After slipping into the relegation mire last weekend with defeat in Clonaslee, Rosenallis hit back in the best possible way with an impressive win over fellow strugglers Shinrone at The Grove on Sunday morning.
CCFL PREMIER DIVISION
It wasn’t as easy as the scoreline suggests and Shinrone were right in contention for the majority of the game but a couple of late goals from the men in green completed the double over the Offaly men and the three points sees them climb three places and looking in a lot better shape.
After a 4-1 win in Shinrone just three weeks ago, Rosenallis would have been in confident mood prior to kick off and although they were without Mark Dunne and the suspended Marcus Redmond, they were able to bring in Eddie Flanagan and Niall Doolin from the side that started last week which shows the strength of their squad this season.
However, it was the hosts who did all of the early pressing and with a significant breeze at the their backs it looked like it would only be a matter of time before Shinrone took the lead. Tommy Gorman reacted well to clear a headed corner off the line and keeper Damian Shelley was required to snuff out a few half chances, and after soaking up a barrage of pressure, the home side went down the other end and scored against the run of play.
They had done little in the opening fifteen minutes but after a long throw-in caused confusion in the less-than-assured Shinrone defence, the ball dropped at the feet of Eddie Flanagan who turned to fire a low shot into the bottom right hand corner of Brian Kirwan’s net.
Shinrone responded well and for the remainder of the half they continued to trouble the hosts but a mixture of poor finishing and excellent defending meant that Rosenallis went in leading by that Flanagan goal at the interval.
Damian Shelley maintained his side’s lead with another fine stop less than two minutes after the restart when AJ Deane broke through after a mistake at the back but the Shinrone midfielder couldn’t find a way past the Rosenallis keeper who got down well to deny Deane.
It was only a brief reprieve however as the Shinrone pressure finally told and the visitors deservedly got back on terms ten minutes in. Derek McLoughlin rolled a clever ball into the channel and Paul Lake held off the attentions of Steve McEvoy before firing a low shot across Shelley and into the far corner.
It was anyone’s game at that point but just when it looked like Shinrone had the momentum they lost their way completely. Right throughout the game they seemed to be more interested in appealing decisions and questioning the referee rather than playing their own game and that lack of concentration cost them very dearly in the last half hour of this fixture.
Rosenallis got back in front with twenty five minutes to go when Donal Lalor stepped up and curled a low free around the wall from twenty yards that nestled perfectly in the bottom right hand corner and then two quick-thinking moments from Kenny Farrell proved the undoing of Shinrone.
With fifteen minutes left Farrell was fouled and the bickering visitors disputed the decision. Farrell rolled the ball into Darren McEvoy who brilliantly fended off his man before teeing up Eddie Flanagan to launch a blistering drive from the edge of the box that left the Shinrone keeper with no chance.
The visitors didn’t learn their lesson from that one and so with five minutes left Kenny Farrell repeated the trick.
Derek McLoughlin fouled Darren McEvoy, and while he and his teammates argued with Adrian Martin for no reason, Farrell rolled a quick ball into the path of James Jackson. He had all the space required to race to the by-line and deliver a low cross-goal ball that Darren McEvoy tapped home to seal the win.
Rosenallis were made to work hard for the win but they kept their composure and with other results going in their favour they look in a much better position to remain in the division.
Star Man: Eddie Flanagan (Rosenallis)
Two goals and a tireless display in the heart of the Rosenallis midfield, Flanagan had a huge influence in this hard-fought win. He was ably assisted across the middle by Mark Graham and Kenny Farrell and the entire back-four looked assured and comfortable. For Shinrone, Derek McLoughlin was the stand-out performer but he needed more from his teammates. Paul Lake looked lively at times but Shinrone lacked the energy of their opponents and came up short in the end.
ROSENALLIS: Damian Shelley, Tommy Gorman (John Lalor 51), Anthony Gorman, Donal Lalor, Steven McEvoy, Eddie Flanagan, Mark Graham, Kenny Farrell, Niall Doolin (John Dunne 75), Darren McEvoy, James Jackson
SHINRONE: Brian Kirwan, Damian Lalor, Shane McKelvey, Darren Crean, Mick Holland, Conor Meehan, Derek McLoughlin, AJ Deane, Darren Kennedy, Mick White, Paul Lake.
Referee: Adrian Martin