Oran overcome great rivals in extra-time

Roscommon SHC play-off Oran                   3-7 Four Roads        2-7 (AET) The topsy-turvy nature of the 2007 Roscommon SHC was clear for all to see in this play-off game on Sunday in Athleague. Oran, who had been well beaten by Padraig Pearses the previous Sunday, took advantage of their second chance to make the semi-finals when they overpowered pre-match favourites Four Roads in a game that had to go to extra-time to produce a winner.   The first half of this play-off was extremely poor fare. With 25 minutes gone Four Roads led by 0-2 to 0-1 and it looked like neither side wanted the semi-final place that was up for grabs. However the scoring rate improved before half-time and the second half and extra-time periods were well-contested.   Joe Mannion scored a controversial goal for Four Roads after 25 minutes. Referee Michael Carroll seemed to have blown up the play for a free but in fact waved play on. Mannion was quickest to react and rifled the ball home. However after Padraig Kelly had increased the Four Roads lead Oran were back in business when Kevin Carty goaled after very good work from Francie Quine who had come on as a sub for the injured Adrian Kelly earlier in the half. A Brendan Kelly point for Four Roads left the score at half-time Four Roads 1-4 Oran 1-1.   The second half was a much livelier affair. Gerry Fallon was in magnificent form for Oran as they came much more into the game. Points from David Dolan and Padraig Kelly left it 1-7 to 1-3 by the 23rd minute and Four Roads looked the more likely to advance. But, inspired by Fallon, Oran never dropped their heads. Gerry Fallon drove a long free into the Four Roads goalmouth in the 26th minute and Francie Quine flicked home a vital goal and two minutes later Quine drove over the equaliser to send the sides into extra-time level at 1-7 to 2-4.   Oran were the stronger team in extra-time. There was only one score in the first ten-minute period when Keith McDermott was on  target for the eventual winners.    But Oran were improving as Four Roads faltered in the final ten minutes. Quine drove over another Oran point before Brian Flynn fired home Oran’s third goal through a maze of defenders in the 4th minute.   Four Roads were desperate now and they threw everything forward and were rewarded two minutes from time when James Donnelly fired home a goal to leave only two points in it. However it was fitting that the last score came from the game’s best player, Gerry Fallon, when he pointed a ’65 in the 2nd minute of injury-time to put his side through to meet Athleague in the semi-final. Oran: E. Featherstone; D. Kenny, S. Lawless, P. Crehan; D. Varley, M. Dwyer, J. Crehan; G. Fallon (0-3), D. Beirne; J. Shally, K. McDermott (0-1), M. Dwyer (0-1); K. Carty (1-0), A. Kelly, B. Flynn (1-0). Subs: F. Quine (1-2) for A. Kelly, S. McDermott for Carty, T. Crowley for J. Crehan, J. Carty for Kenny, E. Morris for Lawless, J. Crehan for Dwyer (ET).  Four Roads: S. Lohan; C. Hynes, M. Kelly, P. Mannion; M. McLoughlin, N. Cunniffe, J. Donnelly (1-0); B. Kelly (0-2), P. Kelly (0-3); J. Moran, D. Lohan, D. Dolan (0-1); J. Mannion (1-0), R. Mulry, E. Rogerson (0-1). Subs: J. McDonnell for Hynes, J. Coyne for Mulry, M. Morris for N. Cunniffe, J. Rogerson for Moran. Referee: Michael Carroll.