Nenagh AFC 'A' 4 - Rearcross 'A' 3
With Rearcross A having to face the reality that a considerably large number of their original squad look likely to be missing for the remainder of the season due to injuries, work commitments and new babies, it was perhaps testimony to the spirit and endeavour of the remaining few that the boys in green and white almost pulled off what would have been a great upset by beating taple toppers Nenagh AFC in a game played at Islandbawn on Sunday last. The game got off to a jittery start but it was the away side who were doing most of the pressing and indeed could have gone in front if Simon Kennedy’s chest and long range strike hadn’t been caught by the wind with the Nenagh custodian caught off his line. Danny Butler was looking dangerous for the home side and in the 33rd minute had his shot well saved by Sean Sheehy. Rearcross then almost took the lead in the 42nd minute after good work by Kieran Devitt and Mark Hogan on the by line set up Liam Ryan whose low left footed drilled shot was saved by the fingertips of Cillian Fitzpatrick. The home side broke up the field after this and finished the counter attack with a goal – Danny Butler hitting a right footed screamer from outside the box to leave Sheehy with no chance in goals. Rearcross were confident they were going to take something from the game however and vowed at half time that the least they would be leaving with was a point. Indeed this prediction seemed to be on the cards in the 53rd minute when good work by Evan Gleeson saw the ball break to Kieran Devitt who released Darragh Kennedy who in turn finished with aplomb. Liam Ryan then came desperately close to giving Rea’ the lead when his shot was saved by Fitzpatrick in the 55th minute, an event followed minutes later with a gilt edged chance for Ryan Gilmartin at the other end who should have done better with a headed effort from close range. With twenty five minutes left on the clock Nenagh went ahead in controversial circumstances when Rearcross goalkeeper Sean Sheehy was impeded in his effort to deal with a corner kick before Roy Creagh knocked to net, the goal being allowed to stand despite strong protestations from the Rearcross camp. The away side never gave up however and believed it was their right to be at the very least on level pegging and in the 73rd minute Mark Hogan’s free kick from outside the box snuck inside the upright to draw Rearcross level. With ten minutes remaining on the clock and a draw looking likely, hesitancy on the left hand side of the field handed the initiative to the home team as Thomas Sheppard found space to drill past Sean Sheehy. Rearcross were not fazed however and knew they had ten minutes to salvage the game, however nobody could have predicted what would happen next as less than a minute later Ryan Gilmartin made it 4-2 with a quite unbelievable looping effort from outside the box which the Ghanian Tony Yeboah would have been proud of in his younger Leeds United days. With two minutes remaining the natural ebb and flow of the game took its course once more when Darren Quigley’s corner kick broke to Liam Ryan who scooped the ball over the line from close range to make it 4-3. Rearcross pushed for the equaliser in the dying moments and were unlucky not to snatch a deserved share of the spoils. Well done to all involved on a great team effort. Thanks to Sean Sheehy, Liam Ryan and Darren Quigley who made the step up from the B team with great effect, and thanks also to Darragh Kennedy and Evan Gleeson – two youth team players who made outstanding impacts and truly showed their worth on the day in the unknown territory of the NT&DL Premier League. Finally. thanks to super sub Jim Caplis who played the unfamiliar role of striker after spending most of his adult years between the Rearcross posts.
Rearcross 'A': Sean Sheehy, Mark Hogan, Eamon Wade, Eamonn Devitt, Greg Kennedy, Darragh Kennedy, Simon Kennedy, Robert Harrington, Tommy Ryan (L), Liam Ryan (R), Kieran Devitt
Subs: Evan Gleeson for Greg Kennedy (45 mins), Darren Quigley for Simon Kennedy (84 mins), Jim Caplis for Eamonn Devitt (88 mins)
Nenagh AFC 'A': Cillian Fitzpatrick, Jordan Lewis, John Mitchell, Paul Kelly, Mark Cahill, Roy Creagh, Bryan McGee, Arthur Mitchell, Danny Butler, Thomas Sheppard, Ryan Gilmartin
Subs: Alan Sheehan, Brian Quinn, Cathal Coonan
Referee: Liam Lelly
Report compiled by Simon Kennedy