Seniors clinch second spot with victory over Doohamlet
The senior team played, the recently crowned intermediate championship winners, Doohamlet on Saturday 13th October, in our last league game before the semi-final stages, and on this occasion we secured a hard-earned but richly deserved five point win on a score-line Rockcorry 0-15 Doohamlet 0-10. In some respects there was a strange and airy feeling to the game with perhaps Doohamlet having a tint of celebration in there system from their endeavours last weekend! However, on the other hand, our primary motivation being a win that would give us second place in the league campaign and significantly home advantage for the semi-final clash and the importance of the occasion contributed to some nervous play.
With all the recent bad weather the game was played in wet and slippery underfoot conditions and we got off to a flier, with Keelan Clerkin pointing after just thirty seconds. Mark McGuirk fired between the uprights on the 4th minute and a minute later Johnny Reilly added a fabulous score when he curled over from the right wing. Doohmalet were slow to get going, but they started their comeback on the 6th minute when they registered their first score from a free-kick and moments later they converted another free-kick to leave the minimum between the sides after eight minutes on the clock, 0-3 to 0-2.
On the 10th minute, Fergal McGeough kicked over our fourth point when he sailed over a lovely free-kick after Paul McKeown was hauled down. The ensuing kick-out was won by Mark Daly who soloed through the Doohamlet defence and when he linked up with Mark McGuirk, the energetic lad slipped two tackles and finished in style to put three points between the sides again, 0-5 to 0-2. Three became four, on the 13th minute, when Mark McGuirk added a point following good approach play by Keelan Clerkin but then we snoozed a little as Doohamlet hit back immediately with a fine point. Niall McKeown sallied out of his corner back position on the 18th minute and when he was fouled just beyond the forty-five Mark Daly kicked over a monstrous free kick to leave the scoreboard showing 0-7 to 0-3. Both teams missed scoring opportunities during the next five minutes and when Mark Daly was fouled he tapped over a routine free-kick to leave it 0-8 to 0-3. Doohamlet finished the first half scoring with another fine point to leave the half time score Rockcorry 0-8 Doohamlet 0-4.
When play resumed we had the better of the opening exchanges and extended our advantage to seven to put us firmly in control. Mark McGuirk opened our account with a well-taken free-kick after just ninety seconds and a minute later when Mark Daly was brought down he quickly delivered a short free to Paul McKeown who bisected the uprights with a sublime point. Shortly afterwards, Mark Daly glided over a free-kick to leave the scoreboard showing 0-11 to 0-4. Doohamlet reduced the deficit on the 8th minute when they converted a free-kick but this was immediately cancelled out when Lorcan Smyth latched on to a marvellous cross-field pass from Noel Carroll before scooping it over the bar to make it 0-12 to 0-5. Doohamlet fired over a neat point, on the 10th minute, but we replied swiftly when Mark Daly lobbed over a free-kick following a foul on Fergal McGeough to leave the scoreboard showing 0-13 to 0-6.
The recently crowned intermediate champions began to settle and played some fine football which yielded three unanswered points on the 14th, 16th and 17th minutes to reduce the arrears to four points. At this stage it appeared Doohamlet had all the momentum but we weathered the storm and began to get a grip of the game again and on the 20th minute Mark Daly steadied the ship when he converted a free-kick. The scoreboard operator was not troubled during the next five minutes as the game remained scoreless with loose play from both sides but on the 26th minute Noel Carroll brought our supporters to their feet when he finished a terrific move by somehow finding the target despite being in a very awkward position to leave it 0-15 to 0-9. During the remaining minutes Doohamlet kept plugging away and went in search of a goals but they came up against a stern defence and as the game ticked into added time they managed to notch over a point to leave the final score Rockcorry 0-15 Doohamlet 0-10.
There is so much to look back on from the game that it’s not easy to reflect on everything but in fairness the lads gave a workmanlike performance to secure the win. Nevertheless, we will know that the intensity levels Doohamlet brought to the game were nowhere near the levels witnessed (or felt) in our championship encounter. Next Sunday, 21st October, we will contest this year’s league semi-final and our opponents will be Donaghmoyne, who knocked us out of this year’s intermediate championship race. They will no doubt provide a formidable challenge and we will have to up our game considerably if we are to have one last outing this year. It’s not going to be easy, there is nothing between the sides, and all players will need to call on their inner strength of character both physically and mentally if we are to get across the line.
On behalf of the club, I would like to wish Jim, Cormac and the lads all the best next weekend and appeal to them to leave every ounce of sweat and energy on the pitch. Ohh one last point to remember, never, ever, LET THEM OUT EASY! GOOD LUCK LADS.
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