TIPPERARY TOWN 4,
ROSEGREEN RANGERS 3.
What a fitting climax to this excellently contested second division. With both these teams finishing on level points and promoted, this play-off was necessary to decide winners and runners-up. The end result was a seven goal thriller at Cooke Park Tipperary which saw the winners come back from a two goal deficit to take the trophy.
The opening quarter hour was dominated by Tipperary Town and they were quickly into their stride. Rosegreen gradually got to grips with the fast pace and on the quarter hour Vinny Downey was just off target. Midway through the half Rosegreen opened the scoring with a well worked goal. Winning a throw-in on the right, some neat passing created an opportunity for Darragh Bourke and his hard low drive gave Wayne Rogers no chance. Rosegreen now got the upper hand and ten minutes later made it 2-0 with a giveaway goal. A poor back pass to the keeper was intercepted by Eoin Byrne and his low tap just made it over the line. Most teams would be demoralised following this calamity but Tipp Town are the masters at comebacks. The best time to reduce a deficit is just before the break and Tipp made it 2-1 when poor defending allowed Stevie Quinn set up Mark Flannery who opened Tipp Towns account.
After half-time Tipperary Town took up where they let off and put Rosegreen on the defensive. Within ten minutes it was level when from a well-taken free-kick Vincent Godfrey rose highest to head powerfully past Killian Ryan. Rosegreen were now on the rack as Tipperary Town turned the screw. On the hour mark more shocking defending presented Stevie Quinn with possession in front of goal and he coolly made it 3-2. The last quarter saw Rosegreen regain some degree of composure as they went in search of the equaliser. They laid siege on the Tipp goal but found goalkeeper Wayne Rogers in top form, one superb save from Daithi Bargary denying Rosegreen the equaliser. With four minutes remaining Tipp got the insurance goal. Totally committed to attack a long kick from Rogers found the Rosegreen defence absent allowing Mark Roche ran through and he coolly rounded the keeper before slotting home to make it 4-2. The excitement wasn’t over yet as Rosegreen refused to surrender. A thundering drive from Vinny Downey went to the net to make it 4-3 and in the remaining minutes of injury time Tipperary Town had a few very anxious moments. The final whistle was greeted with much relief and wild delight. It was a dramatic end to an excellent division with Tipperary Town worthy winners.
After the game the winning trophy was presented to the delighted players and supporters by Tony Brosnan, representing the league sponsors, Clonmel Credit Union.
Tipperary Town: Wayne Rogers, Michael Frawley, Paul Lowry, Timmy Ryan, Peter Hanrahan, Lee Dudley, Adrian O’Dwyer, Vinny Godfrey, Mark Roche, Mark Flannery, Stevie Quinn. Subs, Dean Buckley (used), Fergal O’Reilly (used), Mark O’Brien (used), Pat Hickey, Davy Hanrahan.
Rosegreen Rangers: Killian Ryan, Ger O’Connor, Rory Heffernan, Trevor Downey, Frank Culleton, Vincent Downey, David Butler, Sean Cormack, Darragh Bourke, Eoin Byrne, Daithi Bargary. Subs, David Cuddihy (used), David Brabson (used), Mark Phelan, Adrian Gleeson, Brendan Lonergan.
Officials: Paddy Keane, John Walshe, Billy O’Donoghue.