Abbey Rovers 0-7
BY KIERAN McCARTHY
IT wasn’t the challenge that they wanted but Goleen’s county junior B football championship campaign is up and running.
They were far too strong for Abbey Rovers in the round one game at Clonakilty. By half time the Carbery club led 5-10 to 0-5. It was game over.
Beaten by Grange in the semi-final of this competition last year, Goleen will be keen to make their mark this season, and despite the one-sided nature of this 32-point hammering there are plenty of positives to take.
Coming into this game they had lost all three matches in Carbery-Beara Division 2, so they needed to get back to winning ways.
But it should be noted too that those league losses came against junior A teams in Carbery Rangers, Muintir Bhaire and Diarmuid Ó Mathúnas. Goleen won the Division 3 league final last season and earned promotion to Division 2. Goleen got the win against Abbey Rovers that they wanted.
Four young players made their championship debuts for Goleen last Saturday. Wing backs Jack O’Driscoll and Paul Collins and wing forward Michael Sheehan all started, while Michael O’Reilly came on as a sub and scored 1-2. For a small club the size of Goleen, to have four newcomers freshen up the squad and increase competition for places is a huge boost.
At the other end of the age scale is their midfield pairing of David O’Leary (38) and John Cullinane (47) with a combined age of 85 but their experience is vital. Besides O’Leary and Cullinane, nearly all other players are under the age of 30.
It was no surprise to see Darren O’Donovan (2-6) and Patrick Scully (3-5) torment the Abbey Rovers defence and this duo combined for 5-11, while Tadhg Cullinane, who scored two points, is another important player for Gene O’Donovan’s team, as is centre back Daniel O’Driscoll.
It’s only three years ago since Goleen won the county junior C football championship – the club’s first-ever county championship title in any grade – and they are keen to go one step further than the junior B semi-finals, which they have reached the past two seasons.
Other results so far in this competition have seen Glengarriff lose 2-12 to 0-5 against Abbey Rovers while Grange beat Shanballymore by 0-11 to 2-4.
Goleen: Ronan Kennedy; Sean Sheehan (0-1), Daniel O’Callaghan, James Scully; Jack O’Driscoll (0-1), Daniel O’Driscoll (0-1), Paul Collins; David O’Leary, John Cullinane; Michael Sheehan (1-0), Tadhg Cullinane (0-2), Shane O’Leary; Patrick Scully (3-5), Darren O’Donovan (2-6), Sam Coughlan.
Subs: Michael O’Reilly (1-2), Tom Fitzgerald, Paudie Scully, Chris Kennedy, John Supple.