Nipper Quinn Shield
Rossa 6-03-1-12 St Johns
Kevin Herron reports from Pairc Rossa
Rossa fought back from 7-points down at the beginning of the second half to claim the Nipper Quinn Shield on home soil with a 6-03-1-12 win over St Johns at Pairc Rossa on Sunday afternoon.
The Johnnies were much more confident in the opening stages and were 0-06 ahead before the hosts replied.
Five of those scores were from the placed ball as Lewis Rafferty and namesake Jack helped themselves to a brace each from frees, Brian Gough converted a 45’ in between and Jack Rafferty notched up the only point from play.
It took Rossa while to get to grips with things, but they soon restored parity, Jack Cunningham did well to parry an initial shot- though Conor Stewart fired home at the second time of asking and moments later Adam McCahey struck a second to make it 2-00-0-06.
St Johns edged ahead again through a super point from Oliver Donnelly and further scores from Jack and Lewis Rafferty helped their side to a 0-09-2-00 lead at the break.
An Oliver Donnelly shot early in the second period squeezed beyond the reach of the Rossa goalkeeper and had St Johns six-points to the good for the second time in proceedings.
Donnelly added his second point of the afternoon to increase his sides lead, but Rossa fought back.
Adam McCahey added a point to his first half goal and then Lorcan O’Reilly sent a free spinning towards the net to reduce arrears to a single goal (1-10-3-01).
Back-to-back frees from Jack Rafferty were the perfect response for St Johns- but that advantage would soon disappear.
McCahey converted a free for Rossa and then slipped a pass inside to Sé Whitteker who slammed a shot inside the near-post to make it a one-point game (1-12-4-02).
A converted free from Fionn Collins levelled and had the final on a knife-edge with ten minutes remaining.
Momentum was with the home side, and they hit the front for the first time though a Patrick Hamill strike and later clinched things through a second Whitteker goal to move 6-03-1-12 ahead.
St Johns piled on the late pressure in the hope of setting up a grandstand finish, but the closest they came was a free from Oliver Donnelly that was blocked on the line as Rossa saw out time to lift the Nipper Quinn Shield at the games conclusion.
South Antrim Chairman Frank Caldwell presents joint captains Fionn Collins and Tiernan McDonnell with the Nipper Quinn Shield after their comeback win over St Johns