O’Donovan Rossa 0-13
NOEL HORGAN REPORTS
WHILE they were a little unlucky not to grab at least one goal in the last quarter, O’Donovan Rossa could have few complaints after they came up short against Kilshannig in a thrilling county minor A football championship final at CIT Grounds.
The fact is they were chasing the game for most of the hour, primarily because of the impact made by Kilshannig’s Diarmuid O’Sullivan and Darragh O’Sullivan, both of whom were in unstoppable form up front for the north-Cork side.
At the other end, Dylan Hourihane and, to a lesser extent, Eoin O’Connell and Kevin Hurley were most impressive for the Rossas, while Padraig O’Neill, Jamie Shanahan and Shane O’Driscoll earned the main plaudits in a defence that seldom inspired complete confidence.
Jack Cowap and Sean Fitzgerald kept their end up well at midfield, but they weren’t allowed to dominate in this sector, and, in the final analysis, Kilshannig were a bit better-balanced, with Kevin McMahon – substitute goalkeeper with the Cork minors this year – and Bill Curtin particularly prominent at the back in the second half.
The teams looked evenly-matched in the first half when O’Donovan Rossa made the better start, with Kevin Hurley and Eoin O’Connell on target from play as they moved 0-3 to 0-1 ahead inside ten minutes.
They went the next 15 minutes without a score however, and Kishannig had posted four points in the interim.
The signs were beginning to look ominous for O’Donovan Rossa at that stage, but they finished strongly before the break, with the ever-menacing Dylan Hourihane slotting over a peach of a point, following good work by Sean Fitzgerald and Kevin Hurley, before completing the first half scoring from a free to make it 0-6 apiece.
They came under pressure again shortly after the restart, and it took a superb block by Padraig O’Neill to prevent Kilshannig’s Tony Brennan from grabbing a goal in the 37th minute.
Trailing by 0-9 to 0-7 at the time, O’Donovan Rossa pulled a point back through Dylan Hourihane in the ensuing counter-attack, and they appeared to have the momentum with them after Eoin O’Connell equalised a minute later.
Kilshannig quickly regained the initiative, forging three points clear before O’Donovan Rossa went agonisingly close to bagging a goal when Eoin O’Connell presented substitute Muiris Waugh with a golden opportunity in the 47th minute.
After Waugh’s well-struck shot was saved superbly by Kilshannig goalkeeper Chris Taylor, Kevin Hurley appeared to be fouled as he attempted to knock in the rebound, but O’Donovan Rossa’s claims for a penalty were ignored by the referee.
That was certainly a let-off for Kilshannig, and they proceeded to make the most of it, stretching their advantage to five points, 0-16 to 0-11, with six minutes remaining.
Gutsy O’Donovan Rossa never gave up the fight, even after Kilshannig’s Chris Taylor proved equal to a goal-attempt by Eoin O’Connell on the run-in.
A brace of converted free by Dylan Hourihane brought them back within striking, but their fate was sealed when Diarmuid O’Sullivan, a constant threat at full forward, landed the insurance score for Kilshannig deep in stoppage time.
Kilshannig: Darragh O’Sullivan 0-7 (4f); Diarmuid O’Sullivan 0-5; T Brennan, E O’Hanlon, J Kearney, J Murphy, B Curtin 0-1 each.
O’Donovan Rossa: D Hourihane 0-8 (5f); E O’Connell 0-3; K Hurley, M O’Sullivan 0-1 each.
Kilshannig: C Taylor; C Barrow, K McMahon, C O’Shea; C McMahon, B Curtin, C Murphy; K Twomey, J Twomey; Darragh O’Sullivan, T Brennan, E O’Hanlon; J Kearney, Diarmuid O’Sullivan, J Murphy.
O’Donovan Rossa: P Minihane; P O’Neill, E Fitzgerald, R Fitzgerald; J Shanahan, D O’Donovan, D O’Driscoll; J Cowap, S Fitzgerald; E Connolly, K Hurley, M O’Sullivan; D Hourihane, O Egan, E O’Connell.
Subs: M Waugh for Egan (43), A Nott for O’Sullivan (inj, 57).
Referee: C Dineen (Douglas).