Homefit Antrim Football League Division 3 Semi-Final
Rasharkin 1-12 Lisburn 1-11
Paul McIntyre reports from Dunsilly.
Photographs: Mark Hasson
Tiernan Boyle’s goal midway through the second half helped Rasharkin to a shock, but deserving one point win over St Patrick’s Lisburn in a high-noon battle at Dunsilly on Saturday afternoon.
Only as recently as last Wednesday night, St Patrick’s recorded a 10 point victory over today’s opponents, but the St Mary’s were able to raise their game a couple of gears to near championship level to advance to Wednesday nights final against Na Píarsaigh.
Both teams took time to settle and were guilty of some wayward shooting and after ten minutes the game was tied at one point a piece. Andrew Hasson for Rasharkin before Conor Dixon replied for Lisburn.
The St Patrick’s were dominating possession and were working with an excellent kick out strategy, but more often than once, they were too easily turned over by a tenacious Rasharkin defence.
Rasharkin started to turn their hard work into scores, and two Seamus Ellis efforts and one each from Hasson and half back Donagh Quigg helped open up a four point lead, 0-5 to 0-1 after 21 minutes.
Two Benjamin McMullan frees kept Lisburn in touch but another Hasson free and an effort from Fearghal Kennedy restored Rasharkin’s four point advantage.
They game turned on its head in first half injury time. Colm Burns popped up from wing back to point for Lisburn before disaster struck in the St Mary’s defence.
In an attempt to see out their three point lead to half time, Ryan Doherty in the Rasharkin goal was disposed by Benjamin McMullan and the Lisburn attacker was on had to score the easiest of goals to leave the half time score, Lisburn 1-4, Rasharkin 0-7.
The momentum was now with the Lisburn outfit and Benjamin McMullan Conor Dixon helped give the Lisburn the lead for the first time as the pre-match favourites looked to be taking control, but Maxwell replied with two frees for Rasharkin before Josh McMullan restored Lisburn’s lead from a forward mark.
The games big turning point arrived in the 45th minute. Tiernan Boyle did well to keep the ball in play along the end line and worked the ball to the far post, but Oran McMullan could only hit the post from close range. Thankfully the rebound found it’s way to Boyle who crashed the ball to the net.
Quigg instantly extended Rasharkin’s lead to three but Lisburn replied with two Josh McMullan points before a sweetly struck free from Tighearnán Ómeallaigh levelled the contest with only five minutes of regulation time remaining.
With extra-time on the horizon Andrew Hasson kicked two frees in as many minutes as Rasharkin regained the lead, and in the 66th minute, Ruairi O’Boyle had a chance to wrap up the contest but Peter O’Neill saved smartly to keep his side in the contest.
Lisburn went in search of a winning score but a resolute Rasharkin defence restricted the St Patrick’s to a solitary Dixon point from a free, and in the 69th minute, an absorbing contest was brought to an end.
Teams & Scorers:
Rasharkin: Ryan Doherty, Pearce Kelly, Emmet McFerran, Conor Doherty, Fearghal Kennedy (0-1), Donagh Quigg (0-2), Fergus Quigg, Jack Quinn, Thomas McMullan, Gerard O’Hagan, Ruairi O’Boyle, Seamus Ellis (0-2), Tiernan Boyle (1-0), Andrew Hasson (0-7 6f), Oran McMullan.
Subs: Odhran McGarrell for O McMullan (46), Colin Kennedy for T McMullan (52).
Lisburn: Peter O’Neill, Paddy Quigg, Thomas Burns, Jack McMullan, Oisin Gorman, Tighearnán Ómeallaigh (0-1f), Colm Burns (0-1), Sionán Ó Súilleabháin, Mark Torbitt, Kevin Gallagher, Benjamin McMullan (1-3 0-3f), Aaron Thompson (0-1f), Josh McMullan (0-3 1 Mark), Conor Dixon (0-2f).
Subs: Conor Ewing for D Taggart (9), Niall Dixon for C Burns (40), Che Smyth for K Gallagher (56).
Referee: Mr Peter Tumelty (Lamh Dhearg)