Tower’s shaky start leads to strong end

by Karl Graham

ROUND Tower’s senior football campaign may have come to a disappointing end in a playoff final defeat to Clontarf last month, but they can still look back fondly on another strong AFL Division 2 season that almost ended in promotion.
They have finished third in the last two seasons but, while they lost out in the playoff semi-finals last season, they got one step further this year to reach the final.
They subsequently kept their senior championship status with a win over Erin’s Isle 3-11 to 1-9 to close out their year.
It was a 2016 that started in turmoil for the Clondalkin side with a managerial reshuffle taking place just a few games in the season. The result of this was a three-man management team of Pat Murphy, Paul Lanigan and Tony Delaney.
It was a rocky start for Tower’s but the changes made brought a stability that eventually transferred onto the pitch. The result was a string of decent wins that was only halted by a disappointing loss to Lucan Sarsfields in the championship.
GazetteSport spoke to Murphy about his personal highs and lows of another rollercoaster season for Tower’s senior men.
“We started off a bit rocky, losing two out of the first three games and losing badly in the championship but, when we changed over, we steadied the ship and went on a decent run.
“We had a couple of really good wins but I suppose the highlight would be easy enough because we were the only team to beat Skerries Harps and we had to beat them to stand a chance of getting into the playoffs.”
Tower’s put many teams to the sword during the season, with only Skerries outscoring them by one point but, for Murphy, there is one game that really stands out for him.
“Our best performance of the year was probably in the semi-finals of the playoffs against Naomh Mearnog. We were beaten well by Clontarf but, in fairness, they were better on the day and probably far better equipped to go to division one than we are at the moment.”
With Tower’s coming so close to promotion on a regular basis, it is surely only a matter of time until it happens for them and Murphy is already looking toward next season and hoping that will be their year especially after seeing the commitment of players hold.
“They trained five nights a week in January and again in February, which was incredible to see.
“Hopefully we get a couple of minors up next year. We will definitely be pushing for the promotion because when you are the one that lost out in the final you become nearly the favourites to go up automatically the following year.
“The young lads that we blooded this year gave us a big surprise by showing us something that we probably didn’t know was there at the time.”

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