Home Sport GAA Rosenallis hold off Courtwood comeback to retain SFC status

Rosenallis hold off Courtwood comeback to retain SFC status

John OLoughlin, Rosenallis - Photo Paul Dargan

Rosenallis 3-12 Courtwood 1-11
Laois SFC relegation

Rosenallis have secured their SFC status for 2021 after a hard-fought win over Courtwood in the LOETB Centre of Excellence on Friday night.

In an incident-packed game, Rosenallis were nine points up at half time, saw that lead whittled down to just one by the 41st minute, before rallying in the final quarter to win by seven. On top of that, Courtwood finished the game with 13 men after Luke Doran and Alan Kinsella picked up red cards.

With a strong wind blowing straight down the field towards the Abbeyleix end on Pitch 1, Rosenallis had it in their backs for the opening period and made full use of it. Paddy Wilson had opened the scoring for Courtwood but Rosenallis took over after that.

Ronan Murray knocked over a couple of frees to put them ahead before he played a one-two with Joey Shelly to curl over one from play.

Courtwood were struggling already now and Rosenallis were soon raising a green flag. It was midfielder Eoin Dunne who got it, as his low, left-footed shot from the edge of the area nestled in the bottom corner.

Rocked by that score, Courtwood were undone again minutes later. Joey Shelly slipped away from his marker 35 yards out and bore down on goal, drawing out the last defender and offloading to Brian Fitzpatrick, who jinked past Matthew Byron and tapped into an empty net.

Fitzpatrick then won a mark and popped it over the bar to open up a nine point gap.

Courtwood were then hit with another body blow when Luke Doran was red-carded for a rash challenge on Marcus Redmond, and things were quickly unravelling for them.

They needed to settle themselves, and Danny Luttrell pointed twice in quick succession to calm his side down a little. Eoin Dunne and Mick Doyle traded scores before Donagh Callaly and Dunne free for Rosenallis saw them lead 2-7 to 0-4 at the break.

Courtwood were in dire straits now but they had wind advantage in the second half, and quickly put it to use when play resumed.

Luttrell (free) and Alan Kinsella both pointed inside of a minute before a long-range free from Luttrell dropped short, only for Paddy Wilson to steer it into the net for a goal.

That score sent confidence coursing through the Courtwood team, and they were utterly dominant for the next ten minutes or so. Mark O’Halloran set Alan Kinsella up for a good score before Niall Donoher hit two superb points from the left wing to leave just a single point between them.

Rosenallis were struggling to get past halfway for much of this spell, but Brian Fitzpatrick hit a crucial score for them just before the water break. That interval came at the wrong time for Courtwood as it stunted their momentum, and Rosenallis finished strongly.

Donagh Callaly pointed on the resumption before a lighting break forward ended with Ronan Murray gaining possession on the edge of the area, and he curled a shot past Matthew Byron.

Courtwood were in big trouble now and Paddy Wilson and Niall Donoher pointed to try get them back up and running, but those were to be their last scores and Alan Kinsella was then red-carded for an off-the-ball incident.

Rosenallis kicked for home, starting with a brilliant left-footed point from Joey Shelly. EOin Dunne then did brilliantly to point a 45 into the wind before he then curled over the last point off the outside of his left boot to wrap up the victory.

SCORERS – Courtwood: Paddy Wilson 1-2, Niall Donoher 0-3, Dan Luttrell 0-3 (0-2 frees), Alan Kinsella 0-2, Cian Doyle 0-1. Rosenallis: Eoin Dunne 1-4 (0-1 free, 0-1 45), Ronan Murray 1-3 (0-2 frees), Brian Fitzpatrick 1-2 (0-1 mark), Donagh Callaly 0-2, Joey Shelly 0-1.

COURTWOOD: Matthew Byron; Nathan Little, Robbie Flynn, Seth Mooney Burns; David Duffy, Sean O’Flynn, Paul O’Flynn; Mark O’Halloran, Dan Luttrell; Niall Donoher, Alan Kinsella, Mick Doyle; Cian Doyle, Paddy Wilson, Luke Doran. Subs: Colm Wilson for M Doyle (half-time), Conor Hogan for Duffy (50 mins), Andrew Flynn for Hogan (58 mins), Mick Doyle for P O’Flynn (64 mins, inj).

ROSENALLIS: Donal Lalor; Marcus Redmond, Ruaidhri C Fennell, Tommy Keating; John Maher, Cathal C Fennell, Fiachra C Fennell; John O’Loughlin, Eoin Dunne; Colm Poole, Ronan Murray, Jack Friel; Joey Shelly, Brian Fitzpatrick, John Lennon. Subs: Donagh Callaly for Redmond (25 mins, inj), Mark Dunne for Lennon (62 mins).

REFEREE: Seamus Mulhare (The Heath)

SEE ALSO – December football final on the cards in Laois as inter-county set to halt club activity