Seniors show great fighting spirit to secure spoils
They say, “goals win games” and there was never a better example of that adage when our senior team travelled to play Donaghmoyne yesterday evening Friday 1st June because two first half goals ultimately proved the difference and earned our senior team both points in the Monaghan Electrical Intermediate football league. While we were missing the dynamic duo of Noel Carroll and Garry Calvert (and based on this performance they will find it difficult to get their place back!) the team produced a gutsy performance to eke out a noteworthy win over a strong and determined Donaghmoyne side on a score-line Donaghmoyne 0-11 Rockcorry 2-9.
The game started at a fast pace and Mark McGuirk tapped over a neat free-kick on the first minute to open our account. Donaghmoyne kicked wide on the 3rd and 5th minutes before Stephen McGuirk doubled our advantage when he converted a free-kick following a foul on Paul McKeown. We continued to dominate the opening exchanges and stamped our authority on the game, on the 8th minute, when Mark Daly soloed goalward and dispatched the ball to the net with aplomb. Moments later when Keelan Clerkin was brought down around the forty-five, Mark Daly sailed over a long-range free-kick to extend our lead, leading 0-0 to 1-3. Both teams then missed scoring opportunities before arguably the best move of the match that involved a number of players and when Fergal McGeough collected the ball on the twenty-one he rifled an unstoppable shot past the Donaghmoyne goal-keeper for a truly wonderful goal.
Donaghmoyne finally got off the mark on the 19th minute when they pointed from a free-kick but this was quickly cancelled out with a classy point from Fergal McGeough following good approach play from Stephen McGuirk, Lorcan Smyth and Mark McGuirk to leave the score 0-1 to 2-4 after twenty-two minutes. In the five minutes that followed Donaghmoyne rallied as they upped the ante and controlled possession and managed to cut the deficit back to five points as they scored four unanswered points. At this juncture the initiative seemed to be with Donaghmoyne but Fergal McGeough rounded off the scoring with a marvellous point of the outside of his left boot to leave the score at the break Donaghmoyne 0-5 Rockcorry 2-5.
When the second half resumed, a fired up Donaghmoyne side signalled their intent and within twenty seconds raised the white flag to reduce the gap back to five points. At this point, the lads dug deep and responded on the 6th minute when Johnny Reilly surged forward he was hauled down and the ever reliable Mark McGuirk coolly tapped over the free-kick to maintain our six point advantage. Donaghmoyne, roared on by their supporters, bounced back with a neat point from play on the 8th minute and shortly afterwards they hammered over a forty-five to leave the score 0-8 to 2-6. There were worried faces on the side-line, on the 12th minute, because Donaghmoyne were awarded a penalty but the resultant spot kick was blasted wide of the upright; a real let-off for us!
In the blink of an eye, the ball was at the other end and Colin Quinn was the right man in the right place at the right time and curled over a sweat point. Donaghmoyne replied swiftly and converted a free-kick to leave the score Donaghmoyne 0-9 Rockcorry 2-7 midway through the second half. Both teams were guilty of wayward shooting during the next couple of minutes before the impressive Mark McGuirk collected a side-line ball from Mark Daly, skipped past two opponents and split the uprights with a superb point to extend our lead to five points. One of the best passages of play we produced came on the 24th minute and it involved Dwayne Rooney and when he teed up Lorcan Smyth his superb effort looped high into the air and the ball took an eternity to drop from the sky but when it did it landed directly over the black spot to leave the score 0-9 to 2-9.
As the game ticked away we had some nervous moments during the closing stages as Donaghmoyne applied a lot of pressure and threw everything at us, including the proverbial kitchen sink, but the lads defended stoutly and their attempts to create a goal scoring opportunity came to nothing. However, Donaghmoyne did manage to notch over late points, on the 29th and 30th minutes, but it mattered little at that stage as the scoreboard showed Donaghmoyne 0-11 Rockcorry 2-9 on the sound of the final whistle.
This was a terrific team effort and I imagine the loyal Rockcorry supporters who travelled to the match enjoyed their journey home! The lads showed commendable spirit and while we struggled to achieve fluency in our play for long periods the passion, desire and commitment seemed to flow through the team and quite frankly they had to because walking away from Donaghmoyne with both league points is no easy task! Well done lads keep up the good work.
To view a selection of action photographs on our Flickr page please click the link below:
Team & Scorers: Jamie Smith, Conor McGeough, Damien Matthews, Keith Daly, Colin Quinn 0-1, Johnny Reilly, Stephen Lynch, Martin Carroll, Mark Daly 1-1, Keelan Clerkin, Fergal McGeough 1-2, Lorcan Smyth 0-1, Paul McKeown, Mark McGuirk 0-3 and Stephen McGuirk 0-1. Susb: Dwayne Rooney for Keelan Clerkin, Anthony Tate for Johnny Reilly.