County Junior A Football Final
Shannon Rovers 0-9
Shannon Rovers and Rosegreen must meet again after Jack Sullivan’s injury time point left the scores at 0-9 each after the sides met in a poor game at Templetuohy last Sunday afternoon.
The equalising score came one minute into additional time when the young left wing back ventured upfield to link up on a move that saw defence turn into attack and the man of the match put the ball between the posts to ensure another day.Nobody else could have done it better as many of his teammates struggled to get into their stride.
On the down side, seven Rovers players received yellow cards mainly for questioning the referee’s decisions while three Rosegreen players were also booked rather fortunate not to match Rovers tally and eventually their team captain, Frank Culleton was sent off on a second yellow card offence in the 61st minute. The pity was that he was Rosegreen’s best player with wing forward, Killian Ryan improving as the game developed. He finished top scorer with three points. Michael Griffen made his mark when he came on before half time with Mark Hartnett working hard at midfield to gather two more points. Their defence proved to be a tough nut to crack with Joe Breen leading the defence at full back.
Rosegreen won the toss and played with the stiff breeze. Killian Ryan had them ahead after 47 seconds. Putting a number of quick passing moves together, the Westmen had Rovers defence under pressure but they held firm. In a move that turned defence into attack Rovers set up a phase for Alan Hannigan to grab the equalising point after five minutes.
The score settled Rovers as Rosegreen began to concede frees but the normally accurate John Flannery failed to convert from close in. The swirling breeze that proved difficult. But consequently the swirling breeze was a help to Alan Hannigan put Rovers in front in the eight minute.
Rosegreen took a while to respond and Trevor Downey had them level in the 14th minute and four minutes later, midfielder, Mark Hartnett had them in front as the pace of the game began to move up a notch with Barry Cahalan bringing Rovers level inside a minute and seconds later a three man move involving Padraic O’Meara and John Flannery led to a James Stack lead score. Yet Rosegreen were not to waste time and corner forward Ger O’Connor was on the end of a nice build up to see them level Rosegreen introduced Michael Griffin for Ger O’Connor and he was quickly into the action with a well kicked point allowing Rosegreen to take the half time lead with a one point advantage.
Now helped by the breeze Rovers came out strong and were level by the third minute when George Hannigan scored. At the other end, the Rovers goalmouth had a lucky escape when Trevor Downey’s lobbing shot came back of the lower part of the upright and was cleared.
Scoring chances were low but Rovers were playing better and Austin Tierney scored after he was put through by George Hannigan before John Flannery increased the Rovers lead with a free in the 45th minute.
Rosegreen fought back and midfielder, Mark Hartnett forced Rovers keeper, Eanna McLoughney to make a great save. Rovers moved back upfield where James Stack scoring to give the reds a three point lead on 47 minutes.
That should have been that at this point but Rosegreen had other ideas and in the 51st minute, Michal Griffin cut the deficit to two. Four minutes later sustained pressure from the Westmen saw Killian Ryan grab another score. Rosegreen were improving and after further pressure their patience paid off when Killian Ryan had his third score.
Three minutes remained as Rosegreen remained in search of a lead score which did come on the hour mark with Mark Hartnett bisecting the goalposts. Few would bet against Rosegreen winning at this stage but they received a setback when Frank Culleton was sent off. With the extra man, Rovers favoured one last attack when Jack Sullivan crept upfield to secure the equaliser. It was all square and the teams must meet again.
SHANNON ROVERS: E McLoughney; E Hogan, D Horan, J Costello; J O’Halloran, P O’Meara, J Sullivan 0-1; G Hannigan 0-1, J Flannery 0-1; A Hannigan 0-2, A Tierney 0-1, B Cahalan 0-1; J Stack 0-2, E Costello, M Harding. Subs: P Heenan for Harding (41); M J Quinlan for E Costello (57).
ROSEGREEN: K Phelan; M Kelly, J Breen, C Ryan; D Quirke, V Downey, A Gleeson; M Hartnett 0-2, D Golden; T Downey 0-1, F Culleton, K Ryan 0-3; S McCormack, M Golden, Ger O’Connor 0-1. Subs: M Griffen 0-2 for O’Connor (25); P Ryan for Golden (44).
Referee: P Ryan, Knockavilla.