NT&DL Tipperary Cup 2nd Round:
Roscrea Town A 2
Tom Ahern 14′
Brian Franks 63′
Portumna Town 1
Rory Finnegan 26′
Roscrea Town qualified for Round 3 of the Tipperary Cup after a dogged win over Division 1 leaders Portumna Town.
In a tense start neither team could take control and it took fourteen minutes for the first real chance, Craig Phelan found Tom Ahern and his pass put John Pio Fitzpatrick through but his mishit became a very fortunate one as Ahern was on hand to poke the ball home, perhaps against the run of play. Portumna nearly replied immediately when Ronan O’Meara found space down the left and he pulled the ball back to Garry Curran but the ball unfortunately went behind the striker, a good chance.
Portumna continued to press and Finnegan found space 2mtwenty five yards from goal and his shot was heading for the top corner only for Roddy Teehan to tip the ball over the bar with a fine save. Finnegan was to get his reward though on the twenty sixth minute when a brilliant ball from O’Meara sent him through and he in turn rolled the ball past a helpless Teehan to level the scores.
Roscrea nearly retook the lead within seconds though when Shane Moloney was put through down the left by Ahern and he squared it to Franks who’s effort was deflected just over the bar. The game was end to end at this stage and Ryan Hanrahan found himself in space down the right and he found Curran in the box but his weak effort was easily saved by Teehan. Roscrea might have taken the lead on the stroke of half time when a well worked short corner was placed to Franks and his low drive was saved well by O’Meara in the Portumna goal.
The second half started brighter for Roscrea and seven minutes in Fitzpatrick put Niall O’Lone through and but for a tremendous last ditch tackle from Ciaran Haugh Roscrea would have taken the lead. Roscrea then got two quick fire corners from Franks and both landed to Beanie Treacy but his two efforts went off target when really he should have done better. It was to be third time unlucky though for Portumna though when this time a corner from Fitzpatrick was headed clear as far as Franks but his fantastic drive found the top right hand corner leaving O’Meara with no chance.
Roscrea should have doubled their lead fourteen minutes from time when a John Cordial free kick was headed on by Fitzpatrick but Ahern could not redirect the ball towards goal from three yards.
The game ended on a source note when Fitzpatrick was given his marching orders with seven minutes remaining and Ronan O’Meara was also sent off two minutes later, both for second bookable offences by referee Naoise Lawler who in fairness had a fine game today.
A good win for the hosts and a good test for Portumna who will be plying their trade with Roscrea next season in the Premier Division.
Roscrea’s top players on the day were Roddy Teehan, Paul Franks, Brian Franks and Tom Ahern while Ciaran Haugh, Garry Curran and Ryan Hanrahan were brilliant for Portumna but the stoppagetime.ie Man of the Match goes to Rory Finnegan who was immense throughout, bossed the game from midfield and scored a fine goal to boot. Unlucky to be on the losing side