Hollywood will meet St. Pat’s in the Renault Senior Football Championship semi-finals after they held off Baltinglass following a drab and error-strewn encounter in Aughrim on Sunday afternoon.
In a game which saw both sides waste chances aplenty, Ciaran Tyrrell was the hero as two late points meant that Hollywood were able to leave Joule Park with a one point victory over Baltinglass.
Hollywood took control of the game early in the first-half, with Thomas Burke and Matthew Kelly putting them into a two points to no score lead inside four and a half minutes.
A wasteful Baltinglass side, which dropped a total of eight shots into Hollywood goalkeeper Ian Burke’s arms over the course of the 60 minute run-time as their forward lines struggled for accuracy, had to wait until seven and a half minutes to get their first score of the game through Jason Kennedy. To their credit, Baltinglass equalised a minute later through the industrious Kevin Murphy.
It was at this point that the wastefulness that defined the game showed, as Hollywood struggled to create any sort of kicking opportunities, while Baltinglass struck three wides. Both sides were guilty of over-playing the ball at times, which was best seen during this period.
Finally, six minutes after the last score of the game, Tony Hannon, Thomas Burke and Ciaran Tyrrell kicked points to retake control of the game for Hollywood, before Thomas Burke pointed a free to extend that lead to four.
Eventually, 17 minutes after their last point, Baltinglass improved on their tally through a Mark Jackson free with five minutes to play in the first-half. This score was followed by points from Seán O’Brien, Dan Kelly (free) and John McGrath as Baltinglass recovered well enough to send the sides into the break at six points apiece.
The second-half brought more of the same, with the first score of the second period coming eight minutes after the restart as Baltinglass took the lead through a Conor Burke point. Hollywood would have to wait another eight minutes to get their first score of the second-half through Ciaran Tyrrell’s equaliser.
That pattern continued as eight minutes after Tyrrell’s score, Hollywood retook the lead through Thomas Burke.
Fortunately for neutrals and fans alike, that Burke point kicked off a final six minutes which demonstrated the kind of dramatic heft which the game lacked desperately over the course of the prior 54 minutes.
First, Baltinglass substitute Jordan Deens pointed the leveller with five minutes left on the clock. This was followed by an exquisite score from Ciaran Tyrrell who struck a pinpoint kick from the right-flank which whipped from outside-in for Hollywood to retake the lead.
Adam McHugh, another Baltinglass replacement, pointed another equaliser from the left side of the area, before Tyrrell capped off a really good performance with the winning point to send the Hollywood fans into delirium, and to send his side to a senior football championship semi-final against St. Pat’s.