Thursday 14 November 2019

Rock rise to the challenge

Soccer - North East Football League (Premier): Parkvilla 1, Rock Celtic 2

How far back is it that the Seasiders tasted victory? How sweet therefore was this win then as they pulled off a minor miracle to preserve their premier division status against a team who hammered them 8-1 earlier in the season and are in the semi-final of the Tully Bookmakers Cup and finalists in the Kilmessan Shield .

Rock had to secure a draw to stay in the top division and had to travel for this daunting fixture, a defeat in which would have sent them into a relegation play-off. Played in wretched conditions on Wednesday night to a man the players rose to the challenge putting behind them their season mostly of woe after a bright start.

They put Parkvilla to the test in the early stages, and the home side had a couple of let-offs with twice Rock players through with only the goalkeeper standing in their way but couldn't capitalise of the chances.

However, one of the side's young players Oisin Meegan showed the way as he put Rock in front with less than 20 minutes elapsed.

He was set-up on the edge of the 18 yard box following a corner kick, and found the bottom corner of the net.

Barry O'Hare doubled their lead with only a minute played in the second-half. Sean Hand was upended in the home penalty box, and O'Hare was entrusted with the spot kick which he duly converted.

There was no notion that Parkvilla was taking it handy ahead of their more important engagements. The evidence certainly wasn't there. Their manager was worked up in any event.

The home side reduced the deficit 15 minutes from time. But Rock held out fairly comfortably until in the last minute when goalkeeper John Rogers pulled off a marvellous save down at the bottom corner from a header from a corner kick.

Rock: John Rogers, Shane O'Callaghan, Ed Maguire, Gavin Toner, Liam McDonnell (Liam O'Callaghan 75), Ciaran Clarke, Paddy Reilly, Eanna McArdle, Oisin Meegan, Barry O'Hare, Sean Hand ( Ronan Sands 85).

The Argus