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A GOAL in each half was enough to secure all three points for Rock Celtic in a keenly contested tie against Blayney last Sunday at Sandy Lane.

On a glorious late autumnal morning it was the young Rock side that showed the more clinical edge to move above their County Monaghan opponents in the table. Both sides went into the fixture level on 12 points and it was clear to see that both teams were evenly matched.

The first real chance of the game came after five minutes when Edward Otesanya was unable to keep his volley from sailing over the crossbar. Rock hit the front five minutes later when they profited from a huge slice of good fortune. A corner from the right hand side sailed over everyone only to hit Donal Leavy on the back and rebound into the top corner of the Blayney net.

The away side was struggling to create any real clear cut chances but almost got back on level terms when a dangerous low cross evaded the strikers. It was as close as the away team came in the first half and Rock Celtic almost doubled their lead when James McNamara had two good efforts saved by the Blayney ‘keeper to leave it 1-0 at half-time. The second half was a very even affair with both teams enjoying good spells of pressure throughout.

The first chance of the half fell to Blayney after only four minutes but the shot was blazed wide. Indeed, it was the away team that was creating the more dangerous chances but Jack Donohue was brave to save at the feet of the strikers on two occasions.

Both sides traded chances with Leavy almost doubling his goal tally for the day only to be denied by Callan in the Blayney goals.

The game was on knife edge for long periods of the second half but the home side were able to breath a little easier with 10 minutes to go when Charlie Murdock pounced on a ‘ keeper mistake to make it 2-0 to Rock Celtic.

The visitors almost pulled one back when Liam McDonald stinging drive came back of the post and was cleared. It was the last moment of danger for the home side and they held on to claim an important three points.

ROCK CELTIC: Jack Donohue, Neil McGuillan, Patrick Mullen, Aaron Gartlan, Conall McCaul, Donal Leavy, Edward Otesanya, Declan Curtain, James McNamara, Robbie Ryan, Charlie Murdock, Josh Hanna. BLAYNEY ACADEMY: Sean Callan, Mark Kennedy, Liam McDonald, Oisin Duffy, Jason Nicholl, Seanan O’Brien, Patrick McMahon, Andrew Connolly, Joshua Wilson, James O’Brien


THIS clash was every the clichéd ‘game of two halves’ as Redeemer fought back from a three-nil half-time deficit to take all three points back home. The win was the away side’s first win of the season and sees them pull three points clear of bottom placed Setanta. The three points looked a million miles away after a torrid first half display saw Redeemer concede three goals.

The first of those goals came in the ninth minute when Jack Connolly raced onto a long ball and flicked the ball past the Redeemer ‘keeper into the bottom corner. The second goal arrived only five minutes later when Ronan Baldwin was played through and supplied a cool right foot finish.

Both Paddy Craven and Baldwin missed good chances to further increase the Rockville lead before Craven smashed home a stinging left foot shot to make it 3-0 after 28 minutes. The away side was on the ropes but managed to string a few passes together to relieve the pressure. Their best chance of the opening period came in the final minute of the half when Colm Bracken raced past several defenders and firing off a shot that was saved by Byrne in the Rockville goal.

The second half was a rollercoaster of an event for all involved as Redeemer went on the hunt for goals from the very first whistle. Rockville played into their by trying to push their defence high up but they couldn’t handle the pace of Bracken who timed his runs to perfection causing huge trouble for the home team.

It was one of those Bracken runs that got the comeback rolling as he beat the offside trap and raced through on goal, his shot was saved but Mide Odubanjo whipped across a dangerous ball that was deflected into his own net by the unlucky Murphy to make it 3-1. Redeemer tails were up and they almost scored immediately following the restart but Byrne denied Odubanjo. Rockville’s lead was cut to just one goal when the dangerous Bracken cut inside the defender and curled home a left foot shot from just outside the box.

The game was all square with just 12 minutes left when Kyle Duffy was in the right place to drill the ball home following a frantic goal mouth scramble. The comeback was complete when Bracken made another dangerous run into the heart of the Rockville defense before he was eventually stopped but the ball fell to Calum McCrave who buried it to make it, unbelievably, 3-4 to Redeemer. The drama was not over yet and Rockville almost snatched a point in the final minutes but Odubanjo made a sensational goal line clearance with his head to seal all three points for Redeemer.

ROCKVILLE: Loui Byrne, Jack Connolly, Daniel Bryant, Cillian Mullen, Oisin Hughes, Paddy Craven, Rioghan Murphy, Conor Johnston, Jack Nordon, Paul Howard, Ronan Greene, Thomas Jackson, Joe Sweeney, Senan Duffy, Ronan Baldwin. REDEEMER: Cian Trimble, Armanial Tiyo, Darren Matthews, Fiachra McAleer, David Jackson, Kyle Duffy, Christap Opaii, Colm Bracken, Mide Odubanjo, Calum McCrave, Jay McGee, Ryan McDonald, Tope Oladitin