The seconds travelled to Bear Park in Newcastle to take on Tollymore in this McCall Division 2 clash. Having had a comfortable home win earlier in the season, Rossglass went into this full of confidence. However, with a strong wind behind them, Tollymore took the lead in the first 15 minutes with a shot from 25 yards. County keeper Stuart Traynor thought the ball was sailing way over the bar but at the last minute, a wicked dip saw it fly into the top corner leaving the County keeper red-faced.
But 10 minutes later, Traynor’s blushes were spared when his opposite number let in the most comical goal seen yet in the league. A cross into the box fell to the centre-half who tapped it back to his keeper. It looked like it was a simple clearance but whether he took his eye off the ball or there was a bobble on the pitch, as the keeper attempted to clear the ball it simply rolled over his foot and into the back of the net.
Tollymore’s keeper however made up for this unfortunate mistake minutes later, when from a Ben Lennon free-kick just outside the box he dived the length of the net to tip the ball round the post. Rossglass kept pushing and finally took the lead from a beautiful worked moved on the left-hand side. 17-year-old Aaron McCarthy ran almost from the halfway line beating two defenders, cutting inside into the penalty box and unleashing a thunderous shot that hit the top right-hand corner of the net. It was no more than County deserved with young McCarthy continuing to torture the Tollymore right back with his pace. This forced the Tollymore manager Hall to bring their pacey right-sided midfielder back to mark him which meant there was more and more space for County’s left back Caolfind Rogan to run the ball out of defence and set up more attacks.
With the wind at their backs in the second half it was expected that Rossglass would dominate the rest of the game. However, a few strange decisions at half time from County manager McGarrity let Tollymore back into it. McCarthy who had a been a thorn in Tollmore’s side was put into goals which was surely a relief for their defence and a tactical switch to a 3 man defence saw County fall deeper and deeper which allowed Tollymore onto them. Tollmore took advantage from this and if it hadn’t been for some poor finishing they would surely have equalised hitting the bar on two occasions. However, against the run of play Rossglass extended their lead. A foul on the edge of the box allowed Lennon who had a sighter free-kick in the first half to coolly pass the ball round the wall and into the corner of the net. County were 3-1 up and surely it was just a matter of seeing out the game.
As Tollymore continued to push, the game got a lot feistier with Tollymore’s red-haired centre half picking up a yellow card for a challenge on Rossglass midfielder Ryan Kearney. A second challenge on the same player only seconds later which went unpunished by the referee caused an uproar on the side-line with McGarrity having to be restrained from entering the pitch. Rossglass were rattled and Tollymore benefited from it when a loose ball in the County box caused panic among the defence. The usually composed Paul McGarry swung at the ball to clear only to slice it into his own net. Unfortunately for Tollymore there was no time left to get the equaliser. Rossglass made it tough for themselves but eventually ran out 3-2 winners. There were notable performances from Kearney, Rogan and young McCarthy who will no doubt get a call-up to the first team very shortly if he continues to play the way he did in the first half.