Fleming goals decides it at Rossa Park

ACFL Division 1

Rossa 2-5 Ahoghill 0-10

St. Mary’s Ahoghill will reflect on a first half that they mostly controlled but didn’t convert enough chances as the reason for their demise in this close encounter in the ACFL Division 1 at Shaw’s Road today.

Ahoghill played with the breeze in a first half where they were well on top but only scored 0-5 and Rossa’s goal from Colm Fleming in the 18th minute was the score that ultimately decided the game in the end.

The home side only managed two scores themselves during the opening 30 minutes but added 1-4 in the second half and a second goal from Fleming from the penalty spot was enough to see Hugh McGettigan’s men over the line.

Patrick Graham and Eamonn Brady kicked the visitors into a two point lead after only four minutes as St. Mary’s made the early running but they failed to build on that early lead and Colm Fleming finally got Rossa off the mark from a free in the 13th minute.

Diarmaid Graham and Brady again replied for the Clooney side but they were caught again by a Rossa counter attack and Fleming fired home the game’s opening goal with 18 minutes on the clock.

St. Mary’s were enjoying plenty of possession but were having difficulties in turning good approach work into scores but moved ahead again through a Ronan Graham point in the 24th minute but it would prove to be the final score of the half.

The visitors looked to have a tough task on hand as they turned into the breeze for the second half but James O’Connell gave them renewed hope when he extended their lead to two with a good point from play in the opening minute.

They received a setback however when Noel Crossey was penalised for a foot block a minute later with the referee pointing to the penalty spot and Fleming converted the resulting award to give his side back the lead.

Fleming pointed a free to extend the Rossa lead and Mick Byrne came forward to add another as Rossa experienced their best period in the game before Bernard Graham replied with a point for the visitors in the 17th minute.

The momentum was with Hugh McGettigan’s side however and points from Thomas Morgan and Eoghan McMenaman moved them four ahead with seven minutes remaining and they seemed to be home and safe but Ahoghill were not yet finished.

They came back strongly in the closing stages with Diarmaid Graham, Ronan Graham and Tom McGlone hitting late points to close the gap to the minimum but that was as close as they got with Rossa holding on for their first win of the campaign.

Rossa: 1 Mick Byrne, 2 Connor McGowan, 3 Ciaran Orchin, 4 Matthew Mallon, 5 Padraig Moyes, 6 Richard Gowdy, 7 Conal McDonald, 8 Eoghan McMenaman, 9 Jack Morris, 10 Darren Grego, 11 Niall Crossan, 12 Thomas Morgan, 13 Colm Fleming, 14 Ben McCauley, 15 Darra Rocks.

Ahoghill: 1 Noel Crossey, 2 Seamus McKeever, 3 James Magee, 5 Fionnbar O’Neill, 6 Eamonn Brady, 7 Diarmaid Graham, 8 Patrick Graham, 9 Thomas McGlone, 12 Bernard Graham, 13 Conor Paul Crossey, 14 Ronan Graham, 15 James O’Connell, 17 Donal Graham, 18 Gerard Graham, 20 Daniel O’Neill, 22 Colla McDonnell, 24 Ryan McPeake, 25 Conor McGarry,  

Referee: Darren McKeown (St. Gall’s)

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