Ilen Rovers 3-12
WEST CORK GAEL REPORTS
ILEN Rovers junior D footballers completed the double last Sunday morning in Rosscarbery.
Fielding an ideal mixture of youth and experience, Ilen won the South West Rowa/Rowex JDFC final by defeating Barryroe to complete the double at this level, having beaten Kilmeen in the final of the Division 6 football league the previous week.
But before anybody gets carried away by the final tally, it flatters Ilen, because, despite falling behind early on, Barryroe battled to the very last whistle.
In fact, with ten minutes remaining the Blues trailed by a mere three points (2-7 to 2-4), as one of their more productive forwards, young Sean Holland, got the merest of deft touches to a Darren McCarthy free to billow the Ilen rigging in the 49th minute.
It was very much game on now as Barryroe threw the kitchen sink at Ilen in their attempts to salvage the game, with Holland, Daniel O’Driscoll, Adrian Fleming, substitutes Kevin McCarthy, Richard Murphy and Michael O’Driscoll and midfielder Kevin O’Donovan laying down the gauntlet.
But many of this Ilen team has been there before, done that, and ably led by the outstanding Brian O’Sullivan and with captain Donie Duggan, Fachtna McCarthy, Kieran Daly, Timmy McCarthy, Shane Hickey, Kieran Keohane and the Minihanes collectively battening down the hatches, the Blues resurgence was stymied.
Sean Holland did point a free in the 55th minute, but it was the Blues scoring swansong, as a barrage of Ilen scores in the dying minutes saw Ilen cruise home comfortably, including points by midfielder Timmy McCarthy, Shane Holland, Donie Duggan and Brian O’Sullivan with substitute Shane Evans cracking home a bullet of a goal in the 59th minute.
It was all too easy at the final whistle, but Ilen’s manager Gerry O’Sullivan acknowledged the stern resistance presented by Barryroe for much of the hour.
‘For 50/55 minutes of this game the result could have gone either way. Barryroe had it back to a five-point margin late in the game, but luckily some of our experienced lads got a few vital scores in breakaway situations. Look, to be honest there was very little between the teams,’ O’Sullivan said.
The opening minutes of this match presented a three-goal scoring fest, as after Adrian Fleming and Ger Coleman linked up deftly, the former sent a low drive past Oisín Coakley in the sixth minute and Barryroe had hit the front, 1-0 to 0-1. Their joy was short-lived, as breaking rapidly downfield, Ryan Herlihy and Kieran Daly combined for the former to beat excellent Barryroe custodian Damien O’Leary from close range in the seventh minute.
Almost immediately Pat Whooley sent a blockbuster thundering off the Barryroe crossbar, but a minute later Donie Duggan scored the goal of the game with an unstoppable drive, after O’Sullivan and Daly were the joint service providers.
By the 17th minute Ilen had consolidated their advantage with points from O’Sullivan, Herlihy and Duggan, but in fairness, two lovely white flags by Barryroe’s Adrian Fleming and Kevin O’Donovan in the interim period helped the Blues’ cause.
Still, the Ilen double scores lead, 2-4 to 1-2, was a commanding one and manager O’Sullivan felt that possibly was one of the key moments in the destination of the cup.
‘The goals in the first half made a huge difference. When Barryroe got the goal, to hit back straightaway and get two ourselves and a couple of points was a huge boost. Barryroe had to chase the game and with our older players coming to the fore, we held out at the end, while of course last week’s game against Kilmeen really stood to us,’ O’Sullivan said.
Barryroe goalkeeper Damien O’Leary thwarted both Garry Coakley and Kieran Daly in a five-minute spell as the Ilen onslaught intensified coming up to the interval, but just on the blow of the interval suss (2-5 to 1-2), a ball by Sean Holland crossed dangerously in front of Rovers goalmouth, but a combination of Coakley, and the Minihane’s, Conor and Kevin, ushered it to safety. Barryroe had moved Kevin O’Driscoll to full back, Conor O’Regan to the pivot position, while introducing Michael O’Driscoll and Kevin McCarthy as they upped the ante.
Sean Holland (free) and another astute score by the same player in the 44th minute signalled their intentions, but crucially a superb point by Fachtna Collins (43) sandwiched in between kept the two-goal margin intact, 2-7 to 1-4, before the all-action finale.
John Corcoran, chairman of the South West Board, presented the cup to a delighted Donie Duggan, captain of Ilen Rovers.
Ilen Rovers: Brian O’Sullivan 0-5 (1f), Donie Duggan 1-2, Ryan Herlihy 1-1, Shane Evans 1-0, Fachtna Collins 0-2, Timmy McCarthy, Shane Holland 0-1 each.
Barryroe: Sean Holland 1-3 (2f), Adrian Fleming 1-1, Kevin O’Donovan 0-1.
Ilen Rovers: Oisín Coakley; Conor Minihane, Kieran Keohane, Kevin Minihane; Shane Holland, Keith Hickey, Donncha Whooley; Fachtna Collins, Timmy McCarthy; Ryan Herlihy, Donie Duggan, Pat Whooley; Kieran Daly, Garry Coakley, Brian O’Sullivan.
Subs used: Brian O’Driscoll for Pat Whooley (29), Shane Evans for Coakley (45), Mike Keohane for Herlihy (50), Andrew Collins for Donncha Whooley (54), Diarmuid O’Driscoll for Daly (56), Michael Leonard for McCarthy (56).
Barryroe: Damien O’Leary; John Dullea, Conor O’Regan, Brian Scannell; Joe O’Leary, Kevin O’Driscoll, Stephen Madden; Kevin O’Donovan, Darren McCarthy; Daniel O’Driscoll, Ger Coleman, Tiernan McKeown; Sean Holland, Adrian Fleming, Gearóid Whelton.
Subs used: Michael O’Driscoll for Scannell (ht), Richard Murphy for Kevin O’Driscoll (inj, 32), Kevin McCarthy for Coleman (42), Peter Keohane for Joe O’Leary (51), Matt O’Regan for Whelton (52).
Referee: Liam O’Shea (Carbery Rangers).