St Joseph’s 0-6
How deceptive football can be sometimes. The half-time chat in Brewster was of a Roslea whose plan A had been rumbled and were struggling to manufacture a plan B on the fly. Iggy Gallagher seemed to have sussed the Shamrocks attack, drawing back Marty McGrath to the edge of the square to contest the high ball in and supplying him with plenty of help to scoop up the breaks and speed the ball out of harm’s way. Add in attacking economy from long range shots and St Joseph’s were just a point adrift at the break and looking like they might just be on the cusp of something.
And then 20 minutes from the end Roslea finally bagged the goal they had been threatening and that pretty much was that. Shamrock’s manager Mark Harte knew just how important that three pointer was.
“We knew coming in that there wasn’t much between the teams. Ederney were league champions last year as well so we expected the battle that we got. It was a dogfight. We got the goal pretty much out of nothing early in the second half and I think that gave our boys the confidence to go at them, but definitely, up to half time we knew we were in a fight,” said Harte.
“It was just a case of had we something else that would work and thankfully other boys came to the fore whenever Marty [McGrath] was having an effective game.”
Roslea were out of the traps quick, Shane McMahon pointing before the first minute had elapsed and Kevin Cosgrove doubling the advantage a couple of minutes later.
Aaron Dennison screwed a close range point over the shoulder, but it was only a comma in the script, with Sean and Seamie Quigley adding points to give the Shamrocks a three point advantage at the end of the first quarter.
Still, Marty McGrath was starting to win his battles in the Ederney square and St Joseph’s edged back into the game. Conor Keown set up Mark McCauley to send a superb shot sailing over before a similarly audacious effort from Peter Gormley cut the deficit to the minimum. Then Paul McCusker was allowed to point under no pressure to level it up with 10 minutes left in the half.
It took Seamus Quigley to convert tricky free from right Roslea a 0-5 0-4 interval advantage.
St Joseph’s initially continued their promising display in the second half with Paul McCusker arrowing over a difficult chance from the left to level things. Then Conor Maguire caught Niall Cassidy around the neck, and was maybe lucky to get away with a yellow, Seamus Quigley pointing the long range free awarded.
Seven minutes into the half St Joseph’s drew level, winning their one and only Roslea kick out and finishing with a neat point from Mark McCauley. That was to be as good as it got for the Ederney men. Roslea were about to take over.
Seamus Quigley started it, swinging over a glorious free from out on the left wing. A minute later in came the big long ball in. This time Sean Quigley won it beautifully and, despite heat from two St Joseph’s markers, dropped it to the toe and drilled home.
It got worse for Ederney 11 minutes from time. Shane Lynch drove in a ball which dropped short and Dermot Reilly, only on a minute, stabbed it home to give Roslea a seven point cushion.
With four minutes left Niall Cassidy was on the receiving end of another eye-watering challenge, Declan McCusker hitting him with a sliding tackle and mystifyingly escaping without so much as a caution.
Dermot Reilly set up Ruairi McGuinness for another score before an outrageous long range Seamie Quigley dead ball special. Quigley added a handier free shortly before the final whistle to set the seal on what ultimately was a convincing win for the reigning champions.
One of the most pleasing aspects of the victory for Mark Harte was the contribution of his substitutes, Dermot Reilly and Ruairi McGuinness helping slay any lingering Ederney hopes.
“We have boys very disappointed not to be making this team and that’s a good thing because if a team is picking itself I don’t think they’d be a strong unit,” said Harte. “There is no point in coming in just to get game time, you’ve got to be coming in to make a difference. Sometimes that works for you and sometimes it doesn’t, thankfully it worked today.”
Sean Boyle; Conor Quigley, Niall Cassidy, Marty Beagan; Conor Mulligan, James McMahon, Marty Renfrew; James Sherry (c), Kevin Cosgrove (0-1); Peter Lynch, Shane McMahon (0-1), Niall Cosgrove; Shane Lynch, Seamus Quigley, (0-6, 5f) Sean Quigley (1-1).
Subs: Dermot Reilly (1-1) for Shane McMahon 48m; Ruairi McGuinness (0-1) for Niall Cassidy 58m; Danny Mohan for Peter Lynch 60m; Stephen Flynn both 60m
Yellow card: Sean Quigley 55m
Chris Snow; Conor Maguire, Peter Gormley (0-1), Finbar Gillen; Aaron Dennison (0-1), John Irvine, Damien Cassidy; Martin McGrath, Conor Keown; Mark McCauley (0-2), Declan McCusker, Declan Deazley; Darren McCusker, Manus Maguire, Paul McCusker (0-2).
Subs: Enda Ferris for Darren McCusker 35m; Mickey McAleer for Peter Gormley 49m; Aaron McNabb for Declan Deazley 55m.
Yellow cards: Aaron Dennison 29m; Conor Maguire 34m.
Referee: Ferghal Cleary
0/2 Goals 0/0
1st half/2nd half
5/6 Points 4/2
10 Wides 3
2 Short 2
19 Frees conceded 12
19 Kick outs won 10
8 Own 9
11 Opposition 1
To read more.. Subscribe to current edition