After shocking Camross in the last round, newly promoted and high-flying Rosenallis went into this game against last year’s finalists, Borris-Kilcotton, with absolutely nothing to lose. Rosenallis were guaranteed a Senior semi-final place regardless of today’s result.
Rosenallis produced another epic performance here, as they picked up another thoroughly deserved victory to top their group and march into a semi-final match, where they will have no fear of whoever they play.
Sharpshooting Borris-Kilcotton free-taker started the scoring in O’Moore Park, as he converted a free from close-range for his side. Patrick Keating replied for Rosenallis with an accurately hit 65’ though.
The same man, Patrick Keating, gave Rosenallis an early lead minutes later, as he found his range from a free, before powerful Rosenallis wing-back Conor Cosgrove landed the first score from play, and it was a monster of a score at that.
PJ Scully was usually unerring from frees, and the corner-forward levelled proceedings for Borris-Kilcotton with his second and third frees. Rosenallis midfielder John Lennon landed a fine score from an acute angle to put his side ahead once more though.
Keating was perfect from frees early on, as he pointed three in a row after ten minutes gone to put Rosenallis four points to the good. Scully replied with a free for Borris-Kilcotton, but the man who recently transferred in to Rosenallis, John O’Loughlin, scored another just before the first water break to help his side to a 0-8 to 0-4 lead.
Signs of another potential shock were on the cards at this stage, and the chances of that happening increased substantially when Rosenallis got in for the first goal straight after the water break.
John Lennon charged in towards the Borris-Kilcotton goals, but his shot was well saved by Borris-Kilcotton’s Eoin Fleming. Brian Fitzpatrick tried to finish the rebound, but again Fleming denied. However, Fleming’s heroics couldn’t deny John Lennon at the third time of asking, and Rosenallis’ tails were well and truly up.
Rosenallis were playing with a swagger, while Borris-Kilcotton looked flat at this stage. That swagger and confidence allowed Rosenallis to bury a second goal soon after the first one. John Lennon robbed Conor Kilbane on the Borris-Kilcotton 65’ and played it into Brian Fitzpatrick. He burst through challenges and bore down on goal, but cleverly gave it to Patrick Keating on the other side of the square, and Keating dispatched brilliantly.
Scully tried to settle Borris-Kilcotton down, but Patrick Keating replied again for Rosenallis, this time with a point from play. Borris-Kilcotton’s Stephen Phelan and Rosenallis’ John Lennon exchanged points before half-time, as Rosenallis went in with a stunning 2-10 to 0-6 advantage.
Borris-Kilcotton were caught flat footed in the first half, but they did begin the second-half the right way with an Aaron Dunphy point from a very tight angle. Borris-Kilcotton did have a decent wind behind them in the second-half as well, so this one wasn’t over by any means.
The other Borris-Kilcotton wing-forward, Colm Stapleton, landed another point from the opposite side, while Scully drilled a free to cut the gap substantially.
Rosenallis were beginning to struggle, and another long-range Stephen Phelan score left just the two goals separating the sides, with just five minutes played in the second-half.
It took Borris-Kilcotton a few minutes to get the next score and carry the momentum forward, as Rosenallis shored up a bit at the back. Scully did deliver from a free though at the fourty-minute mark, as his attempt fortunately struck the post and went in.
Rosenallis desperately required a score to gain back some confidence, but the few opportunities they did all drifted wide of the uprights.
They did manage to get their first score just before referee Anthony Stapleton blew the whistle for the first water break, as Rosenallis wing-forward Jack Conroy swivelled and split the posts.
The game roared to life when Borris-Kilcotton’s Scully struck for their first goal straight after the water break. Scully earned a free close to the Rosenallis goals, and he buried a powerful effort despite the presence of six Rosenallis players on the goal line.
Borris-Kilcotton had now reeled Rosenallis back to within a single goal with just over five minutes of normal time to play. Rosenallis’ John Lennon was having a superb game though, and he gave them some breathing room with a fine point from midfield.
Scully narrowed it to three points once again, but time was ticking away for Borris-Kilcotton. They had three minutes of added time to rescue a result.
Borris-Kilcotton midfielder Stephen Phelan brought the gap back to two points, but they desperately needed a goal at this stage. They failed to find it though, and Rosenallis went through to the semi-finals on the back of another brilliant victory.
Scorers: Patrick Keating 1-6 (0-4 frees, 0-1 65’), John Lennon 1-3, John O’Loughlin, Jack Conroy and Conor Cosgrove 0-1 each
Team: Stephen Kelly; John Maher, Marcus Redmond, Ruaidhri C Fennell; Fiachra C Fennell, Cathal C Fennell; John Lennon, Thomas Keating; Donnagh Callaly, John O’Loughlin, Jack Conroy; Patrick Keating, Brian Fitzpatrick, Ronan Murray. Subs: Jack Friel for Conroy (60 mins)
Scorers: PJ Scully 1-8 frees, Stephen Phelan 0-2, Stephen Dunphy, Colm Stapleton and Aaron Dunphy 0-1 each
Team: Eoin Fleming; Stephen Finan, Enda Parlon, Jim Fitzpatrick; Patrick Whelan, Stephen Phelan, Matthew Whelan; Stephen Dunphy, Conor Kilbane; Aaron Dunphy, Joe Campion, Colm Stapleton; PJ Scully, Neil Foyle, Emmet Jones. Subs: Dean Carey for Jones (55 mins), Brian Stapleton for Kilbane (55 mins)
REFEREE: Anthony Stapleton (Rathdowney-Errill)