Roger Casements 1-20
Naomh Padraig 0-11
ROGER Casements finished the league season in third place after blitzing Naomh Padraig either side of half-time to run out the winners at The Sphinx. Kevin Ryan’s goal just after the interval proved to be the highlight for the Coventry side.
While Casements were securing their Division One status, over at Pairc na hÉireann St Barnabas were unable to grab the necessary victory in the final game against John Mitchels as four goals for the home side left Nottingham at the foot of the table.
That win for Mitchels keeps them on the toes of Sean McDermotts with two games left to play, starting this Thursday (May 21) against Leicester, throw in 7pm at Pairc na hÉireann.
An early Jamie Doherty free was followed by a fantastic long range effort from Anthony Gallagher, before Doherty added two more scores (one free). Casements were relying on Ryan to land early frees, three from the corner-forward kept them in touch.
Leicester’s slick passing across the middle of the park was inflicting damage in the first-half, Liam Rushe benefiting from some neat play to point from 40 metres out as they established a two-point advantage.
Two points from the impressive Liam McGovern and a fourth Ryan free saw the home side hit the front for the first time and they jogged off at half-time three points ahead thanks to a brace of points from Stephen Ormsby, the second of which was a superb punt from close to the left touch line.
Casements were on top either side of half-time, re-starting from where they left off with McGovern’s third point from play and backing that up with a well-taken goal. Wing-forward Cruz Kelly-Evans collected the ball close to the forty-five to feed an intricate pass into the path of Ryan who latched on and fired home past Robinson.
Stephen Mullan powered through the heart of the Leicester defence to fire over from 30 metres out to leave Casements eight points ahead and give the visitors plenty to ponder; they hit back immediately through Gallagher and another Doherty free but the momentum remained with the hosts.
Ryan was having a profitable afternoon in front of the posts, moving across the face of goal to land his fifth point before Tom Massey played Ciaran McMullan through on the left where the wing-back fizzed an accurate shot just inside the near post.
Then Ryan came close to landing a second goal when he was denied by Robinson, a moment which seemed to kick-start a Leicester fight back as they converted two scores in a row from the boots of Rushe and Gallagher, the latter blasting just over Daniel Corr’s crossbar.
Doherty remained the threat in attack and Mullan had to be at his best to charge down a goalbound strike from the Leicester full-forward, but as the goal chances subsided it was left to Casements to finish strongly as McGovern and Ormsby added further points form play.
Man of the match:
Stephen Mullan (Roger Casements)
The former Glenullin man had a real impact on the game from half-back, competing well against Jamie Doherty and grabbing a fine score in the second-half.
Score of the match:
An impeccable lob from Cruz Kelly-Evans found an incoming Kevin Ryan, who netted beyond Aidan Robinson.
Casements gradually came back into the game after a strong Leicester start, 1-8 without reply either side of half-time doing the trick.
Wides: Roger Casements (6) 10, Naomh Padraig (5) 8.
Frees: Roger Casements (14) 17, Naomh Padraig (6) 16.
Scorers for Roger Casements: K Ryan 1-7 (4fs), L McGovern 0-6, S Ormsby 0-4, S Mullan 0-1, C McMullan 0-1, D Harnett 0-1.
Scorers for Naomh Padraig: J Doherty 0-4 (3fs), A Gallagher 0-4, L Rushe 0-2, R Fitzpatrick 0-1.
Roger Casements: D Corr; S Keogh, C Dophin, C Nugent; D Harte, S Mullan, C McMullan; C Goodbody, T Massey; C Kelly-Evans, S Ormsby, L McGovern; K Ryan, S O’Reilly, D Harnett.
Naomh Padraig: A Robinson; J Doran, T Shearer, C Boyd; D Reade, J Ridley, N McNamee; C Bownes, L Rushe; A Bownes, A Gallagher, R Fitzpatrick; P Doyle, J Doherty, M Melvin. Subs: M Gilbert for Melvin (30), M Reader for Doran (30), K Robinson for Ridley (50).
Referee: P Hoey.