Saturday 16 December 2017

Shield final anti-climax for champs-in-waiting

David Ward of Rock Celtic makes his presence felt in the Kingscourt Harps penalty area. Pictures: Ken Finegan
David Ward of Rock Celtic makes his presence felt in the Kingscourt Harps penalty area. Pictures: Ken Finegan

CHAMPIONS-in-waiting Rock suffered a season-ending anti-climax when Division 2 side Kingscourt beat them to lift the Kilmessan Shield and make up for their defeat in the Tully Bookmakers Cup Final at the hands of Duleek.

It was a big disappointment for the Seasiders who today (Tuesday) were expecting to learn whether Duleek will take their appeal further over the title-defining match between the sides. The destination of this season's MDL Premier Division title had still not been settled beyond all doubt by Tuesday morning as Duleek remained silent about their intentions.

The Meath club had been deducted points for fielding an unregistered player in a match against Rock, and that decision by the League was subsequently upheld by the Leinster FA following an unsuccessful appeal by Duleek.

Rock were subsequently declared champions by the Meath & District League who were hoping to present the trophy at the Kilmessan decider, but with Duleek refusing to confirm whether or not they intended to pursue the matter further through the FAI the MDL decided they were unable to proceed with the presentation, which will now take place off the field of play.

The Seasiders' last competitive game was a month prior to Sunday, and although they fielded a practically full-strength side they never played with the necessary fervour or exhibited the level of play to reflect the difference between the respective sides in terms of their league positions.

Kingscourt, knockout cup specialists, also dumped Rock out of the main cup competition, and so the favourites couldn't offer the excuse that they didn't know what to expect. The underdogs played with far more passion, and looked more motivated for the occasion at Oriel Park.

Rock wasted a glorious opportunity to make a flying start when David Ward broke clean through the Harps defence in the opening five minutes.

Harps were dangerous from set pieces and from a partially cleared corner they took the lead. The unfortunate Paul Gore went to block a volleyed shot and ball deflected off him into his net after 15 minutes.

Rock drew level shortly after when they worked the ball down the left and it was played across the box for Derek Delany to slide it into the net.

They created plenty of chances in the second half but failed to avail of any of them, and perhaps it was typical of their lacklustre performance that the winning goal just past the hour mark was the result of a comedy of errors after surrendering possession in an attacking position.

Rock Celtic: John Rogers, Conor McDonnell (John Sharkey), Paddy Reilly, Ross Quigley, Cormac McArdle (Ciaran Clarke), Kevin McArdle (Mark McGeown), Paddy Quinn, Paul Gore, Gerard McSorley, David Ward, Derek Delany.



Michael Hetherton Architect Div 3:

Fordrew 1, Bailieboro 2.


Gerry Reilly Memorial Cup Final:

Kingscourt 2nds 0, Kentstown 2nds 1.


LMFM Kilmessan Shield Final:

Kingscourt Harps 2, Rock Celtic 1.



Michael Hetherton Architect Div 3:

Bailieboro v Bohermeen, D Murphy [Prov].

The Argus

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