Sport

Rossas on the rise

April 6th, 2019 12:00 PM

By Tom Lyons

The O'Donovan Rossa team celebrates after defeating Dohenys in the Clona Milk U21A FC final at Castlehaven .(Photo: Paddy Feen)

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Super sub Jamie Hourihane scores dramatic late winner for Skibb

 

O’Donovan Rossa 1-9   

Dohenys 0-10

 

SUPER-SUB Jamie Hourihane is the toast of Skibbereen this week.

The O’Donovan Rossa sub came off the bench to score a dramatic injury-time winning goal in the 63rd minute of this Clona Milk U21A football final to break Dohenys’ hearts and take the Liam Farr Cup back to Skibbereen for the first time since 2011. 

Rossas, much bigger and stronger than the opposition, looked all-over winners in the opening 20 minutes of this final at Castlehaven on Sunday, although playing against the strong breeze. 

Dohenys were favourites to win this tie but were out of sorts in the first half against a Skibb side whose rise from B to A grade champions has been pretty meteoric. 

‘To see a young fellah like Jamie coming on there, only 16, 17, and scoring a winning goal in a West Cork final was fantastic,’ Rossa manager Shane Crowley said afterwards

‘We started very well against the wind, the lads were cool and doing all the right things. Then we started making mistakes and doing some silly things, a few unforced errors and left them back into it. 

‘We just couldn’t seem to draw level in the second half. The ball wasn’t going in fast enough or was turned over by a good Doheny defence. 

‘They did kick a lot of wides and that free missed by Mark Buckley near the end could have been the winning of the game for them. But you have to take your chances and we got one and took it.’

Leading by 0-5 to 0-2 after 20 minutes, and playing most of the good football, Rossas had this game firmly in their grasp against the wind. Dylan Hourihane scored three points and Eoghan O’Connell and Rory Byrne were the Rossa scorers, while Garreth Crowley and Keith White answered for Dohenys.

Then in the 20th minute Mark Buckley converted a 45 for Dohenys, their first score in 15 minutes. It was like tripping a switch as they blazed into action and they kicked five unanswered points in a row before the break to lead by 0-7 to 0-5. It was a strange outcome from a first half that had been dominated by the stronger Skibbereen men. Buckley (45 and free), Cullen Barry (free), Fionn Herlihy and Keith White all raised white flags in quick succession.

While many expected Rossas to again gain control after the break with the wind to their backs, it was Dohenys who continued their flying form. Dominating midfield, they created numerous chances in the third quarter but the old bug-bear of Doheny teams, kicking wides, struck again. They managed only two points, from Barry and Buckley frees, while kicking seven second-half wides, some from very scoreable positions.

Meantime, Rossas, with far less possession kicked three points, from Dylan Hourihane, two frees, to cut the lead to a single point by the 45th minute. The equaliser came in the 54thminute from Rory Byrne.

But when midfielder Garreth Crowley, a colossus all through, kicked a wonderful lead point in the 58th minute, the green and white flags were really flying.

Full credit to brave Rossas who just refused to accept the inevitable. In a last-gasp attack deep in injury time the outstanding Elliot Connolly gained possession and cut in along the endline. His fisted effort for an equalising point from an acute angle failed to reach its target but dipped over the goalkeeper’s head and the inrushing sub Jamie Hourihane beat the defenders to palm it into the back of the net.

Joy for Rossas. Heartbreak for Dohenys. 

Rossas had many heroes in this unexpected win, with young sub Jamie Hourihane grabbing the headlines but in Elliot and Luke Connolly, they have forwards of rare talent. Not far behind was full forward Dylan Hourihane whose six points, four from frees, proved vital. Jamie Shanahan provided great strength at wing forward with Rory Byrne showing lovely touches on the other wing. Hard-working Eoghan O’Connell completed a forward division that took a lot of holding on the day.

Rossa midfielder Sean Fitzgerald took on the job of marking Doheny dangerman Mark Buckley and after a shaky first quarter, was clear master as he prevented Buckley from scoring from play. Eoin Fitzgerald had an outstanding game at the heart of the defence, while Alan Nott, Padraig O’Neill, Ross Fitzgerald and Shane O’Driscoll all had good outings at the back, not to mention goalkeeper Symon Ziob who kept a clean sheet with some brave saves.

Dohenys had their stars, too and Fionn Herlihy up front, almost won this final for his side in the second half with a tremendously courageous display. Centre forward Bill Murphy took a physical hammering but never shirked a challenge while the speedy winger Keith White again looked a class act. Midfielder Garreth Crowley was a colossus all through, opening and closing the scoring for his side, and his partner Cullen Barry showed a lot of class.

Dohenys lost their full back Declan Collins through injury in the first half but Keith Forbes, Jerry O’Farrell, Padraig O’Mahony and Jason Daly more than compensated all through, especially in an incredibly fast third quarter. Goalkeeper Stephen Daly was rock solid and could do little to prevent the winning goal.

 

Scorers

O’Donovan Rossa: Dylan Hourihane 0-6 (4f), Jamie Hourihane 1-0, Rory Byrne 0-2, Eoin O’Connell 0-1. 

Dohenys: Mark Buckley 0-3 (1 45, 2f), Garreth Crowley, Keith White, Cullen Barry (2f) 0-2 each, Fionn Herlihy 0-1.

 

O’Donovan Rossa: Symon Ziob; Alan Nott, Eoin Fitzgerald, Padraig O’Neill; Shane O’Driscoll, Dylan O’Donovan, Ross Fitzgerald; Sean Fitzgerald, Jack Cowap; Rory Byrne, Elliott Connolly, Jamie Shanahan; Luke Connolly, Dylan Hourihane, Eoghan O’Connell. 

Sub: Jamie Hourihane for J Cowap (47).

Dohenys: Stephen Daly; David O’Farrell, Declan Collins, Jason Daly; Keith Forbes, Jerry O’Farrell, Padraig O’Mahony; Garreth Crowley, Cullen Barry; Cathal Daly, Bill Murphy, Keith White; Kieran Forbes, Mark Buckley, Fionn Herlihy. 

Sub: Jerry Collins for D Collins (20).

Referee: Ian McCarthy (Bandon).    

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The clocks have gone forward and the longer evenings have finally arrived which can only mean one thing – the lawn mowers are out. A wealth of knowledge is on hand at Bandon Co-Op’s three stores in Bandon, Enniskeane and Kinsale thanks to each of their in-store experts who are there to share their vast experience

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