Rathgormack 0-13; Tramore 2-4

Rathgormack have successfully evaded the clutches of the relegation battle after a less than convincing win over Tramore at Walsh Park last Saturday.

In what has been a poor season by Rathgormack’s standards, they can now enjoy the long winter break and come back in 2011 with a renewed sense of purpose. For Tramore, the year and the battle goes on as they must now take on Eastern rivals St Saviours in a do or die battle this weekend.

Rathgormack looked by far the better team for long periods but they were nearly undone by glaring lapses of concentration at crucial times in the game.

The opening quarter of the game was best forgotten as neither side managed to assert any authority on the game. Eventually, Rathgormack did find their feet and driven forward by the excellent Kevin Power, they finally made their superiority count on the scoreboard. Some of their point scoring during the second quarter was mightily impressive with the experienced Kevin Power and Edmond Hogan leading the way and being followed by youngsters, Gavin Nugent and Paul Drohan.

With 25 minutes played, Rathgormack held a comprehensive five point lead and looked very comfortable. However, then a good move from Tramore involving Paul Ogle and Simon Keane presented Mark Power with a golden opportunity for a goal and the former county player made no mistake from close range.

Tramore failed to build on the goal and allowed Rathgormack to finish the half strongly and the mid-county men capitalised with points from Hogan, Jason Murray and Mervyn Cummins allowing them to go in at half-time with a five point lead.

One got the impression that Rathgormack, buoyed by the breeze would put the game to bed early in the second half. That they failed to do so tells us why they were in this predicament in the first place.

The second half was a rather strange affair with a lack of intensity apparent among both sets of players. The sides traded points for much of the half and Tramore failed to make any great inroads into the Rathgormack lead. At the same time, Rathgormack seemed to take their foot off the pedal and lost their dominance in the middle third. It must be said, that the shifting of Martin Whelan from corner to centre-forward for Tramore had a major bearing on the pattern of the game,

With 52 minutes played, Tramore trailed by four points and were awarded a rather controversial penalty after a scramble in the Rathgormack square. Centre-back, Dan Goggin dispatched the penalty with ease to throw his side a lifeline. Unfortunately for Tramore, they again failed to take advantage of the goal and two late points from Hogan and veteran, Richie Power booked Rathgormack’s place in the senior championship for 2011. In a frantic finish, Tramore threw everything (including a sixth substitute) at Rathgormack but their defence held firm and they eked out the victory.

In a game that will not be remembered as a classic, Rathgormack owed their victory to the experienced quartet of Michael Crotty, Edmond Hogan, Kevin Power and Richie Power while no fault for Tramore’s loss could be laid at the feet of Dan Goggin, Martin Whelan or John Hayden.