Laois Shopping Centre ACHL Division 1 Rd 5
By Pat Delaney
CONDITIONS were perfect at the Hawthorn on Sunday morning for the meeting of promoted Rosenallis and many times league champions Clough/Ballacolla who were unbeaten in their opening games.
On the other hand the visitors had shocked Castletown in round one but struggled to follow it up and seven days earlier suffered a bruising defeat to Borris/Kilcotton.
Clough/Ballacolla have been scoring freely and picked up where they left off in the last round. Early points by Brian Corby and Shane Hanlon laid down a marker. Rosenallis were slow to settle but points by Brian Fitzpatrick and Joe Keating settled them at a venue they seldom played previously.
Clough/Ballacolla then pushed on and a good passing move saw Aiden Corby shoot past Stephen Kelly. The same player added a point and soon capitalised in slack marking to shoot his second goal.
The second quarter saw Clough/Ballacolla score at their ease with points by Damien Bergin and Brian Corby and a third goal, with wind assistance this time, the other Corby, Aiden leaving the half time score 3-10 to 0-6. Brian Fitzpatrick had scored two late points for the visitors.
The second half saw wind assisted Rosenallis battle hard but they could not break down a very solid home defence. However, Walter Murphy did breach the backline midway through and two great points by centre back Conor Cosgrave lifted the visitors but that was as good as it would get.
When the hosts were awarded a penalty Ronan Broderick stepped up and blasted to the net. The biggest cheer from the home supporters was when Willie Hyland made his first appearance of the season and he marked his debut with a trade mark point and another sub John Dwyer struck for a fifth goal near the end.
Clough/Ballacolla play Abbeyleix and in their final home game and then face the only other unbeaten team Borris/Kilcotton and that will decide who goes direct to the final and who contests the semi-final. Rosenallis welcome the Harps and finally make the journey to Rathdowney/Errill where even one point will preserve their status.
CLOUGH/BALLACOLLA: Danny Hanlon (0-1); Diarmuid Conway, Darren Maher, Eoin Doyle; John Delaney, Brendan McEvoy, Mick McEvoy (0-1); Ronan Broderick (1-0), Tom Delaney, Shane Hanlon(0-1); Damien Bergin (0-1), Adrian Doyle, Brian Corby (1-1); Jordan Walsh (0-1), Adrian Corby (2-8).
Subs: Chris Rafter for Walsh (25m), Willie Hyland (0-1) for S Hanlon (45m), John Dwyer (1-1) for A Doyle (50m)
ROSENALLIS: Stephen Kelly; Ruairi C Fennell, Marcus Redmond, Joey Shelley; Cillian Callaly, Cathal C Fennell, Conor Cosgrave (0-2); Jack Conroy; Donnagh Callaly; Paul Lynch, Walter Murphy (1-1), Sean Dunne; Brian Fitzpatrick (0-5), Joe Keating (0-3), Enda McEvoy.
Subs: Niall Doolan for McEvoy (h/t), James Redmond for Dunne (50m)