It’s not often that a centre-half bags a hat-trick, but such was Aaron McDonnell’s aerial supremacy against Rosenallis on Sunday morning, he could even have had one or two more.
FAI JUNIOR CUP ROUND 2
Edenderry Town 3
The lanky defender was the undoing of the home side up at The Grove with three goals of almost identical fashion, with all three coming from superbly flighted Shane Forde corners that had the Rosenallis defence under pressure right throughout this entertaining cup tie.
Rosenallis played well in patches and at times looked the more likely to come away with the win, but they failed to create the chances they needed, and the ones they did manufacture were spurned. Town were much more effective in that crucial area, taking their chances when they came and ensuring that they made the trip back home with the next round of this prestigious cup to look forward to.
It was the home side that started the brighter and striker James Jackson was unlucky not to have opened the scoring after a bright start from the in-form striker that saw him create two chances with determined work. Unfortunately for Jackson and his side, Edenderry’s goal was guarded by excellent young keeper Colin McCormack. Twice he denied Jackson with smart saves, and they were made to regret those early misses when Aaron McDonnell swept home his first of the game fifteen minutes in. Town winger Shane Forde whipped in a low ball and McCormack’s scuffed effort creeped through a sea of green jerseys and nestled in the bottom corner of the home net past Damien Shelley.
That goal stifled Rosenallis and they found it difficult to make any impression on a well-drilled Edenderry side who are currently struggling at the foot of the Senior Division. Only an in-swinging Donal Lawlor corner made Colin McCormack work and he dealt with the danger with a strong punched clearance to maintain his side’s lead at the half-time whistle. Midfielder Kenny Farrell, a key figure in the heart of the Rosenallis midfield had to come off at the break but his teammates started the second half in encouraging form and they finally broke the resilient Town defence twelve minutes after the restart.
James Jackson had only minutes earlier sent a neat shot fractionally wide of the post and he was at the heart of the move that got the hosts back on terms. He collected a loose ball just inside the Edenderry half and played a quick one-two with Farrell’s replacement Darren McEvoy. Jackson latched onto the incisive ball but his low shot under the keeper ran out of steam only for the lively McEvoy to pounce and hammer it home from five yards out.
Edenderry looked to have lost their momentum and it was the men in green that looked the more dangerous until Town retook the lead slightly against the run of play with twenty minutes left. Marcus Redmond slid a dangerous ball in just inched past his own post to concede a corner but Aaron McDonnell rose highest to power an unstoppable header past Damien Shelley from a the edge of the six-yard box.
The Edenderry man was causing the Rosenallis rearguard all sorts of problems and just nine minutes later he did it again to claim his unlikely hat-trick and effectively ensure Edenderry’s passage to Round 3. Again Shane Forde provided the assist with a perfect corner and despite the close attention of two Rosenallis defenders McDonnell snuck in to power home from close range. The hosts continued to press for a goal that might reignite a late challenge but it wasn’t to be and their FAI Junior Cup challenge came to a shuddering halt.
ROSENALLIS: Damien Shelley, Mark Graham, Marcus Redmond, Donal Lawlor, Steven McEvoy, Kenny Farrell (Darren McEvoy 45), Tommy Gorman (Niall Doolin 67), John McLoughlin, Ian O’Callaghan (Paul Friel 83), James Jackson, Anthony Gorman.
EDENDERRY TOWN: Colin McCormack, John Doyle, David Keogh, Willie Pender, Daragh Fitzgerald, Aaron McDonnell, Martin McNamee (Ken McNamara 52), Ciaran McManus (Sean Moore 64), Keith Duffy, Alan Pender (Paul Hanlon 87), Shane Forde.