County Under-21B Football Semi-Final
Lorrha-Dorrha 3-6 Rockwell-Rosegreen 0-13
Lorrha-Dorrha booked their place in the county under-21B football final thanks to a determined performance at The Ragg on Monday afternoon.
Three goals in the opening sixteen minutes and the slick performances of Christopher Fogarty and Brian Hogan certainly caught the eye, but it was the grit shown by the Lorrha lads in the second half which ultimately decided this encounter.
Having played with the wind in the opening half Lorrha led 3-4 to 0-7 at the break.
Considering the breeze, however, this was not as significant a lead as it might first appear. And, Lorrha would need their wits about them to protect that advantage.
Although Lorrha did tire near the end the fact that the north Tipperary champions restricted Rockwell-Rosegreen to a single point during twenty-six minutes of the second half spoke volumes for the diligence of their defending.
Time and time again Rockwell-Rosegreen poured forward, but Lorrha forced the attackers wide of goal and into poor shooting positions - it was no accident that Rockwell-Rosegreen fired six wides in the second half alone.
To their credit Rockwell-Rosegreen, with TJ Ryan (0-7 from play) and Aidan Barron outstanding, battled gamely on and took full advantage late in the game to mount a challenge when Lorrha tired. Sadly, from the point of view of Rockwell-Rosegreen, the west champions ran out of time.
A TJ Ryan point presented Rockwell-Rosegreen with the lead in the third minute. Lorrha responded with a Christopher Fogarty free before the north champions struck for their first goal in the seventh minute - Aaron Hogan and Niall O’Meara combined beautifully before Dylan Bouchier punched home O’Meara’s clever cross. Killian Ryan (‘45) and TJ Ryan responded for Rockwell-Rosegeen, but the west champions’ defence was unlocked once more in the 11th minute. This time Christopher Fogarty rounded his man in glorious fashion and finished with his right - 2-1 to 0-3.
Daniel Smith was relocated to the forwards and earned a free in the 13th minute which Cormac Houlihan converted before Christopher Fogarty laid off a beauty of a pass to Smith in the 16th minute. Smith beat the ‘keeper with a composed finish and Lorrha led 3-2 to 0-3.
Rockwell-Rosgreen were left cursing their luck in the 17th minute when a Michael Wilson effort found the Lorrha crossbar.
Points from Killian Ryan (free) and TJ Ryan reduced the margin to six (3-2 to 0-5) by the 22nd minute before a Cormac Houlihan brace (one free) added to the Lorrha tally.
Rockwell-Rosegreen closed out the half in encouraging fashion with points from Eoin Cleary and TJ Ryan leaving a manageable six between them at the break - 3-4 to 0-7.
For the second half Lorrha employed Christopher Fogarty in the sweeper role.
The ploy worked well with Rockwell-Rosegreen restricted to scoring a single point (Killian Ryan - 39th minute) during the opening twenty-six minutes of the second period. Rockwell-Rosegreen did carve out a good goal-scoring opportunity in the 46th minute, but Lorrha ‘keeper Patrick Reddan made a stunning save to deny him.
Points from Michael Kennedy and Cormac Houlihan (free) forced Lorrha into a 3-6 t0 0-8 lead before Rockwell-Rosegreen, inspired by TJ Ryan, launched a late rally.
A Killian Ryan free in the 56th minute left six between them (0-9 to 3-6). TJ Ryan then booted over a great effort before Killian Ryan added to his side’s tally from play.
Two stunning TJ Ryan points from play then left just two in it (0-13 to 3-6) entering injury time, but the goal chance that Rockwell-Rosegreen so desperately craved never materialised.
The wide count concluded at ten for Rockwell-Rosegreen and just four for a more efficient Lorrha side.
Lorrha-Dorrha: Patrick Reddan, Neil Houlihan, Eoin Cleary, John O’Meara, Conor Hogan, Daniel Smith (1-0), Padraig Kennedy, Brian Hogan, Michael Kennedy (0-1), Niall O’Meara, Cormac Houlihan (0-4, 0-3 frees), Eoin McIntyre, Dylan Bouchier (1-0), Aaron Hogan, Christopher Fogarty (1-1, 0-1 free). Subs: (38th) Niall McIntyre for Dylan Bouchier, (57th) Tony Needham for Michael Kennedy.
Rockwell-Rosegreen: John Keating, Mark O’Brien, Robert O’Donnell, Danny Fanning, Kevin Blair, Liam Fahy, Craig O’Connell, Killian Ryan (0-5, 0-2 frees, 0-1 ‘45), Aidan Barron, Michael Wilson, Eoin Ryan, Michael Healy, Eoin Cleary (0-1), TJ Ryan (0-7), Jack Tobin. Subs: (27th) Conor Walsh for Mark O’Brien, (48th) Diarmuid Quinlan for Eoin Cleary, (51st) Jack Moloney for Michael Healy.
Referee: John Kelly.