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Junior B Football Semi-Final
Rockwell Rovers 0-8
A rousing second half display from a spirited Rockwell Rovers saw them rise above Moycarkey Borris to earn a place in the County Junior B Football Final on Saturday afternoon last in Boherlahan.
The New Inn men trailed entering the half time interval but crucially were level as the mid way point of the second period arrived and from here with the smell of victory in their nostrils they drove on for the win.
Kevin Heaney ghosted in and with a sweet strike off his left foot from 30 yards got the vital score to push them ahead in the 46th minute and moments later when Moycarkey failed to clear their lines adequately Stephen Boland capitalised to grab possession.
The centre forward played a clever hand pass to Michael Fahey and as he kept moving at speed Fahey popped the ball back to the on rushing Boland who fired with conviction off his right foot and push Rockwell further ahead.
Second half substitute Paddy Keating got a crucial point to put three between the sides with a minute of normal time remaining as he casually swung onto his left foot and expertly dispatched over the bar.
Moycarkey were still in with a shout however now needing a goal as stoppage time commenced and they poured players forward in an attempt to create what might be the all important chance but the Rockwell defence stood firm and emerged from any goalmouth danger with possession to hold on for victory.
Such a victory will delight the Rockwell players and coaching staff as it was hard earned and a great test heading into a County Final where their opponents will have played no Semi Final with North Tipperary having no representatives at this grade. Moycarkey will be disappointed to lose but a lack of shape in attack did little to help the cause in the second period particularly.
The match began at an electric pace where the West men were out of the traps the quickest with their first attack resulting in Stephen Byrne bursting through the heart of the opposing defence before manufacturing a score off his left boot.
Tony Flanagan then displayed his class as he scored two points for Moycarkey the first with his right and a second with his left to push them ahead.
The game was a very even contest at this point, with both sides trading scores as Kevin Heaney drew Rockwell level before Michael Roche popped over a free to re-establish the lead and similarly when David Brennan’s great burst from midfield resulted in a point it was Tony Flanagan who once more fired over leaving Moycarkey in front at the break by 0-5 to 0-4.
Rockwell dominated large parts of the second half with Stephen Boland and Michael Fahey scoring to draw them level in the early stages as they displayed a better balance to their play than their opponents.
It wasn’t until they had developed a lead in the late stages that they began to show frailties with two of their players being sent to the line both second yellow cards for the same offence of slowing the game down deliberately.
However those left on the pitch defended in numbers and kept their nerve to hold on for victory.
Rockwell Roves: J. Dudley; R. O Halloran, W. Flynn, B. Riordan; D. Lonergan, K. Halley, C. Heaney; K. Moloney, D. Brennan (0-1); K. Heaney (0-2), S. Boland (0-2, 1F), S. Byrne (0-1); D. O Brien, M. Fahey (0-1), M. Barron. Subs: D. Byrne (0-1) for D. O Brien (20), P. Keating (0-1) for M. Barron (44).
Moycarkey Borris: E. Clohessy; G. O Connell, K. Shortall, J. Fallon; J. Kelly, C. McCullagh, J. Sullivan; J. Bergin, P. Kinane; A. Maher, T. Flanagan (0-3), P. Ralph; D. Bergin (0-1), M. Roche (0-2, 2F), N. Heffernan. Subs: M. Ryan for A. Maher (56), J. Costello for P. Ralph (56).
Referee: Donal Cahill