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Rovers keep their heads above water

Rathangan AFC......................................1

Connell Rovers......................................1

Connell Rovers travelled to Rathangan in the hope of gaining a result that will assist them in their battle against relegation and they gained a point which may be invaluable at the end of the season.

The home side started the better and they hit the front after only six minutes when they won a free for a foul on Tommy Power 25 yards out.

Eoin Kennedy stepped up and curled a delightful ball around the wall and out of the reach of Rovers 'keeper Keith Hedderman.

Connell were lucky not to go a further goal behind one minute later but Hedderman came to the rescue with a superb one handed save from striker Mark McCormack.

Hedderman was again in action in the 26th minute, this time saving with his feet from McCormack who pounced on a loose ball in the box.

Rathangan were well on top at this stage as their work rate and crisp passing had the visitors on the back foot.

However, as half-time approached, Connell came more into the game and were unlucky not to equalise when Niall Flynn was played in by Brian Smith, but Rathangan 'keeper Mark Cassidy advanced well to smother Flynn's effort.

The second half saw Connell introduce Enda Brokerick for Dave Flynn up front and they immediately began to ask questions from the Rathangan defence.

The sides were level after 51 minutes when a superb move saw Gary Scully take possession in midfield and feed Niall Flynn wide on the left.

Flynn swung over a low cross, which was met on the volley by Brian Smith 12 yards out giving keeper Cassidy no chance.

Rathangan were stung into action by this setback and they forced a series of corners, from one of which Emmet Geoghegan was narrowly wide with a diving header.

Both sides created chances in the final 15 minutes with Enda Broderick and Joe O' Malley coming close for Rovers and Tommy Power and Tommy Moloney missing narrowly for the home side.

A draw was a fair result to this entertaining tie and the point gained sees Rovers a point clear of Castle Villa and three clear of Kilcullen at the foot of the table with three games remaining.

Rathangan AFC: Mark Cassidy, Aidan Kennedy, Pairic Kelly, Emmet Geoghegan, John Mulpeter, Daragh Carroll, Tommy Power, Eoin Kennedy, Richard Kelly, Tommy Moloney, Mark McCormack. Subs: Noel Byrne, Barry O Connell, David Cassidy, John Cassidy.

Connell Rovers: Keith Hedderman, Sean Plunkett, Mark Murnaghan, Karl Hegarty, Stephen Doyle, Barry Smith, Conor O Malley, Gary Scully, David Flynn, Joe O Malley, Niall Flynn. Subs: Declan Keogh, Ronan Ryan, Colin Edmonds, Enda Broderick, Seamus Ryan.

Referee: Martin Hickey.