‘Late Late Hasson show’ as Rasharkin down St Brigids

ACFL Division 2A
Rasharkin 1-15 St Brigids 1-14
Sunday July 23

St Mary’s Park, Rasharkin



Pearce Kelly escapes the challenge of Ethan Carlton during Rasharkin’s one point victory over St Brigids at Dreen


By Brendan McTaggart
St Brigids promotion hopes were dented in Rasharkin on Sunday afternoon as the home side recorded a one point victory over the south Belfast side. With the game entering the third minute of additional time at the end of the hour, Rasharkin were awarded a free from 45 yards and with what was to prove to be the last kick of the game, half forward Andrew Hasson sent the ball sailing over the black spot to give the home side a hard earned two points.
It could have been a very different outcome for the men from Dreen were it not for the brilliance of Ryan Doherty between the posts. Rasharkin held a one point lead in the last minute of normal time when St Brigids carved out a golden chance to take the points. Attacking down the Rasharkin right, they had two men spare at the back post as the home side tried to crowd out the St Brigids attack. The ball fell to Jack Dowling but Doherty somehow pulled off an absolute ‘worldy’ of a save to deny the St Brigids man and essentially win the game for his side.
Playing with the help of the wind in the first half, Rasharkin made all the early running. With Dowling playing on the edge of the square barely hours after coming home from holidays, St Brigids were varying their angle of attack as the sides went score for score in the opening quarter. Both sides squandered goal opportunities, first Dowling had the goal at his mercy but he scooped his shot over the bar with Doherty closing him down to score his sides first of the match then barely two minutes later Declan McKay had a chance for Rasharkin after good work by Andrew Hasson but the half backs shot sailed wide of Stephen Morrisey’s left hand post.
Eamonn McNeill was causing the St Brigids defence major problems in the first half in what was his first match in a Rasharkin shirt since returning from honeymoon. He scored four points in the opening 30 minutes while the height and physical presence of Dowling was keeping St Brigids in the game at the opposite end of the pitch. Dowling would finish the half with four points to his name in a fascinating duel with Rasharkin full back Dominic McFerran.
With the home side ahead by two points approaching half time, Rasharkin had another opportunity for goal. McNeill collecting a long ball before Stephen Morrisey denied him with a brilliant point blank save. At half time the score board read 0-8 to 0-6 in Rasharkin’s favour.

The visitors introduced Rory Finnegan for Dowling at half time but it was Rasharkin who made the dream start to the second half. McNeill scored his fifth point of the match after 15 seconds before the home side scored the opening goal of the match, Ryan Lynch applying the finish with the second half just one minute old as Rasharkin opened up a six point lead.
Back to back Ronan McGrady frees helped to reduce the deficit but Lynch (free) and Enda McFerran kept Rasharkin in control before St Brigids had another goal chance. Now playing on the edge of the square, Ben Leonard collected a perfect pass from McGrady but his shot deflected off the crossbar. Leonard added two further scores as Conway and Finnegan dominated in midfield and by the 45th minute the sides were level. Peter Lundy scoring the St Brigids goal to give all the momentum to the visitors.
The side’s went score for score in the final quarter with Rasharkin edging ahead three times only for St Brigids to peg them back. The reintroduction of Dowling gave St Brigids more solidity around the middle of the park but it was Rasharkin ‘keeper Doherty and Andrew Hasson who had the final say. Doherty denying Dowling and just two minutes later Hasson split the posts from a long range free to ensure the league points stayed at Dreen.

Rasharkin: Ryan Doherty; Donagh Quigg; Dominic McFerran; Pearce Kelly; Declan McKay; Thomas Doherty; Conor Doherty; Brendan Etherson; Thomas McMullan; Shane Hasson; Johnny McAleese; Andrew Hasson; Enda McFerran; Ryan Lynch; Eamon McNeill


Ryan Lynch 1-5 (4 frees); Eamonn McNeill 0-5; Enda McFerran 0-2 (1 free); Shane Hasson 0-1; Thomas McMullan 0-1; Andrew Hasson 0-1 (1 free)

St Brigids: Stephen Morrisey; Finn McKernan; Ryan Daly; Niall George; Mikey Cummings; Conor King; Barry McMahon; Ben Leonard; Jack Dowling; Cathal Conway; James Smith; Peter Lundy; Fergal Hegarty; Ronan McGrady; Andrew Sweeney


Ronan McGrady 0-5 (3 frees 1 ’45); Jack Dowling 0-4; Ben Leonard 0-3; Peter Lundy 1-00; Fearghal Hegarty 0-1; Ethan Carlton 0-1

Referee: Gerard Dougan (Creggan)






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