Tyrone champions knocked out by Kerry Junior kingpins

editorial image

Rock’s dreams of All-Ireland glory came to an end at Ballinasloe just coming up short in another closely contested clash with Brosna - on a day when key decisions went against the St.Patricks.

Trailing by three points at halftime Rock were reduced to fourteen men in the third quarter and also lost influential captain Aidan Girvan to a questionable black card.

It was one of a number of decisions by Mayo whistler Jerome Henry that went against Tyrone and Ulster champions; but, even with that, they could have won the game.

They drew level with their opponents with ten minutes to go but they missed chances at a time when they had their opponents on the rack.

The Kerry men didn’t score in the second half until the 27th minute but, crucially, it was the only goal - and Mike Finnegan’s strike was enough to break Rock’s hearts.

Brosna who opened the scoring straight from the throw in from corner forward Adam Barry but by eighth minute Rock had their noses in front, Conor McCreesh converting a free after Girvan had charged through to equalise.

Barry and McCreesh traded points before Brosna got a grip on things with Tom McGoldrick knocking over five frees in a row between the 15th and 24th minute, some of them of the soft variety to say the least.

Rock had the final say of the half when Martin McCreesh laid the ball off for his brother Conor to point to leave it 0-7 to 0-4 at the turnover.

Inside the first minute of the second half Conor McCreesh reduced the deficit further from a placed ball after he had been fouled himself.

In the 43rd minute Rock lost defender Ryan Crilly to a red card but moments later Martin McCreesh curled the ball over the bar to reduce the deficit to the minimum.

They then lost Girvan to a black card but they dug deep with Ciaran Gourley, who had a superb second half, drawing them level.

Brosna were at sixes and sevens as Rock continued to have the better of things but they missed a few chances to get in front to see them get over the finishing line.

With three minutes to go a McGoldrick free dropped into the Rock defence and, when it broke into the path of full forward Finnegan, he fired past keeper Niall Mullan.

It was a cruel blow and it was Finnegan who hit the insurance point for the Munster champions as Rock’s brave title challenge came to an end.