Cushinstown snatch victory from jaws of defeat
R’GAROGUE-C’TOWN 2-10 HOLLOW ROVERS 1-11
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).