Ilen Rovers 0-14
TOM LYONS REPORTS
‘WE badly needed this win’ – that was the reaction from Ilen Rovers’ new head coach Colm O’Driscoll after they picked up an important Cork Credit Unions Division 3 football league win.
Hosts Ilen Rovers entered this local derby in Rath without a victory on the pitch in their four games so far (they were handed a walkover by Glanworth) while Dohenys headed the table, undefeated in four outings.
It was Ilen who laid down a marker for the upcoming Senior A championship clash between the sides when they turned in a top-class performance in the second half to register a deserved two-point victory, the sides having been level at the break.
‘We badly needed that win,’ said Ilen head coach Colm O’Driscoll, the Caheragh/Carbery stalwart, part of a management team that also includes Ger Carey, Johnny Holland, Tom Young, Brian O’Drisceoil and Eoghan McCarthy.
‘It was a good, hard, honest game. It was fast and lively, but you’re coming into May now so it would want to be.
‘There are some fine players on this team, the makings of a good team. The team has been on a down slide for a couple of years but that happens in every club. You get a good run with a good team and then a slump.
‘The lads have worked very hard and this win is a good boost for them.’
It was the visitors who started with a flourish as Rhys Coakley thundered a shot off the Ilen crossbar in their first attack, Colm O’Shea pointing the rebound. Further points from O’Shea and the electric Keith White had the Dunmanway side three to the good, playing at a frantic pace.
Ilen slowly came to grips with the opposition with the strong Peadar O’Driscoll and Adrian O’Driscoll beginning to dominate midfield. The next four scores fell to the home side, with Dan MacEoin causing a lot of problems in the corner as he kicked two points from frees and one from play. Tall full forward Mícheál Sheehy was also prominent, adding a point. O’Shea (free) levelled for Dohenys and MacEoin (free) and Darragh Collins swapped points to leave the scores tied at the break, 0-5 each.
A glaring difference between the sides was Ilen’s advantage in size, Dohenys compensating with speed of play. However, speed was not enough when the accuracy of their passes and kicking began to go astray in the second half as Ilen’s physical advantage began to tell.
With Peter O’Driscoll and Seán O’Donovan beginning to make an impression, Ilen started the second half with an O’Driscoll point to take the lead but were rocked back on their heels in the 34th minute when Rhys Coakley first-timed the ball to the net following a good move involving Keith White and the hard-working Adam O’Donovan.
It was then we saw the best of this Ilen side as they responded to the challenge. Four of the next five points came their way from Mícheál Sheehy, Conor O’Driscoll, Seán O’Donovan and Peter O’Driscoll. Mark Buckley, who improved in the second half, had a point for Dohenys as the sides were again tied, 1-7 to 0-10, at the end of the third quarter. Keith White pointed a Doheny free but MacEoin, proving he could score with his right as well as his left, levelled again.
A decisive moment saw Adam O’Donovan of Dohenys being black-carded with ten minutes remaining and Ilen made full use of the extra man to take control of the game. Three points in a row from Peter O’Driscoll and MacEoin (2) saw the home side well on their way to their first win in the league and Mark Buckley’s closing point was too little and too late for Dohenys.
‘This is my first year involved with Ilen,’ said a relieved Colm O’Driscoll. ‘I’m building a house on the edge of the parish, near Kilcoe so when Ilen asked me to get involved I said why not help out the neighbours. I was involved, with Brian, in Newcestown for a few seasons. This is a new challenge now and we worked very hard to get this win here today. Hopefully we have turned a corner today with this.’
Scorers - Ilen Rovers: Dan MacEoin 0-7 (3f); Peter O’Driscoll 0-3; Mícheál Sheehy 0-2 (1 mark); Seán O’Donovan, Conor O’Driscoll 0-1 each. Dohenys: Rhys Coakley 1-0; Keith White (2f), Colm O’Shea (1f) 0-3 each; Mark Buckley 0-2; Darragh Collins 0-1.
Ilen Rovers: Damien O’Sullivan; Pat Joe O’Driscoll, Shane Carey, Daniel Coakley; Donal Collins, Jack Collins, Conor O’Driscoll; Peadar O’Driscoll, Adrian O’Driscoll; Seán O’Donovan, Peter O’Driscoll; Kevin O’Driscoll, Dan MacEoin, Mícheál Sheehy, Seán Minihane. Subs: Donncha Whooley for Jack Collins (25), Dermot Hegarty for D Whooley (43). Dohenys: Stephen Daly; Jerry Farrell, Seán Daly, Ellis Farrell; Cathal Daly, Donal Rice, Barry O’Donovan; Darragh Collins, Rhys Coakley; Adam O’Donovan, Keith White, Shane Barry; Paudie Crowley, Colm O’Shea, Mark Buckley. Subs: Gavin Farr for P Crowley (37), Declan Collins for B O’Donovan (37).
Referee: Niall Hayes (Carbery Rangers).