Rossa survive a late scare as they edge out Tir na nÓg

Antrim Football League – Division 1

Rossa 1-14 Tir na nÓg 2-10

Rossa had to withstand a late barrage by visitors Tir na nÓg before claiming the points in Sunday’s Division 1 League game at Rossa Park. There were times in the game when the Shaw’s Road me appeared to be in complete control but once in each half the Randalstown side clawed their way back and entering injury time at the end of the game a well taken point by Emmet Murray from the right of the goals cut the gap to the minimum. When Murray was put clear on the other side of the goal a minute later it looked like he would earn his team a share of the spoils, but his shot went just inches wide of the left upright and Rossa had survived to take both league points.

Rossa had started really well and despite playing up the slope towards the Sarsfield end of the ground they went 1-2 to 0-0 clear after seven minutes, the goal coming from Adam Devlin in the sixth minute, while the points were scored by Rory Grant and Tommy Morgan.

Tir na nÓg were struggling to get to the pace of the game but when they were awarded a penalty on 13 minutes full forward Darragh Fagan slotted the ball into the bottom corner and things took a dramatic turn. Emmet Murray added a point soon afterwards and when the visitors took advantage of a short kick out that went wrong Darragh Fagan fired over the equaliser at the end of the first quarter.

 To their credit Rossa did not panic and they had the next three points through Tommy Morgan, Cricky McGuinness and Darren Grego to lead by three again. Aaron McNeilly, from a free, and Christy Sheerin from play brought the Randalstown me back to a single point, but Tommy Morgan came back with one for the home team just before the break to give them a 1-7 to 1-4 interval lead.

Rossa started the second half in positive mood and their two point advantage was soon out to five as Tommy Morgan, Eoghan McMenamin and Stephen Beattie added points. The home side were cruising but just as in the first half Tir na nÓg came back strongly and they drew level on 48 minutes when points from Eamon Og McAllister and Darragh Fagan where followed by a goal Emmet Murray, who fired home from a narrow angle on the right.

Rossa appeared have everything in hand when they pushed on to lead by three going into injury time but Sean Duffin closed the gap to two before Emmet Murray cut the gap to a single point with a well taken point. When the same player was given the chance to earn his team a draw soon afterwards a draw looked a distinct possibility , but the substitute’s shot went narrowly wide of the target and the chance was gone.

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