Rossiter free earns replay
Absorbing Minor Premier decider ends in stalemate
Mark Rossiter's additional time pointed free brought a fitting end to this excellent game of football as Mogue O'Rahilly's salvaged a draw with St. Martin's in their Wexford People Premier Minor championship final clash at Taghmon on Saturday.
St. Martin's 2-7 Mogue O'Rahilly's 2-7
The combination of Fethard and Gusserane seemed to have put in a match-winning effort through the opening 30 minutes, at the end of which they held a five-point interval lead having played into the breeze.
However, St. Martin's gained the plaudits on the resumption, as two excellently-finished goals from Diarmuid Barry seemed have set them on course to complete the double-double.
In the end they were caught by a stirring finish from their opponents, as after Mikie Dwyer was fouled in additional time, Rossiter held his nerve to kick over a 35-metre levelling pointed free.
A draw was a fitting result and given the standard of football the large crowd has been afforded an opportunity to sample even more of the same in the replay.
At the end of the 60 minutes there was much confusion regarding extra-time, with Coiste na nOg Board seemingly unable to give a clear direction, this despite the general opinion that all finals ending level should be replayed.
How the confusion arrived is perturbing as it all seemed so straightforward, but the teams and supporters were left shrouded in doubt, and this despite referee John Carton calling a halt as he had not been instructed that extra-time should be played in the event of a draw.
Incidentally, Carton had a fine game and it's fitting that both sides are given a further opportunity to display their undoubted talents.
Losing the corresponding hurling final was devastating for Mogue O'Rahilly's, but they seemed determined to atone for it when, after Ben Maddock and Mark Rossiter had exchanged points on eight and eleven minutes, they struck for the game's opening goal.
Mikie Dwyer was sparkling when in possession and after 13 minutes he knifed his way through the opposing defence and saw his effort for goal blocked by 'keeper Shane Parle, but Cillian Molloy was lurking just outside the small square to boot the ball high into the roof of the net.
That gave his side a 1-1 to 0-1 lead, a score that was to set the team alight.
Both sides created chances but one had to wait until the 20th minute for the next score, a Mark Rossiter pointed free after he was fouled.
St. Martin's now began to show more urgency and directness in their play, responding with fine points from Michael Codd and Kyle Firman to reduce the deficit to 1-2 to 0-3 after 23 minutes.
However, one minute later a tremendous run by Mikie Dwyer from midfield split open the opposing defence and his lay-off was flashed to the net by Richie Waters, much to the delight of their huge support.
Rossiter (free) and Rory O'Connor went on to exchange points to leave the New Ross District combination ahead by 2-3 to 0-4 at the interval.
One minute into the second-half Barry O'Connor pointed a free, while he followed with a second pointed free three minutes later.
And after 36 minutes St. Martin's got a crucial breakthrough as Diarmuid Barry worked his way across goal before wrong-footing 'keeper Micheál Ryan as his shot entered the opposite corner of the net, leaving the sides level (1-6 to 2-3).
It was a real turnaround despite Mike Dwyer pointing his side back in front three minutes later, as at the end of the third quarter Barry received a neat Barry O'Connot pass and once again finished low to the net, leaving St. Martin's leading by 2-6 to 2-4.
By the 48th minute points from Dwyer and Rossiter once again had the sides deadlocked on 2-6 apiece.
Six minutes from the end a Barry O'Connor pointed free restored his side's lead which looked sufficient to give them the title, until Rossiter popped up with his additional time pointed free to bring the final to a replay.
St. Martin's: Shane Parle; Cian Ryan, Ben Maddock (0-1), Philip Dempsey; Eoin O'Leary, Conor Firman, Jack Roche; Rory O'Connor (0-1), Peter Barry; Jack Devereux, Michael Codd (0-1), Barry O'Connor (0-3 frees); Diarmuid Barry (2-0), Kyle Firman (0-1), Ben Stafford. Sub. - Conor Coleman for Stafford.
Mogue O'Rahilly's: Micheál Ryan; Donal Kiely, Gavin Sheehan, Thomas Ryan; Nathan Hayes, Mark O'Neill, Martin Doyle; Richard Waters (1-0), Jimmy Sutton; Jack Culleton, Mark Rossiter (0-5, 2 frees), Michael Barden; Cillian Molloy (1-0), Sam Wall, Mikie Dwyer (0-2). Subs. - Aaron Murphy for Molloy, Eoin Ryan for Barden, Brian Dillon for Culleton, Donal Kinsella for Sutton (black card, 52).
Referee: John Carton (Monageer-Boolavogue).