Rearcross U-14's 4 - Arra Rovers 1
Rearcross FC Grounds hosted this U-14 Cup semi-final on Saturday morning between Rearcross & Premier Division outfit Arra Rovers with Rearcross staging a late rally to record a 4-1 win in a game that could have swung either way at different stages throughout the tie. The visitors missing a number of regulars on the day were under the cosh early on as Rearcross went on the attack from the kick off, Oran Connors corner kick was headed just wide by Stephen Rochford three minutes in. The Portroe side worked their way in to the game and Cathal Kennedy raced off his line to narrow the angle before making a point blank save. Rearcross were somewhat fortunate not to concede a penalty moments later. It was helter skelter at this point as Paul Nolan put in a crunching tackle in the middle of the field. The Rearcross custodian was in the action again on thirteen minutes with a superb one handed save from Daire Hogan to keep the scoreline intact. Brian Nolan did well two minutes later but Arra closed in to avert the danger. The Rea boys hit the front when Paul Nolan’s long range effort deceived the visiting keeper before the ball finished in the net. It was two nil to the Niall Ryan joinery sponsored side a minute later when Stephen Rochford was bundled off the ball outside the box. Oran Connor’s free kick ricocheted off the woodwork before Stephen Rochford was on hand to head home at the back post. Rearcross were flying at this stage and a Stephen Rochford rasper from outside the box on the half hour mark was barely over. The Portroe side were back in the game four minutes after the re-start when Eoin Grace broke in the centre to slide the ball home from inside the box. Arra enjoyed a period of dominance after this although Oran Connors came close with a left footed peg which was well saved. Cathal Kennedy produced a match winning save on 48 minutes after advancing to deny Daire Hogan when a goal looked certain. The onslaught continued as Paul Nolan got back to tidy up and then Cillian Kennedy headed off the line. Cian O’Toole put in a fine tackle on the end line to shut out the danger with sixteen to play. Rearcross had dug deep to work their way back in to the game and Patrick Dawson linked up with Oran Connors who was unlucky to see his strike finish in the side netting. Cathal Kennedy had a fine outing and raced off his line to deny the visitors and then Stephen Rochford got behind a pile drive to head clear under the crossbar. The hosts had weathered the storm and tacked on two late goals to put a gloss on the score line, the first coming on the stroke of full time when Oran Connors paced through before drilling on target, the ball squirmed in the goalmouth and looked to be over the line, but Aidan Bryan harried and did extremely well to prod home with the deftest of back heels. The win was copper fastened in the fifth minute of injury time after Brian Nolan was upended in the box, Dylan Ryan stepped up to finish with aplomb from the spot to seal a place in the decider for the Slieve Felim side. Rearcross will need to stay focussed considering the enormity of the challenge ahead and will go in to Final as underdogs but are there on merit and have nothing to lose at this stage with the League title already in the bag, well done to all on another fine performance.
Rearcross U-14's: Cathal Kennedy, Sean Malone, Cathal Ryan, Cian O’Toole, Cillian Kennedy, Paul Nolan(Capt), Stephen Rochford, Oran O’Connor, Patrick Dawson, Brian Nolan, Dylan Ryan, Colm Lenihan, Aidan Bryan, Eoin Sheldon,
Arra Rovers: Jason Quigley, Evan Rainsford, Michael Ryan, Shane Keating, Barry Connaughton, Robbie Creamer, Daire Hogan, Aaron Sharkey, Piotr Macrejewske, Eoin Grace, Kieran O’Brien
Referee: Andy Hall