Surprise by Shamrocks
Another year of immense promise for Rathgarogue-Cushinstown came to a crashing conclusion as they slumped out of the Enniscorthy Farm Systems Junior football championship at the hands of Shamrocks in Clongeen on Saturday.
Shamrocks 4-5 Rathgarogue-Cushinstown 1-8
For several years now the New Ross District men have been perennial group high-flyers, only to fall short somewhere along the way in the knockout stages.
This time they were shown the door in a manner nobody would have predicted against a Shamrocks side which only qualified for the quarters with victories over relegated Clonard and pre-occupied Buffers Alley.
Take nothing away from Shamrocks, the Enniscorthy town side thoroughly deserved their victory. Rathgarogue-Cushinstown never led in this contest and that's simply down to the refusal of the victors to give an inch.
It would have been so easy to wilt late on. Having squandered a 24th-minute 2-3 to 0-2 lead when Rathgarogue-Cushinstown drew level eleven mintues into the second-half, most observers would have expected the fancied side to power on. It didn't happen like that.
Goals from Ronan Gahan, a tidy finish from Seán Wildes' pass, and an Emmet Quirke punched effort got Shamrocks into that strong position, but 1-3 from Nicky Sinnott brought his side back level with 19 minutes remaining.
Ricky Murphy and Aaron Ryan traded points within a minute of each other before two goals in 60 seconds stunned Rathgarogue-Cushinstown.
Seán Wildes was provider for both, setting up Robert Moorehouse for the first before sending Gahan in for his second.
Rathgarogue-Cushinstown dumped a few balls into the edge of the square but never looked like nabbing the two goals they needed.
It was left up to Moorehouse to put the seal on a stunning win with a sensational point from close to the endline on the left to book a semi-final meeting with neighbours Monageer-Boolavogue.
Shamrocks: Thomas O'Brien; Padge Dwyer, Mick Weafer, Ricky Murphy (0-1); Eddie Weafer, Anthony Wallace, Shane Larkin; John Kavanagh, Seán Wildes (0-1); Ronan Gahan (2-0), Emmet Quirke (1-0), Karl Cullen (capt.); Barry Dobbs (0-1), Robert Moorehouse (1-2), Maurice Casey. Subs. - Colin Sheehan for Casey (50), Brandon O'Connor for Sheehan, black card (60 + 1).
Rathgarogue-Cushinstown: Johathon Kelly; Robert Murphy, Paudie McGrath (0-1), Brian O'Neill; Ollie Bolger, Peadar Cody, Jason Dunne; Matthew Cody, Bernard Furlong; Jimmy Whelan, James Bolger (capt., 0-1), Aaron Ryan (0-1); Brendan Fitzpatrick (0-1), Peter Bolger, Nicky Sinnott (1-3, 0-2 frees). Subs. - Daire Bolger (0-1) for Fitzpatrick (31), Mark Carroll for J. Bolger (54), Paddy Murphy for Whelan (57).
Referee: Shane Quinn (Réalt na Mara).