Last year’s beaten finalists Dromard made a winning start to this year’s Senior Football Championship but they made hard work of beating 14-man Rathcline in difficult wet and windy conditions at the Slashers grounds, Michael Fay Park on Sunday evening last.
Group 2, Round One - Dromard 0-15, Rathcline 1-6
Rathcline were dealt a big blow two minutes before the break when Paddy Mullooly was shown a second yellow card for dissent by referee Pauric McGee. The half-forward had shown his frustration with the match official after he gave a harsh free against Ryan Fallon.
But credit to the Lanesboro side as they battled hard in the second half and Dromard didn’t really make their numerical advantage count. They found it hard to make use of the extra man but their experience and guile saw them through in the end.
Discipline cost Rathcline several scores in this game as well as a player. In the first half and a few times in the second half they fouled Dromard players in scoreable areas which Francis McGee punished with points from the frees that were awarded.
The first two points of the game came from the boot of McGee after both Declan Mimnagh and Jamsie Martin were fouled. Rathcline had a chance in the 5th minute to open their account but the wind dragged Ronan Clyne’s effort from a free wide. But Kevin Chapman burst through one minute later to land their first point of the game.
Dromard hit back with three points without reply from Peter Reynolds, a wonderful score from Cian Mimnagh and another Francis McGee free. Martin should have extended their lead further minutes later when he had a goal chance but he sent his effort wide. However, Jamsie made up for that miss with a point from a free in the 14th minute.
There was a bit of controversy one minute later when Cian Mimnagh appeared to have registered a great score but it was signalled wide, much to the amazement of everyone in the crowd.
Another McGee free in the 19th minute stretched Dromard’s lead to six points and Rathcline were in deep trouble. They were guilty of being wasteful with the ball when in possession. Ryan Fallon and Paddy Mullooly both had chances to get on the scoreboard but their efforts were saved by Dromard keeper Damien Sheridan.
Rathcline had another chance for a score minutes later but Mullooly put his free wide. Dromard worked the ball better when they had it and it showed on the scoreboard. A mistake by Rathcline in the 26th minute led to Jamsie Martin getting Dromard’s eighth point of the first half.
Two minutes later disaster struck for Rathcline when they were reduced to 14 men after Paddy Mullooly was shown a second yellow card for dissent. Just before the break Cian Mimnagh got his second score of the game to stretch Dromard’s lead to eight points, 0-9 to 0-1.
The second half was entertaining, despite the weather conditions, as Rathcline battled hard to make a game of it. Inside the opening six minutes they cut Dromard’s lead to just three points thanks to a goal and two points from Ryan Fallon. A Ronan Clyne free minutes later put just two between the sides.
Jamsie Martin had another goal chance for Dromard in the 41st minute but again failed to find the target. Francis McGee and Sean Farrell then exchanged points before McGee converted another free in the 51st minute and further scores from Cian Mimnagh and Martin extended the lead to five points.
Another free from Ronan Clyne was Rathcline’s last score of the game while a point apiece from Declan and Cian Mimnagh gave Dromard a fairly comfortable win in the finish.
DROMARD: Damien Sheridan; Cathal Conefrey, Paul McEntire, Peter Reynolds (0-1); Conor Duffy, Peter Masterson, Gavin McNerney; Diarmuid Masterson, Cian Mimnagh (0-4); David Pettit, Francis McGee (0-6, five frees), Paul McGee; Jamsie Martin (0-3, one free), Donal Sheridan, Declan Mimnagh (0-1).
Subs:- Peadar Faughan for P McEntire and Emmet Masterson for G McNerney (half-time); Enda McEntire for P McGee (42 mins); James Mimnagh for D Pettit (60 mins).
RATHCLINE: Declan Feeney; Blaine Fallon, Kevin Connaughton, David Rooney; Michael Hanley, Shane Carroll, James Carroll; Sean Farrell (0-1), Ronan Clyne (0-2, both frees); Rory Donnellan, Paddy Mullooly, Kevin Chapman (0-1); Ryan Fallon (1-2), Conor Casey, James Hanley.
Subs:- Eamon Farrell for D Rooney (23 mins); Michael Morrissey for J Hanley and Derek Casserly for R Donnellan (half-time); Anthony Farrell for C Casey (44 mins); Gareth Johnston for R Clyne (59 mins).
Referee: Pauric McGee (Fr. Manning Gaels).