O’Donovan Rossa 1-17
St Finbarr’s 2-14 (aet)
JOHN MURPHY REPORTS
O’DONOVAN Rossa were denied victory by a last-gasp St Finbarr’s free in extra time of an epic county U21A football championship round one clash at Bandon.
Dara O’Sullivan was the hero for St Finbarr’s as his pointed free denied Carbery champions Skibb progression to the next round.
The teams were level on ten occasions.
‘It was a great game of football. It was a superb advertisement for football and it could have gone either way at the end. This bunch of lads never know the meaning of defeat,’ Rossas manager Shane Crowley said.
‘They are progressing and gaining in confidence. They were a little disappointed to have conceded right at the end but we will regroup, reform and go again.’
The match began with Elliot Connolly and Dylan Hourihane splitting the posts to give Rossas early momentum but towering Barr’s midfielder Brian Hayes replied for the Barr’s.
The city lads began to impose their will on the game and in the 17th minute, Colm Barrett toe-poked the ball past brilliant Rossas shot-stopper Szymon Ziob. Three points from Dylan Hourihane restored parity. The searing pace of brothers Elliot and Luke Connolly and the foraging forays of Rory Byrne, Jamie Shanahan and Eoghan O’Connell had the Barr’s back-peddling as half time saw Rossas ahead by the minimum, 0-8 to 1-4.
Hourihane and Shanahan edged Skibbereen 0-11 to 1-5 ahead but in the twinkling of an eye the pendulum of ascendancy swung in the city direction.
With conditions deteriorating as the rain got heavier the Barr’s embarked on a scoring spree. Jack O’Brien blasted home a goal, and Daire O’Sullivan and Bill O’Connell raised white flags. It was 2-7 to 0-11 at the end of the third quarter. A sublime goal by Jamie Shanahan following great work by Elliot Connolly edged Rossas back in front.
Just when Rossas were looking good, Barr’s hit them with a barrage of scores and they now led 2-12 to 1-11. But Rossas are doughty competitors and Jamie Shanahan, Hourihane, Byrne and Elliot Connolly showed they had no intention of capitulating easily. It was 2-12 to 1-15 at the end of normal time.
Tired bodies summed up some new reserves of energy in the fading light in extra-time. Dara O’Sullivan was the sole scorer in the first half, but when the irrepressible Elliot Connolly hit two on the bounce, it looked as if Rossas were on the cusp of a famous win, but O’Sullivan’s late free ensures another day out for both.
O’Donovan Rossa: Dylan Hourihane 0-9 (7f), Jamie Shanahan 1-2, Elliot Connolly 0-4, Eoghan O’Connell, Rory Byrne 0-1 each.
St Finbarr’s: Dara O’Sullivan 0-5 (1f), Brian Hayes 0-4 (1 45), Colm Barrett, Jack O’Brien 1-0 each, Andrew Turner, Bill O’Connell, Jamie Linehan, Sam Cunningham, Alan McCarthy 0-1 each.
O’Donovan Rossa: Szymon Ziob; Padraig O’Neill, Eoin Fitzgerald, Ross Fitzgerald; Alan Nott, Sean Fitzgerald, Dylan O’Donovan; Rory Byrne, Sean Cowap; Jamie Shanahan, Eoghan O’Connell, Shane O’Driscoll; Elliot Connolly, Dylan Hourihane, Luke Connolly. Subs: Michael O’Sullivan for Pádraig O’Neill (ht), Kevin Hurley for Alan Nott (46) Jamie Hourihane for Luke Connolly (3, et), Padraig O’Neill for Eoghan O’Connell (black card, 17 et).
St Finbarr’s: Darragh Moran; Michael Ahern, Eoin O’Regan, Craig O’Sullivan; Bill O’Connell, Alan McCarthy, Colm McCarthy; Brian Hayes, Andrew Turner; Jack O’Brien, Cian O’Sullivan, Jamie Lenihan; Dara O’Sullivan, Luke Hannigan, Colm Barrett. Subs: Brian Mulcahy for Eoin O’Regan (ht), Sam Cunningham for Cian O’Sullivan (49), Darragh Callanan for Andrew Turner (et).
Referee: Alan O’Connor (Ballygarvan).