Cushin­stown snatch vic­tory from jaws of de­feat

Enniscorthy Guardian - - SPORT - DEAN GOODISON


VIS­I­TORS Rath­garogue-Cushin­stown some­how snatched vic­tory from the jaws of de­feat to ad­vance to the Green­star Un­der-20 foot­ball Di­vi­sion 3 cham­pi­onship semi-fi­nal at the ex­pense of Hol­low Rovers in Cool­ree on Satur­day.

With the vis­i­tors trail­ing by seven with just six min­utes re­main­ing - hav­ing man­aged just seven points all game - the New Ross Dis­trict side found some­thing deep in­side, rat­tling off an unan­swered 2-3 to book their spot op­po­site Ferns St. Ai­dan’s in the last four.

It was a fine show of re­silience from Rath­garogue-Cushin­stown, con­sid­er­ing their hosts could have been out of sight by the time the re­vival started. The Duf­fry Rovers and Mar­shal­stown-Cas­tle­dock­rell com­bi­na­tion will feel this is one that got away.

They had at least six clear goal chances. In­vari­ably de­ci­sion mak­ing was an is­sue, as the quick pass to the open man would have yielded a more straight­for­ward chance many times, but Fionn Slat­tery equally de­serves credit for mak­ing a string of crit­i­cal saves.

He had pro­duced four stops in the first-half but his team still trailed at the in­ter­val (1-7 to 0-4). De­spite two Tadhg Cody points and a Paddy Bar­ron ef­fort, Cian Fitzhenry scored the first five mi­nors for his side as they eased in front.

Diar­muid Doyle kicked a nice score break­ing from deep be­fore Michael Kin­sella was fouled close to goal and Fitzhenry con­verted the spot-kick.

Eoin Porter got his first free be­fore the break but an­other from Fitzhenry brought his tally to 1-6 and his side’s lead to six just be­fore the whis­tle.

Porter (two) and Cody scored af­ter the re­sump­tion, but white flags from Kin­sella and Cian Cow­man kept the score­board tick­ing over at the other end.

When the in­flu­en­tial John Dunne was dis­missed for his sec­ond yel­low in the 46th minute it seemed to give Rath­garogue-Cushin­stown re­newed hope.

Yet the game didn’t change much in the next few min­utes, and if any­thing the Hol­low set­tled again and points from Michael Doyle and Fitzhenry in­creased the lead to seven (1-11 to 0-7).

Rath­garogue-Cushin­stown des­per­ately needed a goal and they found it when Cody net­ted af­ter be­ing picked out by a clever quick free.

There was still plenty of work to do, but points from Porter and Paddy Bar­ron nar­rowed the gap to two with as many min­utes left. Be­tween those scores, the Hol­low had wasted a close-range free as they started to look a bit frayed at the edges.

When Jack Mur­phy was fouled for a penalty in added time, Porter stepped up and made no mis­take. The clincher came mo­ments later from Liam O’Shea as Rath­garogue-Cushin­stown ad­vanced.

Rath­garogue-Cushin­stown: Fionn Slat­tery; Shane O’Con­nor, Ricky Mc­Grath, Adam Bookle; Liam Roche, Liam O’Shea (0-1), Seán Ke­hoe; Tadhg Cody (capt., 1-3), Eoin Porter (1-4, 1-0 pen., 0-3 frees); Eoin Burke, Paddy Bar­ron (0-2), David Thorpe; Jack Mur­phy, Ben Sut­ton, John For­ristal. Subs. - Dar­ragh Roche for For­ristal (35), Pat Ke­hoe for Sut­ton (39), Tomás Aspel for Ke­hoe (53).

Hol­low Rovers: Tom Lam­bert; Mark Ke­hoe, Mark Mor­ris, Jamie Roban; Alan Doyle, Gavin Watchorn, Diar­muid Doyle (0-1); John Dunne, Sea­mus Doyle; Michael Kin­sella (0-1), Michael Doyle (0-1), Cian Cow­man (01); Conor Cole­man, Colm Red­mond, Cian Fitzhenry (1-7, 0-4 frees). Sub. - John Neville for Cole­man (43).

Ref­eree: Martin Arm­strong (Starlights).

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