Shamrocks seal knockout spot
Shamrocks booked their place in the Enniscorthy Farm Systems Junior football championship quarter-finals with a four-point Group A victory over Tara Rocks in Camolin on Friday.
Shamrocks 3-11 Tara Rocks 1-13
However, they needed a dramatic late show to seal the win, with the game heading into added time tied at 2-10 to 1-13. With the tempo ratcheted up, the Enniscorthy boys won a penalty which Colin Sheehan converted.
Apart from the pressure of the situation, the feat was especially notable because it was the Shamrocks forward's second successful penalty of the evening, after getting a spot-kick past Brian McDermott in the opening half too.
Any hopes of a Tara Rocks revival were dashed moments later when their opponents won a free and John O'Connor kicked the clinching score to give his side an important and hard-earned two points
Earlier, the victors looked like they might be in for a decent outing when going in at the interval leading by 2-4 to 0-7.
However, their Gorey District opponents kept plugging away and played the better football in the third quarter. Joe Bolger fired home a penalty to set up a tense and tight last few minutes.
The game swung back and forth with both sides kicking nice scores. There was nothing to choose between them heading into added-time but Shamrocks did the damage at the right time to edge to victory.
Shamrocks will finish top of the group if they manage to beat Oylegate-Glenbrien next time out, giving them theoretically the easiest quarter-final against the fourth side in Group B.
Tara Rocks, on the other hand, still have work to do to qualify for the last eight. The simple part of the equation for them is beat Shelmaliers and a quarter-final berth will be theirs.
Shamrocks: Tomás O'Brien; Ricky Murphy, Philip Freeman, Reece Dunne; Aaron O'Toole, Anthony Wallace, Podge Doyle; James Carty, Seán Wildes; John O'Connor, John Kavanagh, Barry Dobbs; Kyle Foley, Jack Moorehouse, Colin Sheehan. Subs. - Dwayne Kelly, Shane Larkin, Brandon O'Connor, Corey Breen.
Tara Rocks: Brian McDermott; Damien Tobin (capt.), Tomás Owley, Paddy Carton; Gearóid Ó Súilleabháin, Gary Owley, Martin Sheehan; Paul Carton (0-1), Brendan Hobbs; Paddy Phelan (0-1), Rhys Owley (0-2, 1 free), Patrick Fortune (0-1); James Mordaunt (0-2), Joe Bolger (1-5, 1-0 pen., 0-1 free), Noel Gallagher (0-1). Subs. - Shane Tobin, Declan Breen, Lee Owley.
Referee: Paul Browne (Clonee).