Jamie's goal brings joy to Rathgarogue-Cushinstown
Jamie O'Rourke punched Rathgarogue-Cushinstown to New Ross Standard Coiste na nOg Under-14 football Division 2 shield glory in added time at St. Patrick's Park on Tuesday.
Rathgarogue-Cushinstown 2-5 Blackwater 2-4
The diminutive attacker broke away on the right wing, tight to the endline, with just under a minute of added time on the clock to seal a dramatic comeback win against a very unlucky Blackwater side with a punched effort that floated just over the crossbar.
It was a fittingly dramatic end to a fast-paced, exciting match that followed the script of the sides' previous meeting. That clash had been a draw, the only one in 36 Division 2 group matches, so this was destined to be just as close and it was O'Rourke who produced the winner.
His side trailed until O'Rourke was fouled on the left wing and the reliable Rory O'Connor popped over the resulting dead ball with just 30 seconds of normal time remaining.
Yet, in the first-half it looked like the win might have been a lot easier for Rathgarogue-Cushinstown. They took the lead through O'Rourke after a couple of good goal chances came and went but Blackwater responded by finding the net at the other end when Tomás Murphy scored from Jonathon Blake's feed.
Murphy had other chances to stretch his side's lead (1-0 to 0-1) but came up against a goalkeeper in Luke O'Connor in tip-top form. Eventually Rathgarogue-Cushinstown started to take control. Rory O'Connor added a free before Darragh Roche drilled to the roof of the net and Billy O'Neill followed suit from Donal Porter's pass soon after.
However, Blackwater pointed through John O'Toole in first-half added time (2-2 to 1-1) and had drawn level by the eighth minute of the second period after Patrick O'Connor pointed and O'Toole netted from Adam Murphy's pass.
Rory O'Connor put Rathgarogue-Cushinstown back in front (2-3 to 2-2), only for their opponents to respond with points from Adam and Tomás Murphy. That was good enough for the Blackwater lead until the late show from O'Rourke altered the outcome.
Rathgarogue-Cushinstown: Luke O'Connor; Thomas McGrath, Tomás Asple, Pádraig O'Keeffe; Eoghan Devereux, Donal Porter, Aodhán Slattery; Niall Connolly, Adam Young (capt.); Patrick Kehoe, Darragh Roche (1-0), Gary Porter; Jamie O'Rourke (0-2), Rory O'Connor (0-3 frees), Billy O'Neill (1-0). Subs. - Conor Lyng for O'Keeffe (26), James Rossiter for Asple, black card (48), also Conor Kehoe, Conor Byrne, Vova Murphy, Eoghan McAuliffe, Charlie Walsh, Shane Dillon, Dean Bookle.
Blackwater: Ian O'Reilly; Shane Corrigan (capt.), Bryan Mooney, James Cullen; Jonathon Blake, Feídhlim Roche, Kealan Fikentscher; Patrick O'Connor (0-1), John O'Toole (1-1); Conor Byrne, Adam Murphy (0-1), Ross Berry; Josh Culleton, Don Redmond, Tomás Murphy (1-1). Subs. - Ben Cullen for Berry (33), Oliver Murphy for Roche, black card (49), also David Power, Fiachra O'Reilly, Jason Wallace, Seamus Walsh, Alan Malanowski, Adam Cullen, Brian Óg Cullen.
Referee: Ian Plunkett (Marshalstown-Castledockrell).