O’Donovan Rossa 1-10
COIS FARRAIGE REPORTS
A CRACKING Clona Milk U21 B football semi-final in Rosscarbery on Saturday last finished in dramatic fashion when O’Donovan Rossa almost pulled off a sensational comeback.
For 55 minutes of this game Kilmeen looked in control, physically stronger and more dangerous in attack than the Skibb lads.
A dominant second half, having led by two points at half time, saw Kilmeen building a well-deserved lead of five points with ten minutes left on the clock but any thoughts they had of cruising to the final whistle were rudely exploded by Rossas, who put in a great finish.
The comeback began with a pointed free by county player Kevin Davis, rampant in the first half but double-marked in the second period.
With four points in it, Rossas were awarded a penalty in the 54th minute when Eoin Collins was, surprisingly, adjudged to have been fouled in the square.
It was a decisive moment in the contest as Davis faced up to goalkeeper William Tyner and it was the Skibb ace who blinked, kicking just wide of the post. Had the penalty been converted, who knows what might have happened.
Allowed off the hook, Kilmeen surged forward to kick two points, play and a 45, from man-of-the-match Darren Santry, and only a great save from Rossa goalkeeper Paul Minehane prevented Shane Scannell from goaling.
But it wasn’t finished yet, as Kilmeen, six points in front entering injury time, again appeared to take their foot off the pedal and back came battling Rossas.
A goal and then a point by impressive full forward Joe Lynch cut the lead to two points as the Kilmeen supporters and mentors roared at the referee for the final whistle.
They had to endure a few anxious moments before that final whistle did come and they had booked a place in the final against dark horses, Diarmuid Ó Mathúna.
While Rossas’ late comeback was commendable and exciting, it would have been an injustice if Kilmeen had lost this one as they were the better side for much of the encounter.
There was little between the teams in the first half as the sides were level on three occasion in the opening 23 minutes. Even though Rossas opened the scoring with a point from Eoin Collins, it was Kilmeen to the fore, 0-4 to 0-2, at the end of the first quarter.
Kevin Davis, proving a real handful for the Kilmeen defence, had Rossas’ second point while the Kilmeen scores came from Damien O’Gorman, play and free, Darren Santry (free) and Joseph O’Donovan – all three of whom caused a lot of problems up front for the winners.
A good start to the second quarter, with Kevin Davis, Jack Breen, Jack Cowap and Joe Lynch prominent, saw Rossas draw level with three points from Davis, two from play, in answer to a pointed free from Darren Santry.
Kilmeen’s strength was beginning to tell now despite some lovely football from Rossas, and it was the Blues who finished the half on top with points from Cian McCarthy and impressive wing back Ogie Scannell. It was Kilmeen in front by 0-7 to 0-5 at the interval.
The third quarter was a tale of Kilmeen points, Rossa misses and the double marking of Kevin Davis, which kept him out of the game.
Kilmeen were in control, with Liam Daly very strong in the middle and Darren Santry flying in a much more open role at full forward, despite lining out with a broken nose.
White flags from Santry (2) and O’Gorman (free) had Kilmeen five in front and Skibb were grateful to goalkeeper Paul Minehane, who brought off a great save from Cian McCarthy.
Rossas did have their chances but their shooting deserted them as they kicked six wides in the third quarter. They finally found the range with points from Eoin Collins and Davis (free), but a point from Shane O’Donovan left Kilmeen four in front, 0-11 to 0-7 at the three-quarter mark.
Wing forward Finian Deasy sprang into life for the Kilmeen side with two fine points in answer to a point from Adrian Costan and Kilmeen were a safe five points in front and, seemingly, in complete control, with ten minutes left on the clock. Then came the hectic finish which had the crowd on its toes as Rossas nearly pulled the game out of the fire.
However, it was Kilmeen who deservedly advanced to a final meeting with Mathúna’s on Easter Sunday on a 0-15 to 1-10 score.
William Tyner, Jonathan Deasy, Brian Keohane, Shane Scannell and Shane O’Donovan were others to shine for the winners, while Niall McCarthy, Richie Fitzgerald, Adrian Crostan and subs Gavin Coombes and Shane O’Driscoll, tried hard for Rossas.
Kilmeen: Darren Santry 0-6 (2f, 1 45), Damien O’Gorman 0-3 (2f), Finian Deasy 0-2, Ogie Scannell, Cian McCarthy, Shane O’Donovan, Joseph O’Donovan 0-1 each.
O’Donovan Rossa: Kevin Davis 0-6 (3f), Joe Lynch 1-1, Eoin Collins 0-2, Adrian Costan 0-1.
Kilmeen: William Tyner; Sean Deasy, Liam O’Brien, Brian Keohane; Ogie Scannell, Jonathan Deasy, Kevin Keohane; Liam Daly, Shane O’Donovan; Shane Scannell, Damien O’Gorman, Cian McCarthy; Joseph O’Donovan, Darren Santry, Finian Deasy.
Sub used: Michael D Keohane.
O’Donovan Rossa: Paul Minehane; Sean Fitzgerald, Richie Fitzgerald, Niall McCarthy; Colm Fitzgerald, Adrian Costan, Jack Cowap; Killian Newman, Jack Breen; Brian McCarthy, Kevin Davis, Brian Crowley; Eoin Collins, Joe Lynch, Dylan Hourihane.
Subs used: Shane O’Driscoll, Gavin Coombes.
Referee: John Forbes (Dohenys).