ACFL Division 3
St. Mary’s Rasharkin 0-10 O’Donnell’s 1-12
Photographs: Mark Hasson
It should have been a night of celebration at Dreen on Wednesday night. A win for Rasharkin would have moved them three points clear in the league with a game in hand but O’Donnell’s spoiled the party.
The MacRory Park side arrived at the South West venue having suffered only one defeat throughout the league (to last night’s opponents) and knowing that only a win would suffice if they were to maintain a realistic chance of winning the league and that is just what they achieved.
The unbeaten league leaders were first on the scoreboard when Oran McMullan pointed them ahead after 21 seconds but O’Donnell’s came back with a point from Patrick Meenan to draw level.
The home side suffered an early blow when Emmet McFerran was shown a Black card in the third minute but moved ahead once more as Oran McMullan fired over his second point of the contest.
Back came the O’D’s as Scott Thompson fired over but Eammon McNeill edged the Dreen side ahead again before the visitors hit the front for the first time with points from Sean Pat Donnelly and Marc McKenna with 20 minutes gone.
Once again Rasharkin rallied and Oisin Casey kicked a couple of good points from play but as game swung from end to end it was the Whiterock Road side who came back again.
Centre Half, Connor Walsh got forward for a good score and Sean Pat Donnelly added another to nudge their noses ahead once more but the final score of the half fell to Eammon McNeill whose late point saw the sides head to the dressing room level at 0-06 each.
With all to play for, the sides returned to the action and Donagh Quigg pointed in the 5th minute to restore the Rasharkin lead following a great run from corner-back, Donagh Aka Quigg.
Things appeared to be turning the way of league leaders St. Mary’s when Eammon McNeill, Ryan Lynch (f) and Oran McMullan hit three on the bounce to move them four ahead after 16 minutes and it looked a long way back for O’Donnell’s.
The MacRory Park side were not about to throw in the towel and they showed just why they are serious challenge for the league title as they came back to dominate the final qwuarter, holding their opponents scoreless for the remainder of the game.
They opened their second half account with a point in the 17th minute and when the excellent Patrick Meenan followed with a goal, two minutes later they had drawn level and Rasharkin looked shell shocked.
The O’D’s now had the wind in their sails as they sensed victory And Sean Pat Donnelly edged them ahead with a point in the 23d minute and they might have followed with a second goal but Conor Hasson pulled off a great block to deny Scott Thompson, who collected to send over.
Hasson’s heroics failed to lift his colleagues however and O’Donnell’s were now in full flight as they added three more points going down the home straight with Gearoid McKernan, Patrick Meenan and Marc McKenna adding late points to leave the visitors convincing six point winners in the end.
This excellent win sees O’Donnell’s move to the top of the league with 29 points from 16 starts, one above Rasharkin who now sit n 28 points from 15 starts and the race for the title is likely to go down to the final day.
O’Donnell’s have Pearses at home and St. Malachy’s away in their remaining games while Rasharkin travel to St. Malachy and finish with a home game against Eire Og with their fate still very much in their own hands.
Rasharkin: 1 – Andrew Hasson 2 – Pearse Kelly 3 – Emmet McFerran 4 – Donagh Quigg 5 – Fearghal Kennedy 6 – Conor Hasson 7 – Fergus Quigg 8 – Cathal Mooney 9 – Ruairi OBoyle 10 – Oran McMullan 11 – Thomas McMullan 12 – Oisin Casey 13 – Tiernan O’Boyle 14 – Eammon McNeill 15 – Ryan Lynch
O’ Donnell’s: 1 Conor Murphy, 2 Joseph Rafferty, 3 Stephen Seawright, 4 David Mackle, 5 Kevin Kennedy, 6 Connor Walsh, 7 Gearoid McKernan, 8 Fearghal McNerny, 9 Joe Wilson, 10 Keelan Loughran, 11 Sean Pat Donnelly, 12 Scott Thompson, 13 Patrick Meenan, 14 Cailean Walsh, 15 Marc McKenna
Referee: Gregory Walsh (Aghagallon)