ROUND Tower’s junior footballers made it two league titles in three seasons last week as Ger Homan’s stunning second half display powered them to a narrow 0-12 to 0-10 win over Scoil Ui Chonaill.
It gave them the win they needed to top the AFL8 table with a game to spare, coming hot on the heels of their AFL9 win in 2012.
Homan scored five points after his introduction as a sub at half-time, scoring one late in the game along with another point from Mark Kealy to snatch victory over Scoil.
“They needed the points to get into the promotion playoffs,” Tower’s manager Willie Kennedy said afterwards of the win.
“So we knew it would be tough as they had something to play for. As it turned out, it was a real tough battle and they had a strong side out.
“We were neck-and-neck all the way and only pulled away at the last minute with two late points. A good match.”
Kennedy paid tribute to Homan for his role in the victory, along with corner back Simon Breslin.
“He was certainly the man to turn it in our favour. He has been one of our top players all year but had a knee injury and is only coming back. I didn’t feel he had 60 minutes in him but I knew there was something he could give to us off the bench.”
Kennedy managed the side on their continuing rise through the ranks, working with Mark Bassett and Neil Reilly. Last year, the side reached the playoffs off the back of the previous promotion.
While confidence was high at the start of the season, though, Kennedy says they got an early scare that helped the side fully focus on the task in hand.
“The first match of the season out at St Vincent’s we drew and it could have gone either way; we got a point at the death to draw that. Na Gaeil Oga was a right tough battle and we could easily have lost to Ranelagh Gaels; three draws we could easily have got beaten in.
“That was the making of the side. The Vincent’s game helped us realise ‘hold on, we’re not quite as good as we think we are’. We knew we had a strong squad but it helped us realise we were going to be in a tough battle.”
And the panel can go on to compete well in AFL7 next term.
“We’re getting better all the time. We got a few ex-seniors who maybe don’t have the legs for that level coming down to us like Damian Murray and Mark Kealy who came back from Australia and they are great men to have at junior level.”