Steelstown secure famous Rossas win

June 6, 2013 at 10:38 am

Division One

Steelstown 0-9 Magherafelt 0-8

STEELSTOWN Brian Óg’s took another big step towards securing their first aim of the season – Division One safety – with a tense victory over Magherafelt on Wednesday evening.

Played in near perfect conditions on a sun-kissed Páirc Bhríd, Hugh McGrath’s men delivered a superb second half performance to come from behind against the wind and record their third win of the season.
The last time the sides met last year down in Rossa Park, Emmett McGuckin racked up an outrageous tally of 2-6 for the south Derry outfit and, when the Derry full forward struck in the first minute to fire Magherafelt ahead, he was threatening to do the same.
But McGuckin was well shackled for the remained of the evening with Kevin Lindsay sticking to him like glue and Paul O’Hea finishing the job late on to divert the inevitable aerial bombardment as the Rossas chased the game.
Aidan Cleary responded for Steelstown in the third minute in what would be their last score for 25 whole minutes.  In that period though, whilst the Óg’s were shot-shy, their defence were well on top and, with Tony Ling tackling like a demon in the full back line, with Neil Forester putting out fires all over the back six, the hosts managed to limit Gary Coleman’s men to just three more scores for the remainder of the first period.
At 0-4 to 0-1, a quick double salvo before the break from Mickey McKinney – who started at full forward – and a superlative Aidan Cleary effort with the outside of his boot on the right wing reduced the gap to the minimum as Cyril Hargan blew for half time.
Upon the restart, Steelstown came out all guns blazing and quickly levelled up when McKinney forced a high ball out for Stephen McCauley to do the honours.  However, with the breeze at their backs, Magherafelt struck twice to move into a 0-6 to 0-4 lead.
Digging deep though, the city men found the answers and, with four unanswered scores, Steelstown moved ahead for the first time in the game with less than 15 minutes to spare.  White flags went waving at the clubhouse end of Páirc Bhríd when Aidan Cleary and Ryan Devine both added a brace of points before a driving Michael Moore run straight through the heart of the Magherafelt defence had the red shirts scrambling and the wing forward tapped over to edge the home side in front, and then Cleary doubled the lead.
But the drama was far from over.
The visitors split the posts at the other end before the home crowd’s hearts were in their mouths when a chance high ball into the area was palmed off the crossbar by the imposing Emmett McGuckin.
Brian Óg’s breathed a sigh of relief and recovered quickly for Eamon Donnelly to curl over a decisive score from a tight angle on the left wing to leave the scores at 0-9 to 0-7.
One last Magherafelt score, one last kickout and a typically heroic breaking ball won by Neil Forester and the game was sealed.  Steelstown had held on and secured yet more points against a side they failed to last season.
Steelstown: Marty Dunne; Ryan McCloskey, Kevin Lindsay, Tony Ling; Neil Forester, Paul O’Hea, Eamon Donnelly (0-1); Ryan Devine (0-1), Stephen McCauley (0-1);

Michael Moore (0-1), Darren McDaid, Conán Doherty; Mickey McKinney (0-1), Aidan Cleary (0-4), Liam Heffernan
Subs: James Jackson for Heffernan (42), Conor McGoran for McCauley (53)