Rossa’s late rally get them over the line

Antrim Senior Hurling Division One

O’Donovan Rossa 2-19 Ballycran 0-22

Rossa got their first win of this season’s league campaign when they beat Ballycran on Sunday at Rossa Park. The Ards men will feel that this is one that got away, for they looked to be the better team for long periods, but Rossa’s ability to take their chances down the home straight proved decisive in the end.

Ballycran appeared to be in a strong position approaching half time but they squandered a series of chances and should have had a much bigger lead than the 0-12 to 0-9 advantage they enjoyed.  

Ballycran started well and Phelim Savage and Chris Egan had them two clear early on, though Ciaran Orchin pulled one back for Rossa. Further points from Liam Savage and Conor Gilmore stretched their lead and though Seaghan Shannon pulled one back for the home side the gap got bigger as Cormac McAlister, Scott Nicholson and Chris Egan split the posts. At this stage it looked like the men from the Ards would have the game wrapped up by the break, but Rossa kept battling and by the time referee Kevin Parke sounded the half time whistle there was just three points between the sides.

Ballycran stretched the lead early in the new half but an Aodhan O’Brien long delivery, which deceived the visitors goalkeeper, ended up in the back of the net and Rossa were back in the game. However the Down men settled into a rhythm again and hit four unanswered points to go 0-19 to 1-11 clear with just ten minutes left to play.   

However Rossa dug deep in those last ten minutes and Murray and Shannon sent over points. The home seed pushed on and were two clear. It still looked anybody’s game but the Rossa defence repelled anything Ballycran threw at them and a late point from a Seaghan Shannon 65 sealed the win.  

ROSSA: P Crean; C Boyle, C McGuinness, C Shannon; Stephen Shannon (0-2), A Kennealy, C Orchin (0-1); Seaghan Shannon (0-5, 1 free, 1 65), E Trainor; A Orchin (0-3), A O’Brien (2-1), J Connolly (0-1 free); D Rocks, S Beatty, M McEnhill (0-4).
Subs: R Murray (0-1) for C Shannon (25), D Rogan (0-1) for D Rocks (HT), C McGettigan for J Connolly (HT), P Short for A Orchin (55), C McParland (60)

BALLYCRAN: D Ennis; M Hughes, S Ennis, R Brown; A Dorrian, GHughes, L Boyd; C Gilmore (0-1), P Savage (0-5, 2 frees); L Savage (0-3), P Hughes, C McAllister (0-2); N Breen, C Egan (0-4), S Nicholson (0-6, 4 frees).
Subs: A Gleeson for N Breen (HT), E Bell (0-1) for A Dorrian (45).

REFEREE: Kevin Parke (Naomh Éanna)

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