Rock too hard a nut to crack for Moortown

Rock 0-11 Moortown 0-10

Intermediate championship favourites Moortown bowed out of the competition yesterday afternoon at Plunkett Park in Pomeroy, where Rock produced a superb battling display to come through with the minimum to spare, writes Kevin Kelly.

These sides may be at opposite ends of the league table, but the old adage that championship football is a great leveller was certainly true here as the winners fought for every ball as though their lives depended on it.

They only led by two points at the break, despite having a strong wind at their backs, but in the second half they showed all the grit and determination that is required to deservedly book their place in the last four.

Aidan McGarrity put Rock in front inside thirty seconds but Tony Quinn quickly had the sides on level terms. Rock full forward Conor McCreesh, who was superb throughout, scored with both feet as the St.Patricks edged in front.

Moortown then created a goal chance but Conor Herron’s shot was brilliantly blocked by Ciaran Gourley. Karl O’Hagan and McCreesh exchanged points before the latter landed a massive free from distance.

The hardworking Brian McLernon had the final say of the half for Moortown who only trailed 0-7 to 0-5.

Quinn reduced the deficit from a free on the restart but good work from James McCreesh saw him set up his brother Conor for a point.

Moortown, however, were showing signs of getting on top and an effort from McLernon was followed by one from a Quinn free to level matters with eleven minutes left on the clock.

Quinn then put them in front for the first time in the contest but back came Rock with a fine score from midfielder Aidan Girvan.

With six minutes to go Moortown were reduced to fourteen men when full back Jarlath O’Hagan was dismissed for a second yellow card offence.

McCreesh put Rock back in front from a free after he had been fouled himself before James McCreesh pulled on a loose ball to leave two between them.

Quinn’s sixth point of the afternoon reduced the deficit to the minimum.

Nonetheless, in a frantic finish, the gutsy St.Patricks held on to go through to the semi-finals of the major tournament to play the winners of Eskra v Moortown.

A shell-shocked Moortown team will now be left to gather themselves together and concentrate all their energies into returning to senior football via the league route..