O’Donovan Rossa 1-12
Tom Lyons Reports
O’DONOVAN Rossa, Carbery U21B champions last season, continued their upward trend in the U21A grade with a decisive quarter-final win over Clonakilty in Union Hall.
This game was competitive in the first half when Clon had the advantage of the swirling wintry breeze, but the vital score came on the stroke of half time when Kevin Hurley finished expertly to the Clon net to open a four-point gap.
The final winning margin was five points but that was only due to some late scores by Clonakilty, with Rossas completely in control throughout the second half.
‘Kevin Hurley’s goal was definitely the decisive score for us and it was brilliantly taken,’ said a delighted Rossa manager Shane Crowley.
‘It was a marvellous pass from Eoghan O’Connell and it put us in a great position at half time. We never looked like getting caught right to the end. We’re delighted with the performance.
‘This is a great bunch of lads. We had 11 of last year’s winning team playing today, with a couple out injured. They have been together now since competing in the county minor final against Kilshannig three years ago. A lot of them have now played senior football and they train with the seniors as well. Dylan Hourihane’s free-taking is vital to the team and his experience, playing senior for four years, is great.’
Rossas opened the scoring with a Dylan Hourihane point, the first of his eight points on the day. Hourihane was part of a Rossa full-forward line that caused havoc on the day, the entire Clon full-back line being replaced during the game. Between them, Hourihane, Eoghan O’Connell and Elliot Connolly accounted for 0-10 from their total of 1-12.
Clon’s best patch came early in the game when Odhran Bancroft fielded a free from Liam Halligan in the tenth minute and lashed it to the Rossa net. When Halligan immediately pointed a free, Clon seemed to be getting on top but Rossas responded well with three Hourihane points, two from frees, to level the scores by the 20th minute.
There was little between the sides but the Rossa forwards definitely looked more dangerous than their Clon counterparts, with Eoin Fitzgerald, Dylan O’Donovan, Padraig O’Neill and Ross Fitzgerald covering well in the Rossa defence. Clon did regain the lead with a point from James Campbell but Rossas responded with scores from O’Connell and Hourihane, free. Then came Kevin Hurley’s goal, set up by O’Connell, and it was Rossas in front by 1-6 to 1-2 at the break.
It didn’t take Rossas long to consolidate their position in the second half as Hourihane rifled over three frees in a row as the Clon’s tendency to foul cost them dearly. Seven to the good, Rossas looked clear winners as the second half progressed.
Clon had points from Halligan and Collins but the Skibb lads replied through Rory Byrne and Elliot Connolly. Clon did battle gamely to the end and kicked three points in injury time, from Halligan and Shanley (2) but it was all too little and too late.
O’Donovan Rossa: Dylan Hourihane 0-8 (6f); Kevin Hurley 1-0; Rory Byrne 0-2 (2f); Elliot Connolly, Eoghan O’Connell 0-1 each.
Clonakilty: Odhran Bancroft 1-0; Liam Halligan 0-3 (1f); Maurice Shanley 0-2; James Campbell, Shane Collins (1f) 0-1 each.
O’Donovan Rossa: Szymon Ziob; Alan Nott, Dylan O’Donovan, Padraig O’Neill; Shane O’Driscoll, Eoin Fitzgerald, Ross Fitzgerald; Seán Fitzgerald, Jamie Shanahan; Rory Byrne, Kevin Hurley, Darren Daly; Elliot Connolly, Dylan Hourihane, Eoghan O’Connell.
Subs: Luke Connolly for A Nott (ht), Patrick O’Brien for E Connolly (58), Oisín Lucey for J Shanahan (58), Jamie Hourihane for K Hurley (60).
Clonakilty: Mark White; Evan Corcoran, Oisín Walsh, Rueben Henry; Cian O’Donoghue, Jack Wycherley, Dan Peete; Liam Halligan, Maurice Shanley; James Campbell, Ryan Hearne, Conor Hayes; Odhran Bancroft, Seán O’Donoghue, Shane Collins.
Subs: Kieran Calnan for E Corcoran (ht), Niall Barrett for R Henry (ht), Olan O’Donovan for O Walsh (45), Ben Kelly for R Hearne (55), James Hegarty (60), Fionn McPeeke (60).
Referee: Frank Quill (Bantry Blues).
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