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Local bragging rights head to Skibbereen after county league Division 2 football derby

March 22nd, 2023 6:00 PM

By Tom Lyons

O'Donovan Rossa's Darren Daly is held back by Newcestown's Seamus O'Sullivan during the Cork Credit Unions FL Div 2 tie. (Photo: Paddy Feen)

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O’Donovan Rossa 0-12 

Newcestown 0-7

TOM LYONS REPORTS

O’DONOVAN Rossa won the bragging rights in a wet and misty Páirc Uí Mhathúna, Newcestown when they overcame the locals in Division 2 of the Cork Credit Unions Football League. 

Rossas, in particular, had good reason to be pleased as they looked in trouble at half time having surrendered a four-point lead built up in the opening 20 minutes. However, they showed commendable spirit in the second half as they again built up a lead of five points in the third quarter and then withstood a late comeback by the St John’s brigade. 

‘I was very happy with today,’ said manager Gene O’Donovan. ‘For 22 minutes we took the fight to them and then in the space of five minutes all our good work was undone. But to come out in the second half and put up the battle we did was very pleasing. 

‘In this league we’re trying to improve on the system we introduced to our play last season. It seemed to be working well but then St Michael’s exposed the weaknesses in it and we have to tweak it a bit. We’re focusing on that. We’re noted as nice footballers but we’re trying to get a bit of toughness into them. We need to get rid of those unwelcome tags. Apart from that the league isn't a priority but if we get a sniff at it, we’ll have a good go and give it our best.’

O'Donovan Rossa's Niall Daly in a battle with Newcestown's Podge Collins.

 

In wet slippery conditions, Rossas dominated the opening 20 minutes against a strangely subdued home side, who enjoyed plenty of possession but failed to turn it into scores. Kicking seven wides but failing to raise a flag, they were punished by a Rossa side whose entire forward sextet looked very mobile and very sharp. Kevin Davis was the fulcrum at full forward, kicking two points from play and one from a free. Midfielder Rory Byrne was also to the fore, kicking one superb point. However, the loss of centre back Paudie Crowley to injury after 15 minutes seemed to upset their rhythm somewhat. 

It was 0-4 to nil after 20 minutes before Newcestown finally began to display the renowned spirit we always associate with them. Centre forward Tadhg Twomey was the player who stoked their coals but it was tall full forward Sean O’Donovan who finally opened their account with two good points. Twomey added another from a free and when Séamus O’Sullivan pointed, it was all square, 0-4 each, Rossas wondering at half time how they were in that position. 

To their credit, the Skibb men refused to panic and with Rory Byrne lording midfield, they totally dominated the third quarter, and the scores flowed from Byrne (2), Niall Daly, Donal Óg Hodnett and Kevin Davis (free). Dave Shannon and Elliot Connolly were also very prominent in the lively Rossa attack. 

There was a flow about Rossas’ football at that stage that the home side just couldn’t match but the introduction of some subs, and the Newcestown spirit, came to the fore in the last quarter as they trailed 0-9 to 0-4. Led by Cian Twomey, Mícheál McSweeney, Eoin Collins, and Seán O’Donovan, who had switched successfully to wing back in the second half, Newcestown began to turn the tide. Points from Cian and Tadhg Twomey closed the gap to a manageable three.

O'Donovan Rossa's Kevin Hurley breaks away from Newcestown's Joe Kenneally during the Cork Credit Unions FL Div 2 at Newcestown.

 

The questions were now being asked of Rossas, with Elliot Connolly being black-carded, but the Skibb side responded well as Kevin Davis pointed two frees to restore the five-point gap. Séamus O’Sullivan joined Connolly on the sideline as Tadhg Twomey (free) and Donal Óg Hodnett swapped late points to complete the scoring.

‘We weren’t at full strength, missing about ten but in fairness to Skibb they were the better team on the day,’ explained Newcestown manager Tim Buckley. ‘We had a very young side out but that’s what these league games are for, to find out what your full panel is like.’

 

Scorers - O’Donovan Rossa: Kevin Davis 0-6 (5f); Rory Byrne 0-3; Donal Óg Hodnett 0-2; Niall Daly 0-1.  Newcestown: Tadhg Twomey 0-3 (2f); Seán O’Donovan 0-2; Cian Twomey, Séamus O’Sullivan 0-1 each.

O’Donovan Rossa: Ryan Price; Olan O’Donovan, Darren Daly, Padraig O’Neill; Seán Fitzgerald, Paudie Crowley, Oisín Lucey; Rory Byrne, Kevin Hurley; Elliot Connolly, Donal Óg Hodnett, Niall Daly; Jack O’Brien, Kevin Davis, Dave Shannon. Subs: Dylan Hourihane Jnr for P Crowley (15), Brian Crowley for J O’Brien (48), Shane Crowley for E Connolly (50). 

Newcestown: Chris White; Niall Murray, Cian Twomey, James Kelleher; Robin Sweeney, Micheál McSweeney, Eoin Collins; Joe Kenneally, Conor Goggin; Colm Dineen, Tadhg Twomey, Padraig Collins; Séamus O’Sullivan, Seán O’Donovan, Olan Walsh. Subs: Ciarán Hurley for P Collins (ht), Cormac O’Sullivan for R Sweeney (ht), Derek Brady for C Dineen (43), Dan Flanagan for J Kenneally (46), Gerard Murphy for O Walsh (55), Darragh McSweeney for J Kelleher (55). 

Referee: Alan Long (Argideen Rangers).

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