Powerful first half provides platform for victory
Our reserve footballers played their third game in the Platinum Tanks Reserve Football League when they hosted Carrickmacross at Pairc Naomh Mhuire on Sunday 30th March. In what were undoubtedly very difficult and slippery conditions due to all the recent wet weather we started the game the brightest and played with the aid of a very strong wind in the first half and got off the mark thirty seconds after the throw-in when Dwayne Rooney hit over a mighty point. We continued to control the opening exchanges and a minute later impressive approach play by Garry Calvert set-up Dave McArdle who blasted an unstoppable shot past the Carrickmacross goal-keeper.
Dean Fay showed quick reactions on the 3rd minute and made a good save to deny Carrickmacross a goal scoring opportunity and they also missed some good scoring chances on the 4th and 5th minutes but kicked wide. Colin Quinn’s defence splitting pass on the 6th minute found Martin Carroll in space and he made no mistake in finishing with a lovely score to lead 1-2 to 0-0. Both teams exchanged wides before centre half back Colin Quinn curled over a good point on the 14th minute and shortly afterwards Ross Murray stretched our advantage when dissected the uprights following a good build up that involved Anthony Tate and Colin Quinn.
Carrickmacross opened their account on the 17th minute when they converted a free-kick after Keelan Clerkin was adjudged to have fouled his opponent but we instantly replied as Cathal Sheridan soloed through before shooting for a nice point. Ross Murray kicked wide on the 20th minute but we gained possession immediately from the ensuing kick-out and a long cross-field delivery from Martin Carroll found Anthony Tate who finished in style to extend our lead, leading 1-6 to 0-1 after twenty one minutes and put us firmly in the driving seat. Dwayne Rooney fired over in fine style on the 22nd minute and moments afterwards he sailed over a monstrous free-kick to give us a ten point lead but as half time approached Carrickmacross pounced for a crucial goal as they broke through our rear-guard and drilled a low shot past Dean Fay to leave the half time score Rockcorry 1-8 Carrickmacross 1-1.
We extended our lead after one minute of the second half when Anthony Tate popped over a fine point but Carrickmacross responded swiftly with a converted free-kick a minute later. Dwayne Rooney lobbed over a free-kick on the 6th minute to put us eight points ahead and at that point we appeared to be in complete control. However, Carrickmacross upped the tempo and notched over three points without reply, on the 7th, 8th, and 9th minutes, to narrow the gap back to five points 1-10 to 1-5. Our position was still a commanding one and Dwayne Rooney maintained our healthy advantage when he showed his accuracy and commendable composure to convert free-kicks on the 12th and 14th minutes. As the game entered the final quarter midfielder Martin Carroll surged forward and ran at the Carrickmacross defence before raising another white flag which incidentally proved to be our last score of the match.
Carrickmacross replied in defiant style and they hit three more unanswered points to close the deficit back to five points, 1-13 to 1-8. These scores gave Carrickmacross renewed hope and they continued to apply a lot of pressure during the closing stages and while we survived a couple of scary moments our defence remained solid and got in some brave blocks to deny Carrickmacross any further scores and the game ended Rockcorry 1-13 Carrickmacross 1-8.
This was a spirited & courageous performance from the lads and understandably they can be delighted with this win. The match was fiercely competitive but it was littered with poor passing and there were too many unforced errors. At times we played a dangerous tactic of sitting back on our lead and allowed Carrickmacross to build momentum but our unquenchable attitude & work-rate ultimately prevailed. Well done lads, keep up the good work and I hope to see you all at training this week because our next outing in the league campaign is on Saturday 5th April when we travel to play Aughnamullen at 7pm.
To view more action photographs please click the link below to visit our Flickr page.
Team & Scorers: Dean Fay, Keelan Clerkin, Ryan Sharkey, Christopher Greenan, Colin Quinn (0-1), Cathal Sheridan (0-1), Dwayne Roone(0-6, 4f), Martin Carroll (0-2), Anthony Tate (0-2), Garry Calvert, Ross Murray (0-1), Dave McArdle (1-0) & Aaron Clerkin. Subs: Kyle Rooney for Aaron Clerkin, Owen Fitzpatrick for Ross Murray, Cormac McFadden for Dave McArdle, John Greenan for Christopher Greenan and Ross Murray for Keelan Clerkin (injured)