Goals vital as Rossa beat Ballycastle

ACHL Division 1

Rossa 2-16 Ballycastle 0-19

Pics by Bert Trowlen

Goals from James Connolly midway through the opening half and another from Stephen Beatty 10 minutes into the second proved the deciding scores as Rossa overcame the considerable challenge of McQuillan’s Ballycastle at Shaw’s Road last night.

The home side led by a goal at half time, 1-10 to 0-10 but were pushed all the way in a tight contest but the visitors could not conjure up the goal that might have swung the balance of play in their favour.

Rossa led 0-3 to 0-1 after 8 minutes through Dara Rocks, Aodhan O’Brien and Seaghan Shannon from a long range effort and Ciaran Clarke replying from a free for the visitors. Ballycastle replied and Oisin McAuley and Ronan McAuley pointed but Rossa held the upper hand at this stage with Dara Rocks and Aodhan O’Brien replying with points for the home side.

Connolly then rose to flick a long delivery to the Ballycastle net and O’Brien followed with a great long range point as the home side appeared to be gaining control but the visitors came back strongly in the second quarter with Ciaran Clarke and Eoin McAlonan points at the other end.

Aodhan O’Brien responded with a point from a ‘65’ for the Shaw’s Road side but the ‘Castle’ finished the half strongly with Clarke, Ronan Laverty, Joe McToal and Tiernan Smyth to the fore and Seaghan Shannon and Thomas Morgan replying for Rossa to leave Connolly’s goal separating the sides at half time.

It was Ballycastle who were first on target at the start of the second half with Ciaran Clarke pointing but Dara Rocks replied immediately for the home side to keep their noses in front. McQuillan’s were starting to get a grip on proceedings however and they hit the next three points through Joe McToal Eoin McAlonan and a well struck long range free from Clarke to draw level and the momentum appeared to be swinging their way.

They suffered a severe blow however when a mistake in defence let Stephen Beatty in for Rossa’s second goal and it was this score that settled the home side and they were always able to keep a distance between the sides though the North Antrim side kept battling all the way to the whistle.

Feargal McKiernan, Ciaran Clarke 0-3 and Tiarnan Butler added points for the visitors, Clarke’s final score a massive point from inside his own half but Aodhan O’Brien 0-3 and Shannon kept the scoreboard ticking over for the home side to see them home with three to spare.

Rossa: 1 Donal Armstrong, 2 Conor Boyle, 3 Christopher McGuinness, 4 Niall Devlin, 5 Stephen Shannon, 6 Adrian Kennealy, 7 Eoin Trainor, 8 Ciaran Orchin, 9 Seaghan Shannon, 10 Dara Rocks, 11 Stephen Beatty, 12 Aodhan O’Brien, 13 Thomas Morgan, 14 James Connolly, 16 Phil Crean

Ballycastle: 1 Chris McAuley, 2 Oran Kearney, 3 Neal McAuley, 4 Dermot Donnelly, 5 Ciaran McKeague, 6 Conor Boyd, 7 Matthew Donnelly, 8 Ronan Laverty, 9 Ciaran Clarke, 10 Joe McToal, 11 Ciaran Butler, 12 Eoin McAlonan, 13 Tiernan Smyth, 14 Oisin McAuley, 15 Feargal McKiernan.

Referee: Kevin Park Parke (St. |Enda’s)

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