CORK SENIOR 'A' FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
O’DONOVAN ROSSA 0-13
BY JOHNNY CAROLAN
WHILE O’Donovan Rossa manager Gene O’Donovan might have done without some of the effect on his nerves, he was delighted as his team secured a Bons Secours Hospital Cork SAFC semi-final spot.
A semi-final clash with last year’s beaten finalists St Michael’s awaits for the Skibbereen side, who led from start to finish against Dohenys at Wolfe Tone Park in Bantry.
In O’Donovan’s eyes, team ethic trumped everything.
‘It was a typical Skibb performance,’ he said, ‘it gave me about five heart attacks and I had heart surgery last year!
‘That’s team, that’s what we’re trying to get into these fellas’ heads and trying to bring through the club, team, T-E-A-M. There was no individuals out there, they played as a team. Fellas came off the bench, they played as a team.
‘I think we controlled the game for about 50 minutes. It’s something that we have to look at, because against Ilen Rovers and even against Newmarket, where we put up a big score, we left ourselves down for ten minutes in the second half of all of those games.
‘If we can address that, I think we’ll be really hard to beat. We can now defend as well as attack.
‘They didn’t all perform to 100 percent and they won’t mind me saying that. There are a few need to step it up again and they’re a happy bunch.’
The key segment of the came around the three-quarter mark, after a pair of Mark Buckley points had reduced Dohenys’ deficit from six points to four.
As Fionn Herlihy looked to weave his way through for a goal chance, Skibb corner-back Dylan O’Donovan fisted the ball away, but he was deemed to have done so unfairly and a penalty was awarded – much to the chagrin of the Rossa faithful, it must be said.
Unfortunately for Dohenys, Jerry McCarthy’s penalty was saved by Ryan Price, who did well to hold the ball from the follow-up effort.
While Dohenys sub Colm O’Shea did kick a point on 49 to leave three in it, Skibb didn’t allow the men in green to come any closer.
Kevin Davis kicked some good early points as Skibb settled well, with Dohenys guilty of poor options when it came to scoring attempts. Davis and Rory Byrne had nice points as Skibb retired with a 0-6 to 0-3 half-time advantage.
A three-point lead became four as sub Brian Crowley set up Dylan Hourihane for the first of his points with 18 seconds of the restart.
While Gavin Farr replied after a good Dohenys move, David Shannon (mark) and Hourihan made it 0-9 to 0-4 by the 34th minute.
On 38, Dohenys might have fashioned a goal chance as Herlihy made good headway after linking with Farr, but Price was off his line well to dispossess him and Crowley cleared.
Hourihan’s huge effort made it 0-10 to 0-4 but Buckley, who had been uncharacteristically quiet up to that point, roared to life with two fine efforts.
If the penalty had been converted, the deficit would have been down to just one point with all to play for, but Price’s intervention ensured that Skibb retained a cushion. They were able to keep their noses in front as Davis kicked the game’s final two points to put the game beyond Dohenys and leave Rossa looking ahead to the semi-finals.
Having got to the semis two years ago, Skibb fell to Éire Óg. Against Michael’s, the mission will be to give a better account of themselves.
‘They were there a couple of years ago, against Éire Óg,’ O’Donovan said.
‘They know themselves, the boys who were there, that it wasn’t the greatest performance in the world.
‘These boys are hurting because of the comments that were made and stuff being said about them.
‘They have under-achieved and they know and they’ll take it from me but they won’t take it from people outside the camp. Tell them that they’re under-achievers and they’ll react to it.
‘We’re really looking forward to the next day out.’
Scorers - O’Donovan Rossa: Kevin Davis 0-6 (3f, 1m), Dylan Hourihane 0-4, Rory Byrne 0-2, David Shannon 0-1m.
Dohenys: Mark Buckley 0-3 (1f), Gavin Farr 0-2 (0-1f), Mark Quinn, Colm O’Shea, Keith White 0-1 each.
O’Donovan Rossa: Ryan Price; Dylan O’Donovan, Darren Daly, Brian Minihane; Mark Collins, Paudie Crowley, Kevin Hurley; Rory Byrne, Dónal Óg Hodnett; Thomas Hegarty, Niall Daly, Elliot Connolly; Dylan Hourihane, David Shannon, Kevin Davis. Subs: Brian Crowley for Hegarty (half-time), Pádraig O’Neill for O’Donovan (49), Hegarty for N Daly, Oisín Lucey for Hurley (both 60).
Dohenys: Stephen Daly; Jerry Farrell, Cullan Barry, Donal Rice; Jerry Collins, Jerry McCarthy, Barry O’Donovan; Cathal O’Donovan, Johnny Kelly; Mark Quinn, Fionn Herlihy, Eoin Lavers; Gavin Farr, Keith White, Mark Buckley. Subs: Seán Daly for Rice (3, injured), Declan Collins for Seán Daly (half-time, injured), Colm O’Shea for Farr (43), Rhys Coakley for Collins (52), Aidan O’Donovan for Quinn (56).
Referee: David Murnane (Macroom).