Hartnett seals dramatic late winner for Rochestown

ROCHESTOWN COLLEGE’S Gary Hartnett showed a cool head to slot an injury time penalty past St. Flannan’s keeper Killian Normoile to earn his team the narrowest of victories in their Corn Uí Mhuirí Group A meeting at Charleville yesterday.

Having played some of the more attractive football and with some brilliant individual performances, particularly in the half-forward line, St Flannan’s will feel they should have seen the game out.

Meanwhile, Rochestown had outstanding centre-back Alan O’Donovan to thank for inspiring his side’s second-half comeback.

The Cork outfit sprang the game’s first attack and centre-forward Eamon Mooney found himself unmarked at the back-post when he collected a long ball but he blasted his shot over the bar.

It wasn’t a sign of things to come, however, as Flannan’s took over with midfielder Seán Corry at the heart of every move.

The Ennis team’s scoring potential was revealed when centre-forward Conor Cleary landed two sublime long range scores, followed by an equally impressive strike from centre-forward Barry Lynch.

20 minutes of Flannan’s dominance should have yielded more than the one point lead they boasted when Rochestown’s Aaron Ward knocked over his side’s third point on 23 minutes. Two more Flannan’s scores were cancelled out by Kevin Hodgin’s goal five minutes before the break, the centre-forward finishing off a great team move.

Having been lucky to go into the break 0-7 to 1-3 in arrears, Rochestown showed their intent in the first six minutes of the second-half, notching three unanswered points. However, it was Flannan’s turn to bag a goal against the run of play as Martin O’Leary powered his shot into the roof of the net on 39 minutes to restore the Clare sides’ lead.

It was nip and tuck for the remainder of the game with the Ennis school poised to claim a slender victory after an O’Leary free handed his side a two point lead with normal time just about up.

However, Rochestown refused to yield and a flowing exchange of passes set O’Donovan through on goal before the Flannan’s defence hauled him to the ground allowing Hartnett to snatch a dramatic victory.

Scorers for Rochestown: G Hartnett 1-1 (1-0 pen), A O’Donovan 0-3, K Hodgins 1-0, J Somers 0-2 (2f), E Mooney, C Cormac, M Dolan and A Ward 0-1 each.

Scorers for St. Flannan’s: M O’Leary 1-3 (0-1f), C Cleary 0-4 (0-1f), B Lynch 0-2, A McGuaine, D Kerrins and D Conroy 0-1 each.

ROCHESTOWN COLLEGE: E Dolan; K Flahive, R White, D Barrett; D Meaney, A O’Donovan, S McDonald; J Somers, A Murphy; E Mooney, K Hodgins, E O’Connor; G Hartnett, C O’Brien, A Ward.

Subs: C Cormac for O’Brien (ht), M O’Connor for Ward (45), M Dolan for O’Connor (55).

St. FLANNANS: K Normoile; C Dolan, G Ryan, R Rafferty; S Ward, A McGuaine, T Lynch; C MacMahon, S Corry; C Cleary, B Lynch, D Kerin; D Conroy, M O’Leary, E Courtney.

Subs: D Neylon for Rafferty.

Referee: M Meade (Limerick).

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