AcFL Division 2
Rossa 3-14 Moneyglass 0-12
‘Goals win prizes’, is the old adage and that was certainly the case at Shaw’s Road on Wednesday night as Rossa defeated their closest rivals, Tir na nOg to lift the division 2 title.
Three green flags hoisted in a five minute spell during the opening half were the scores that separated the sides at half time and although the Moneyglass men never gave up, three goals were still the difference as Karol Doherty sounded the full-time whistle in the fading light.
The visitors went into this game knowing that a win would put them a point ahead of their opponents and leave the Rossa needing something from their final game away to Tir na nOg but in truth they never really looked like gaining that win.
Moneyglass were first on the score board as Colm Duffin and Conor Boyd hoisted back to back white flags in the opening couple of minutes as the visitors opened brightly.
The home side took a time to adjust to the slippery surface but were on their way when Colm Fleming punished a foul on the incoming Sean Pat Donnelly by guiding the placed effort between the posts in the 5th minute and when the latter added another and wing half back Sean Finch followed suit they had claimed advantage.
Moneyglass drew abreast again in the 11th minute with a smart Paul Tohill point but Rossa responded and Michael Armstrong raced clear to split the posts and regain the lead.
Rossa were starting to get on top at mid-field with Michael Armstrong and Stephen Beatty gaining control and when the latter combined with Eoghan Mc Menamin to send Colm Fleming in to grab an eye catching 15th minute goal the home side were on their way.
A real body blow for the St. Ergnat’s men and they were about to be hit with another as mid fielder Stephen Beatty nipped undetected inside the last line of defence to collect from Colm Fleming before finishing stylishly to the net.
The home side were on the march and not about to ease off the accelerator as Sean Pat Donnelly sped ‘soccer style’ up the left hand side before delivering on a plate for Eoin Fleming to apply the coupe de grace and ensure a more than healthy 3-04 to 0-03 advantage for the blue and gold.
Points from Colm Duffin and Conal Prenter (2) ensured that the visitors outscored their hosts in the latter stages of the opening period but the home side took respite in the gathering gloom with a more than useful 3-06 to 0-06 half time lead.
Moneyglass started the second half brightly with two early scores as the hard working Colm Duffin and Jack Mc Coy added points apiece but this provoked reply from their hosts as Thomas Morgan and Michael Armstrong followed suit.
Such was the trend throughout the second half as a score at one end would provoke reply at the other and those three green flags raised in the opening period remained the difference throughout.
The rain which had threatened for a time finally arrived but the home side had the bit firmly between their teeth as they continued to hold their guests at arm’s length.
The South West side needed a goal if they were to make inroads and with Conor Boyd and Colm Duffin leading the offensive they came close on a couple of occasions but when danger threatened net-minder Michael Byrne was not found wanting.
The young keeper was on hand to make a couple of exceptional saves in the last quarter as he stood tall to defy both Jack Mc Coy and again in the 51st minute as he denied Seanachan Duffin from close range.
Despite a lung bursting effort by the visitors the home defence stood firm in the descending gloom and at conclusion it was Rossa who celebrated their victory and a return to division 1 next season while Moneyglass still have the opportunity to join them if they can win a play-off against the side that finishes second bottom in division 1.
Rossa: Michael Byrne, Michael Mc Greevey, Ciaran Orchin, Niall Crossan, Sean Finch (0-01), Christopher Mc Guinness, Richard Gowdy, Michael Armstrong (0-01), Stephen Beatty (1-01), Sean Pat Donnelly (0-01), Eoghan Mc Menamin (0-01), Gerard Walsh, Eoin Fleming (1-03), Colm Fleming (1-05), Thomas Morgan (0-01)
Conal Mc Donald
Dominic Mc Enhill
Oisin Mc Vicar
Paddy Mc Greevey
Moneyglass: Mark Carey, Myron Neeson, Tiernan Duffin, Peter Mc Cormick, Jack Mc Coy (0-01), Conor Boyd (0-03), James Mc Meill, Niall Boyd, Sean Kelly, Paul Tohill, Colm Duffin (0-06), Conal Prenter (0-03), Seanachan Duffin, Gareth Murray
Liam Brady for S Kelly (inj)
Ryan Doyle for J Mc Coy
Enda Duffin for E Kelly
Gary Murray for C Prenter
Referee Karol Doherty (Rasharkin)