By Pat Delaney
TWELVE months ago Rosenallis survived a relegation play off beating Rathdowney/Errill and after a disastrous performance on Sunday last they are back in a relegation scrap. After a very promising performance against championship favourites Portlaoise, this was surely their worst since they began life in this grade.
Shanahoe too had an impressive first round performance against Clonaslee/St Manman’s who are now in the semi-final, and but for their wides total that day Shanahoe might be in the last four.
Rosenallis opened very impressively on Sunday in O’Moore Park and when midfielder Enda McEvoy stroked over a 65 the green clad side led 0-4 to 0-1 and Shanahoe looked in trouble.
Three minutes later the game changed. Anthony Kirwan moved outfield and sent an inch perfect pass to teenager Conor Hiney, making his debut at this level. He dropped the ball but let fly on the ground and the net danced.
Rosenallis then hit three terrible wides in a row and 17 minutes into the game a great Rosenallis move saw Joe Keating one and one with the keeper. John Clooney made a magnificent save and from the clearance Shanahoe won a line ball under the stand. From the line puck the talented Darragh Cripps met it and the net was shaking again.
Rosenallis were stunned and three minutes later disaster from another line ball when the ball broke to Rhian Bergin and he made no mistake. Rosenallis had conceded their third goal in ten minutes.
Mattie Collier tried to shuffle his forces but by now heads were dropping and in the same period Rosenallis drove six bad wides.
Darragh Cripps and Liam Cuddy added points and Enda McEvoy got one back for shell shocked Rosenallis.
When they thought it could not get any worse they were dealt a further blow two minutes before the break. This time Rhian Bergin was the provider for the Mountrath Community School student, Conor Hiney and he hammered home his second goal.
At half time the scoreboard read 4-3 to 0-6 in favour of Shanahoe.
Rosenallis came out for the second half and while the deficit was nine, it was manageable, but their body language suggested they were not up for the fight, although their defence did tighten up.
Liam Cuddy posted an early point for Shanahoe who were looking comfortable and already bracing themselves for the draw for the next round. Rosenallis did score two early points from Enda McEvoy and Simon Smith.
Darragh Cripps and Brian Fitzpatrick exchanged points but in truth the teams were only going through the motions. Rosenallis had a late consolation with substitute Walter Murphy taking a pass from John Lennon who hammered a great ball to the Shanahoe net.
Shanahoe will not fear anyone in the draw but Rosenallis now prepare for the survival battle for the second year in succession.
SHANAHOE: John Clooney; Brian Guilfoyle, Mark Kirwan, Dayle Bergin; Ciaran Breen, Jim Kirwan, Pat O’Toole; Jack Delaney, Liam Cuddy (0-3); Leigh Bergin (0-1), Shane Cuddy (0-1), Darragh Cripps (1-4); Conor Hiney (2-1), Fintan Bowe, Anthony Kirwan (0-1).
Subs: Rhian Bergin (1-1) for L. Bergin (5m), Karl O’Keefe for S. Cuddy (53m), Fionn Sinnott for Bowe (55m), Evan McEvoy for A. Kirwan (56m), JT Delaney for D. Bergin (58m)
ROSENALLIS: Stephen Kelly; Marcus Redmond, Tom Keating, Nicholas Dunne; Ruaidhi C Fennell, Cormac White, Tom Gorman; Enda McEvoy (0-3), Jack Conroy (0-1); John Lennon, Niall Doolan, Brian Fitzpatrick (0-2); Joe Keating (0-1), Ronan Murray (0-2), Simon Smith (0-1).
Subs: Fiachra C Fennell for Gorman (25m), Eoin Carroll for Dunne (52m), Walter Murphy (1-0) for J. Keating (49m)
Referee: Michael Ward (Borris/Kilcotton)