O’Donovan Rossa 3-16
COIS FARRAIGE REPORTS
IT would be hard to read anything into this result in the Clona Milk U21 B football championship game in Bantry on Saturday afternoon, as the Skibbereen side won as they pleased against a very young Urhan side that was clearly out of its depth in this grade.
Despite missing six of their starting 15 for various reasons, Rossas dominated this clash from start to finish, much to the disappointment of the neutrals who had been expecting an even match between two young sides.
In all, Rossas played ten of the team that won the U16 championship last season but the young pretenders to the throne had a real leader in county U21 player, Kevin Davis, who was in rampant form as leader of the attack, accounting for nine points, six from play.
He got great support up front from the lively Dylan Hourihane, Brian McCarthy and Joe Lynch as Rossas, playing with the strong breeze and with the strong Jack Breen dominating midfield, raced into a five-point lead after only ten minutes, four scores from Davis and one from Lynch.
Add in a thundering shot by Davis off the crossbar and Urhan were clearly struggling.
The Beara lads were thrown a lifeline in the 12th minute when, totally against the run of play, they struck for the first goal of the game, from Andrew O’Neill.
That major was to sustain them for the next 15 minutes as Davis kicked three points (two frees) and Hourihane added another but white flags from the hard-working Sean O’Sullivan (play and free) saw the gap at a very manageable four points, 0-9 to 1-2, with 25 minutes gone. Then, to the consternation of the hopeful Urhan mentors, the roof caved in on their charges.
Four more Rossa points from Davis (2), Hourihane and Lynch, were crowned by an opportunist goal in the 29th minute from Brian McCarthy, who was on hand to usher home the ball after Kevin Davis’s dipping shot was knocked down by the goalkeeper.
In the space of five minutes the gap was up to an intimidating 11 points, 1-13 to 1-2, and Urhan had a mountain to climb in the second half.
To their credit the young Beara lads restarted well and a Sean O’Sullivan pointed free gave them early hope.
Whatever lingering ideas they might have entertained of hauling back the lead were well and truly buried in the 36th minute when Rossas combined very well, with Dylan Hourihane supplying the final pass to Jack Cowap, who crashed the ball to the net. Game, set and match to Rossas.
To make sure there was no miraculous resurrection from the Urhan team, the Skibbereen side struck for their third goal four minutes later, with Joe Lynch and Brian Crowley combining to set up Dylan Hourihane for the killer blow.
From here to the end it was just a matter of seeing out time for the winners as the thick mist descended on the pitch and on Urhan’s hopes for 2015, with six subs being sprung from the bench. The three Fitzgeralds (Sean, Richie and Colm) as well as goalkeeper Paul Minihane, all impressed for an impressive Rossa side that will be very strong when they welcome back their missing players.
Hourihane, Davis and Brian Crowley all got their names on the scoreboard in the closing stages but it was a gallant Urhan side who kept battling away to produce the closing scores when strong full forward Conor Lowney rattled home a goal, and Declan O’Neill also pointed.
Seamus Lyons, Luke Daly, Andrew O’Neill, Conor Lowney and Sean O’Sullivan’s were Urhan’s best but it was a tough learning process for the Beara boys as town met country and this time the Townies just had too much in hand for their country brethren.
O’Donovan Rossa: Kevin Davis (3f) 0-9, Dylan Hourihane 1-3, Jack Cowap and Brian McCarthy 1-0 each, Joe Lynch 0-2, Brian Crowley, Jack Breen 0-1 each.
Urhan: Conor Lowney 1-1, Andrew O’Neill 1-0, Sean O’Sullivan (2f) 0-3, Declan O’Neill 0-1.
O’Donovan Rossa: Paul Minihane; Patrick O’Sullivan, Niall McCarthy, Sean Fitzgerald; Shane O’Driscoll, Richie Fitzgerald, Jack Cowap; Jack Breen, Colm Fitzgerald; Brian McCarthy, Kevin Davis, Brian Crowley; Dylan Hourihane, Joe Lynch, Niall Calnan.
Subs used: Killian Lane, Tom McElligot, Colm O’Regan, Oscar Egan, Padraig O’Neill.
Urhan: Cormac O’Shea; Dave Cronin, Niall O’Dwyer, Killian Elphick; Alan O’Donoghue, Seamus Lyons, Joe O’Sullivan; Conor Lehane, Luke Daly; Sean O’Sullivan, Danny O’Neill, Killian O’Shea; Conor Hartnett, Andrew O’Neill, Declan O’Neill.
Subs used: Andrew O’Neill, B Duggan, Kevin O’Sullivan.
Referee: Tommy Barry (Bantry Blues).