Rosenallis B moved to the top of Division 4A with a 4-1 win over bottom side CR Forest but the manner of their victory was far less comfortable than the final scoreline suggests.
CCFL Division 4A
Rosenallis B 4
CR Forest 1
Played in windy conditions on a heavy pitch in the shadow of the Slieve Bloom mountains in Rosenallis, the home side trailed by a goal at the interval and entering the final ten minutes they were only on level terms against a determined CR Forest side who looked like they were going to hold on for a share of the points.
With the wind at their backs in the second-half, Rosenallis laid siege to the CR Forest goal but they found the visitors’ defence a very difficult to breakdown with Liam Boland in particular proving a considerable obstacle to overcome.
The game turned with ten minutes to go when Joe Dooley pounced on an error close to the CR Forest goal and he slotted home from just a couple of yards to put Rosenallis in front. After that the floodgates opened and further goals from Robbie Malone and Alan Herbert wrapped up the points.
The final scoreline was certainly harsh on CR Forest who held the lead at the break after a spirited performance in the opening 45 minutes.
After a couple of early half chances for Rosenallis, the first clear cut opportunity of the game fell to CR Forest after 16 minutes. An initial shot from Brian Crosbie was saved by Benny Corcoran and the ‘keeper did very well to get quickly back to his feet to save the rebound from Ronan Weston.
Rosenallis almost responded instantly when a shot from Joe Dooley was deflected away for a corner. From the resulting corner, Eugene Conroy rose highest in the box but his header went over the bar.
With 21 minutes elapsed, CR Forest took the lead when a pin point pass out of defence from Shane Hyland picked out Paul Holohan who calmly slotted the ball to the back of the net past the advancing Benny Corcoran.
Chances were at a premium for the remainder of the half with no side creating a clear cut chance but PJ Fitzpatrick for Rosenallis and Paul Holohan for CR Forest both went close from distance.
After half-time, with the strong wind now at their backs, Rosenallis dominated the game and laid siege to the CR Forest goal. However they struggled to break down their opponents defence.
Eugene Conroy and PJ Fitzpatrick both had shots saved by Liam Gorman in the CR Forest goal while a dangerous inswinging corner was cleared by Liam Boland.
The pressure continued to build and with 55 minutes on the clock David Larkin almost equalised after a fumble from Liam Gorman but the ‘keeper did brilliantly to recover and make a point blank save.
Eventually the pressure told when a cross in from the left wing was instantly controlled by Alan Herbert who turned quickly before burying the ball in the bottom corner of the net.
However while they were now back on level terms, Rosenallis were still under pressure to get a winner if they were to keep pace with the leaders in a very tight division.
For the next 20 minutes they were camped in the CR Forest half but time and again their attacks were repelled as the visitors defended resolutely making a series of last ditch blocks and timely tackles.
With the pressure mounting, Rosenallis eventually added a second and the sense of relief in The Grove was palpable. A well flighted from inside the Rosenallis half travelled into the CR Forest penalty area where it was fumbled by Liam Gorman. Before the ‘keeper had time to recover, Joe Dooley pounced on the ball and rolled it into the back of the empty net.
With that the weight on Rosenallis’ shoulders disappeared and they added two further goals in the closing minutes.
Substitute Robbie Glennon made it three when his well flighted corner curled straight into the top corner of the net at the near post. In injury-time Rosenallis were awarded a penalty after playmaker Damien Gorman was taken down and Alan Herbert stepped up to fire the spot kick to the back of the net to round off the win.
Rosenalis B: Benny Corcoran; Fint Gorman, Eugene Conroy, Michael McEvoy, Paddy Keating, John Hughes, Alan Conroy, Damien Gorman, Joe Dooley, Alan Herbert, PJ Fitzpatrick. Subs: Ian O’Callaghan for Alan Conroy (58mins), Jack Gorman for Fint Gorman (58mins), Robbie Malone for John Hughes (79mins), Ivan Conroy for Joe Dooley (88mins)
CR Forest: Liam Gorman; Shane Hyland, Liam Boland, William Loughnan, James Maher, Liam Fleming, Brian Crosbie, David Larkin, Paul Holohan, Ronan Weston. Subs: Jason Gorman for Ronan Weston (64mins), Brian Breslin for Liam Fleming (64mins)
Referee: Patsy Pardy