Senior Football Championship Group A
Tony Ryan Reports
Rathgormack continued their impressive start to this year’s County SFC with an overwhelming win over Ardmore in this Round 2 game played at a sun-drenched Bushy Park last Saturday afternoon. With the temperature in the high teens, the conditions were in stark contrast to the previous weekend and the scoring rate here rose accordingly.Ardmore enjoyed a lot of the play overall but apart from newcomer to the grade, Ciaran Keating, they did not possess the scoring threat of their opponents and when Keating’s older brother ,Seamus, had to retire injured very early on, it left gaps through the centre for Rathgormack to exploit.
This they achieved early on and with goals on their mind from the beginning, they led by 3-1 to 1-3 at the end of the first quarter. Jason Gleeson, Billy Power and Conor Murray were the early goal diggers with wing back Kenny Murphy getting one back for the seasiders.
A possession stat would have been at least even for this encounter but with Ardmore kicking seven first half wides, they played into their opponents hands. Despite their huge win, Rathgormack may have concerns about how an under rated and under strength opposition opened them up so easily working out of defence and a stronger opposition would surely have punished them greater.
The winners led by 3-5 to 1-7 at the break with Billy and James Power, Michael Curry (2) and Conor Muuray responsible for their minor scores while Ciaran Keating (3), John Gartland, James Kennedy and Stephen Keating were on target for Ardmore.There was just a four-point difference at half-time but the game was put to bed early on the restart when Conor Murray pointed and then goaled. Ardmore scored just four points in the second half with lack of penetration up front, midfielder David Gartland accounting for two of those scores and Ciaran Keating and Eoin Conway the other two.
Rathgormack weren’t finished on the goal scoring trail and in the final quarter, Robbie Power and subs Paul Drohan and Declan Hennebry added green flags. The scoreline doesn’t reflect the amount of possession or the effort of the losers but the regular concession of major scores at the back produced it.Rathgormack now top Group A with a better scoring difference than The Nire and than the rest of all the teams in the Championship. The next games are scheduled for July 7th with Rathgormack set to face The Nire and this fixture will give us a more accurate assessment of the Eastern club’s Championship credentials. Ardmore will play neighbours Clashmore/Kinsalebeg, with their focus very much set on survival.