O’Donovan Rossa 0-17
Béal Áthan Ghaorthaidh 1-10
KIERAN McCARTHY REPORTS
THIS was the gut check that O’Donovan Rossa needed. After blowing St Nick’s away in their opening Cork Senior A FC Group A game, it was hard to know where the Skibbereen team stands – but they got the challenge they needed against Béal Átha an Ghaorthaidh in a wet Ballinacarriga on Saturday afternoon.
Despite the conditions this was an entertaining clash with a lot on the line for both – a win for Rossas would keep them on top of the table and on course for the knock-out stages while Béal Áthan Ghaorthaidh needed to bounce back from their opening loss to St Michael’s.
The Mid Cork club led 0-5 to 0-4 at the first water break with their deadly duo in attack, Diarmuid Mac Tomáis and Ben Seartan, both sharp and dangerous. In fact, they accounted for all of Beál Áthan’s tally of 1-10.
For Skibb, Dylan Hourihane and full forward David Shannon shared their first eight points before Rory Byrne landed his side’s ninth point late in the first half to push them 0-9 to 0-6 ahead. Skibb, without the injured Kevin Davis in attack, were better in the second quarter. By the break Skibb led 0-10 to 0-7 but they didn't have it all their own way. They struggled to find their rhythm in the opening half, but were still able to pick off scores.
After Donal Óg Hodnett extended Skibb’s lead early in the second half, Beál Áthan hit back with 1-1, the goal from Ben Seartan in the 36th minute after they forced a turnover. It was all square, 0-11 to 1-8, but, crucially for Skibb, they didn’t fall behind. Instead, Hodnett, who was quiet in the opening half but more influential in the second, kicked three in a row to open up a gap.
Beál Áthan were dogged and determined, with their championship hopes on the line, and a Seartan double hauled them to within one inside the last ten minutes. It was the Carbery club that finished on top though, as points from Rory Byrne, Sean Fitzgerald and Shannon saw them over the line and fired them to top of the Group A table.
Tensions boiled over after the final whistle but order was soon restored, and Skibb will take a lot of learnings from this game, the biggest one being they stood up to a huge challenge and found a way to win.
O’Donovan Rossa: Dylan Hourihane 0-6 (3f); David Shannon 0-4 (1m, 1 45), Donal Óg Hodnett 0-4; Rory Byrne 0-2; Sean Fitzgerald 0-1. Béal Áthan Ghaorthaidh: Ben Seartan 1-4; Diarmuid MacTomáis 0-6 (2f).
O’Donovan Rossa: Ryan Price; Sean Fitzgerald, Eoin Fitzgerald, Daniel Hazel; Shane O’Driscoll, Paudie Crowley, Dylan O’Donovan; Rory Byrne, Colm Fitzgerald; Donal Óg Hodnett, Dylan Hourihane, Elliot Connolly; Thomas Hegarty, David Shannon, Kevin Hurley. Subs: Jack Breen for C Fitzgerald (19, inj); Darren Daly for K Hurley (41); Brian Crowley for D O’Donovan (56); Eoghan O’Connell for D Shannon (60, inj).
Béal Áthan Ghaorthaidh: Gearóid Ó Muirthile; Ciarán Ó Nuanáin, John Ó Donnchú, Noel Ó Duinnin; Matt Ó Riordáin, Liam Ó Criodáin, Noel Ó Laoire; Eanna Ó Duinnin, Colman Ó Tuama; Seamas Ó Tuama, Andy Ó Conceannáin, Cian Ó Duinnin; Diarmuid Mac Tomáis, Ben Seartan, Donagh Seartan. Subs: Conchúr Ó Loinsigh for S Ó Tuama (34); Daire Ó Ceallacháin for M Ó Ríordáin (35); Tim Ó Laoire for L Ó Criodáin (52); Sean Ó Muimhneacháin for D Mac Tomáis (56, inj); Sean Ó Luasa for C Ó Tuama (56).
Referee: T Hayes (Éire Óg).