Tullamore side CK Utd are one of the form sides in the whole of the CCFL of late and they kept the pressure on league leaders Gallen Utd with a comprehensive display against Rosenallis at The Grove on Sunday morning. The hosts never-say-die attitude did have United a little worried midway through the second half but the visitors responded in style with four three late goals to put the gloss on a valuable win in terrible conditions.
With a huge chunk of the weekend’s fixtures affected by the heavy rainfall, Rosenallis was one of the few grounds to see action and the two sides certainly served up enough goalscoring action to compensate. Indeed, were it not for Rosenallis keeper Damian Shelley there could have been a whole lot more, but CK will be delighted to come away with the points from a notoriously tricky fixture.
They started much the brighter and took the lead inside fifteen minutes when a quick break saw CK winger Paul Kinnarney break free before finding Trevor Wright with a neat low cross. Wright quickly diverted the ball into the path of Damian Terrence and he slotted the opener underneath Shelley to give his side a deserved lead.
Things got worse for the home side three minutes later when CK struck again. A superb run down the right channel from Michael Bracken created the opening for Trevor Wright who just managed to get his shot away under pressure from Niall Doolin and the ball was nestled in the bottom right hand corner of the Rosenallis net.
The signs were on the wall for the hosts but as always they refused to lie down and less than a minute later they were back in the game. Kenny Farrell hung a delightful free in the air and James Jackson sprung the attempted offside trap to glance a delicate looping header over CK keeper Alan Delaney to cut the lead in half.
Jackson then had a great chance to equalise midway through the half when he was released on goal with a clever Mark Dunne pass but the normally reliable finisher dragged his shot across goal in the mucky conditions and watched as his effort slid the wrong side of the post. It was a miss that would prove costly for the Rosenallis men because from their next venture forward CK bagged their third of the morning. A huge punt forward from Alan Delaney was deftly flicked on by Trevor Wright and Brendan Bracken nipped in ahead of Damian Shelley and poked a low shot into the empty net.
Rarely will a keeper concede seven goals and still have a good game but this was one of those rare occasions because Shelley denied a hatful of CK scoring chances with some impressive saves, especially given the far from ideal weather. Twice he denied CK their fourth but just on the stroke of half-time Paul Kinnarney left him with no chance after a quick ball from Trevor Wright found Kinnarney in space and he unleashed an unstoppable shot high into the roof of the net.
Trailing by three goals and with the rain driving down, you would have forgiven Rosenallis for letting their heads drop but to their credit they came back out after the break and strung some much better football together. Damian Shelley continued to keep the Tullamore men at bay at the other end and the hosts got their rewards through a fortuitous Kenny Farrell goal. Farrell tried his luck from long range but his effort took a wicked deflection off Jimmy Kinnarney and ended up in the bottom corner of Alan Delaney’s net.
CK had let the Rosenallis men find renewed confidence but they couldn’t turn that into any more goals and in the end CK recovered to seal the win in style. Brendan Bracken stepped up with twenty minutes left and whipped a peach of a free into the top right hand corner of the net to make it 5-2 and from there on the result was finally copper fastened.
A well-worked move created the easiest of finishes for Trevor Wright to make it six and the scoring finally came to an end on the stroke of full time when CK sub Darren Flanagan swung in a sublime goal from thirty yards out.
ROSENALLIS: Damian Shelley, Mark Graham, Marcus Redmond, Donal Lawlor (Ian O’Callaghan 59), Stephen McEvoy, Niall Doolin, Kenny Farrell, John Dunne, Mark Dunne, James Jackson, Darren McEvoy.
CK UTD: Alan Delaney, Stewey Carroll, Niall Bracken, Jimmy Kinnarney, Kevin Keenahan, Paul Kinnarney, Michael Bracken, Trevor Wright, Brendan Bracken, Damien Terrence (Darren Flanagan 66).
Referee: Adrian Martin