off-side. With both teams failing to create any more chances Tullamore held on for a hugely important win.
While this was not one of their better displays they are definitely showing signs of a return to form.
They have a difficult fixture this Sunday when they travel to Dublin to take on fourth placed Home Farm.
There were excellent contributions from Brian Norris, Stephen Francis, Anto Kavanagh and Brian Francis, but the man of the match award went to their outstanding wing back, Shane O’Connell.
Tullamore Town: Alan O’Connell; Patrick Robilliard, Brian Norris, Robbie Shine, Stuart Carroll, Shane O’Connell, Stephen Francis, Enda Carroll, Anto Kavanagh, Brian Francis, Robbie Bracken.
Subs: John Drummond, Shane Dowling, Ross Kinnarney.