Dunloy 1-23 Rossa 1-20
A goal from Dunloy’s wing half forward Seaan Elliott late in the game proved to be the divisive score in a high scoring match at Pearse Park, but despite Rossa’s defeat they still qualify for Sunday’s League Cup final against Cushendall.
Daire Murphy looked to have secured a massive goal for the Belfast men shortly before Dunloy’s major when Ryan Elliott’s save fell favourably to him to knock it into the empty net, but Dunloy would come back the stronger side with scores to take the points.
It was the Rossa men who started the stronger side opening up a seven point lead at one stage and was well worthy of the lead at that point with County star Gerard Walsh showing a full range of long range scores.
It was another County man who would open the scoring for Dunloy in Keelan Molloy who split the posts in the first minute but the Belfast men took control of the game in this opening period with Deaglan Murphy, Tiaran Murphy and Dominic McEnhill scoring three in a row to give them a two point lead.
A Conal Cunning free brought the home side back to the minimum but the impressive Adrian Kennelly fired over a long range score to maintain their two point lead. Eoin O’Neill tapped over a point following a fine cross field pass from Kevin Molloy.
Rossa could and probably should have got the first goal of the game at this stage. Dara Rocks got space in front of him at his own 45’ and ran in on goal but fired high over the bar when the net was beckoning. Dominic McEnhill knocked over another Rossa point to give them a three point lead in a really busy first 7 mins of the game.
Paul Shiels found his range with a lovely long range score for Dunloy but then Rossa took control of the game until the first water break. In particular Gerard Walsh came to the fore with three really good long range points all in a row along with Dominic McEnhill to leave the score 0-04 to 0-10 to the Rossa men.
Keelan Molloy finally got Dunloy back on the score sheet with a point wide on the left but yet again Dara Rocks didn’t get the right connection on the ball and Ryan Elliott saved well and got the ball cleared. Deaglan Murphy finished the scoring right at the first water break with a real peach of a line wall 45 yards out to leave it 0-05 to 0-11 to Rossa.
Murphy extended Rossa’s lead to seven with a well taken free after Tiarnan was fouled. Dunloy then stepped their game up and put Rossa on the back foot with three scores in a row. Kevin Molloy, Conal Cunning and midfielder Liam McCann all raised the white flag to reduce the gap to four.
Dominic McEnhill added to his tally with another good point but again Dunloy battled back into the game. Conal Cunning had a great goal chance but fired low and wide past Conal Walsh’s goal but he made up for it with a point after Liam McCann picked him out.
Keelan Molloy and Kevin Molloy both had points to make it 11 -13 and reduce that seven point lead that Rossa had worked so hard to get. Daire Murphy and Conal Cunning traded scores right up at the break to make it 0-12 to 0-14 to Rossa.
The visitors were forced into one early in the game when Conal Shannon was forced out with injury and replaced with Michael McGreevy in corner back but the home side came out the same as they started.
Daire Murphy opened the scoring in the half with yet another good point with Conal Cunning scoring a free not long after. Deaglan Murphy matched Coby’s accuracy with a free to give Rossa a three point lead.
Dunloy had altered their shape at this stage pushing Seaan Elliott, Eoin O’Neill and Conal Cunning up on their own and they started to cause problems for the Rossa defenders with the amount of space they were being afforded. Anton McGrath scored a snap shot long range point which was followed up by points from Keelan Molloy(2) and Conal Cunning to give Dunloy the lead for the first time since the first moments of this game.
Christopher McGuinness got his first score of the game to restore the parity on the score board as Rossa were getting stretched at this point and Dunloy were gaining momentum. Seaan Elliott had a chance on goal but was blocked out by Ciaran Orchin as the goal chances were starting to appear.
Deaglan Murphy gave Rossa back the lead with yet another point for himself but Dunloy again had a great chance of a goal. Paul Shiels found Eoin O’Neill in space and he got himself in on goal but was met with keeper Conal Walsh to deny the Dunloy man. Nicky McKeague fired over the resultant clearance to bring it all square again at the second water break.
The block and tackle however saw keeper Conal Walsh having to be forced off for what looked like a shoulder injury to be replaced.
Keelan Molloy gave Dunloy the lead and make it 0-19 to 0-18 in this highly entertaining game and it was to get even more hectic as Rossa raised the game’s first green flag. Deaglan Murphy had a shot on goal which was well saved by Ryan Elliott but the rebounding ball fell favourably to Daire Murphy who had the easiest of tasks to knock the ball into the empty net.
A massive score which gave Rossa a two point lead at a vital time in the game and that was stretched out to three with Tiarnan Murphy taking a point. Dunloy needed scores and find them did.
Keelan Molloy, Seaan Elliott and Conal Cunning raised three white flags in a row to yet again make a level game.
Dunloy had a few chances during the game to score goals but finally they got their just rewards right at the end of the game. Seaan Elliott again found space to turn his marker and get past two other defenders to fire the ball into the Rossa net. The score killed the game off as Conal Cunning and Dominic McEnhill traded scores at the end of the game.
A really good game between the sides, well fought, by all of the players that saw plenty of scores and some top performances. Both sides will have taken plenty of positives from that game as the sides now look towards the senior hurling championship.
R Elliott, P Duffin, C McKinley, C Kinsela, R McGarry, R Molloy, E Smyth, L McCann (0-01), P Shiels (0-01), S Elliott (1-01), K Molloy (0-02), A McGrath (0-01), K Molloy (0-07), E O’Neill (0-01) C Cunning (0-08) Subs – S Dooey, N McKeague (0-01), C Elliott, O Quinn
C Walsh, C Shannon, C Orchin, N Crossan, S Shannon, A Kennelly (0-01), E Traynor, G Walsh (0-03), C McGettigan, D Murphy (1-02), D McEnhill (0-05), D Rocks (0-01), T Murphy (0-02), C McGuinness (0-01), D Murphy (0-05) Subs – P Crean, M McGreevey