Nenagh Celtic 'A' 7 - Rearcross 'A' 1
“I must be taken as I have been made. The success is not mine, the failure is not mine, but the two together make me.” ― Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
Rearcross ended up tasting the bitter pill of relegation from the NT&DL Premier League on Sunday last as they succumbed to a strong Nenagh Celtic second half performance in this end of season game. With the scores level at half time and Rearcross playing their heart out one might have thought the green and whites may go on to do the business in the second half to secure premier division safety, yet a bizarre concoction of three penalties, a sending off, one own goal and a number of basic errors around the goalmouth put paid to the away side’s aspirations. The game started at a frantic pace with Kieran Devitt linking up with Declan O’ Toole in the 2nd minute whose shot wasn’t far away. Sean Sheehy then tipped over from a Danny Ryan effort in the 8th minute before a good move involving Diarmuid Sheehy, Derek O’Toole and Evan Gleeson saw the latter come close moments later. With the game hanging in the balance it was the home team that edged ahead in the 26th minute with a Sean Healy finish from in front of goal, a lead that could have been extended three minutes later if not for Sean Sheehy denying his opposite number from the penalty spot. Rearcross then pegged it back level when captain Greg Kennedy finished with a cracking effort in the 31st minute, with the away side coming close to taking the lead soon after with an Evan Gleeson shot was well saved. Rearcross were on top at this stage and in the 33rd minute it took the woodwork to deny the visitors when an in-swinging corner kick clipped the crossbar. With the sides level at the half way mark Rearcross made a promising start to the second half with both Kieran Devitt and Evan Gleeson threatening. Luck was not with Rearcross however, and with the visitors unable to breach the home side’s defence it was the home side who took the lead in the 54th minute through a fortuitous own goal. Six minutes later the lead was extended to two goals with a Michael Ryan strike. Rearcross needed goals and applied a more gung ho approach following these two setbacks leaving themselves quite exposed at the back, a tactic which allowed David Walsh (62nd minute) and Matis Mikayalunas (75th minute) to extend Celtic’s lead. Rearcross were at this stage reduced to ten men and Nenagh took full advantage with Stephen Flynn and Stevie Ryan both scoring from the penalty spot in the remaining fifiteen minutes. A disappointing day and season for Rearcross A overall, however many positives can be taken, notably the impact made by youngsters Evan Gleeson and Darragh Kennedy, and of course the undying passion and commitment for the club shown by a large number of players from the squad even when the chips were down. Many thanks to manager Paudie Devitt who began the season with the team but who had to step aside due to outside commitments, and a special word for his brother Eamonn who, despite playing, took over the managerial helm with much fervour and strived to do his best for the club all season long. Indeed in the annals of history, Eamonn Devitt will go down as the manager who guided Rearcross to the magical First Division double of 2012/2013 alongside selectors Diarmuid Sheehy and Simon Kennedy. Rearcross FC pride themselves on being the best they can be and will no doubt begin plotting their assault on the First Division in the coming months. Promotion back to the Premier League is a commendable ambition for next season but familiarity with this bunch of players predicts they will want nothing more than to strive for trophy honours again next year. Best of luck to all involved.
Nenagh Celtic ‘A’:Aidan Herlihy, Nigel Flood, Paul Walsh, Mark Walsh, Matas Mikalajunas, Davie Walsh, Danny Ryan, Michael Ryan, Stephen Flynn, Michael Hynes, Sean Healy
Subs: Stevie Ryan, Paraic O'Meara
Rearcross 'A':Sean Sheehy, Robert Harrington, Eamonn Devitt, Eamonn Wade, Greg Kennedy, Declan O’ Toole, Diarmuid Sheehy, Simon Kennedy, Derek O’ Toole, Evan Gleeson, Kieran Devitt
Subs: Darragh Kennedy for Kieran Devitt (58th minute), Tommy Ryan (L) for Robert Harrington (68 minute), Liam Ryan (R) for Declan O’ Toole (68 minute)
Referee: Toddy Sweeney