ACFL Division 3
Rasharkin 8-14 Eire Og 0-4
There was an inevitability about this one from the time Eammon McNeill fired home Rasharkin’s opening goal in the 6th minute and the big crowd who turned up at Dreen to see their side crowned division 3 champions were not disappointed.
The home side finally received confirmation that they were to be awarded the points when St. Agnes were unable to field early in the season so the mathematics were simple, win this one and Rasharkin are league champions. Loss or even draw and O’Donnell’s could pip them for the title.
To their credit Eire Og arrived at Dreen with nothing to play for but pride and despite suffering a heavy defeat in the end, they played some good football at times.
The visitors lacked a cutting edge in attack and surprisingly failed to use the long basll to their advantage in the opening half when they had a strong wind at their backs.
Playing into the wind, Rasharkin played some delightful football as they moved the ball around at speed through the hands and continuously created openings which inevitably led to scores.
They led 1-2 to 0-1 after six minutes with Oran McMullan and Fergus Quigg getting them on their way before Eammon McNeill finished clinically to the net.
Conall Smyth got the Og’s on their way with a good long range point but the visitors continued to play the possession game and were inevitably turned over as McNeill added a couple of points before Oran McMullan got in for Rasharkin’s second goal at the end of the opening quarter.
Adam McKenna raised the visitor’s second flag when he pointed a free in the 16th minute but Eammon McNeill replied with a point before firing home his second and his sides third goal with 8 minutes remaining to the break.
Tiernan O’Boyle fired a ‘45’ majestically between the posts into the wind and Thomas ‘Tucker’ McMullan raised a cheer of approval from an appreciative home crowd when he fired to the net in the 27th minute.
A minute later young mid-fielder O’Boyle got in for his side’s fifth goal and with the wind to face in the second half, it looked like an exercise in damage limitation for the city side.
It didn’t get any easier for Eire Og as matters got underway again with Eammon McNeill completed his hat-trick with a goal in the 2nd minute and Ryan Lynch added a point before the excellent Thomas McMullan added his second goal and his side’s seventh in the 12th minute.
To their credit Eire Og never gave up or resorted to foul tactics as they continued to play a possession game with limited success and they did break forward on several occasions but were unable to apply the finish.
A minute after McMullan’s goal, Ryan Lynch fired home their 8th and it would be their last as the Rasharkin management gave game time to their bench.
Killian O’Boyle, Eammon McNeill and Oran McMullan added points for the home side before Eire Og’s were finally rewarded for their efforts as Brendan Shannon fired over their third point in the 20th minute.
Ryan Lynch and substitute, Jack Quinn replied for the home side but Eire Og were still battling against impossible odds and were rewarded with a point from Conall Smyth.
The Dreen side would finish as they had started however with Ryan Lynch and Killian O’Boyle concluding the scoring with late points before the big home crowd joined their heroes on the field for the celebrations.
County committee member, Barney Herron was there to present the cup to a delighted Rasharkin captain, Thomas McMullan and afterwards the youngsters from the club joined in the celebration photograph
Rasharkin: 1 – Andrew Hasson, 2 – Pearse Kelly, 3 – Daniel Doherty, 4 – Conor Higgins, 5 – Colm Kennedy, 6 – Conor Hasson, 7 – Fergus Quigg, 8 – Cathal Mooney, 9 – Ruairi O’Boyle
10 – Oran McMullan, 11 – Thomas McMullan, 12 – Oisin Casey, 13 – Tiernan O’Boyle, 14 – Eammon McNeill, 15 – Ryan Lynch
Eire Og: 1 Mark Hamill, 2 Jarlath Devlin, 3 Eanna mcNulty, 4 Oran McMenamin, 5 Stephen Erskine, 6 Alexander Dixon-McNight, 7 Adam McKenna, 8 Conall Smyth, 9 Ronan Donnelly, 10 Gavin Donnelly, 11 Brendan Shannon, 12 Kevin Comber, 13 Joseph Melarkey, 14 Stephen Mullin, 15 Christopher Carberry
Referee: Richie Leahy.