ACFL Division 1
O Donovan Rossa 2 – 08 Roger Casements 1 – 11
When referee Eamon McAuley blew the final whistle at the end of this encounter it was the visitors from Portglenone who blew their own sigh of relief, taking a point back to the Bannside.
Rossa were missing a plethora of players and are currently coming from the opposite end of the league table, but on a good day for football the home side threw off the shackles, and in the end it took a majestic long range sideline free from the trusty left boot of Ronan Kelly to tie up this contest, with full time on the blow.
The opening quarter was nip and tuck with little separating the teams from open play, but a series of inexplicable mix ups and intercepted passes from Casements defenders let Stephen Beatty in for a two relatively easy majors, opening a gap on the scoreboard that was always going to count in this closely fought encounter.
At the interval Rossa were four ahead, but were facing up their hill and a gentle wind in the second half, so it was still all to play for. Despite that they had a good foothold in the middle third, and their strong running possession game all over the pitch made it difficult for Portglenone to build any worthwhile momentum.
Rossa’s Cricky McGuinness
The four point interval gap was still the gap that remained with ten minutes to go, as Conall Delargy Michael Hagan and Oisin Doherty tagged on points for the visitors, immediately cancelled out by white flags raised by Eoghan McMenamin, Chris McGuinness and centre half forward Chris Morgan who was impressive throughout.
Casements chipped away and got a little spell of dominance with those ten minutes still on the clock, and three unanswered points brought the deficit to the minimum, and it took Ronan Kelly’s accurate left foot to tie things up at the very end.
The scoring return of 1 – 11 by Casements is their lowest of the league to date and a mixture of players taking wrong options allied to some wayward shooting will no doubt be a cause of concern for manager John McKeever, who saw his team admirably play their way back into the contest, but scorned enough easy chances to take both points from the game.
Rossa manager Hugh McGettigan
On the positive side, those games have been lost in the past and that is a few games now that points have been gained by Portglenone’s appetite to see games out to the very end, something that has caused them difficulty in the not too distant past.
Rossa to their credit were on the front foot throughout, and showed plenty of quality football to suggest they can remain secure in the division especially when their county footballers and hurlers are available.
Casements: Ryan O Neill Ronan Delargy Shane Delargy Conor McGhee Ryan Convery Ruairi Hagan Caolan Tierney Niall Delargy Stephen Kelly Ciaron McKenna Michael Hagan Fergal O Kane Ronan Kelly Oisin Doherty Conall Delargy. Sub Used Paddy Kelly.