O’Donovan Rossa 1-16
Noel Horgan Reports
DEFEATED finalists last year, O’Donovan Rossa made their exit from the county junior B hurling championship when going under to Freemount in a quarter-final tie at Ballyanly.
It took an additional 20 minutes to resolve the issue after the sides were deadlocked, 1-12 apiece, at the end of the hour, but there could be no quibbling about Freemount’s superiority in extra-time.
Indeed, the Duhallow men were marginally the better side in normal time, particularly in the first half. The Rossas registered just one score from play, which came courtesy of Stephen Cotter, before the break when Kevin Crowley, with a point, and goalkeeper Alan Foley, who bagged 1-3, completed their tally from placed balls.
Foley’s goal, struck from distance in the tenth minute, made it 1-2 to 0-2 in favour of the Skibb men, who never fell behind in the first half, due to a combination of the fortuitous goal and Freemount’s profligacy, which saw the winners accumulate eight wides.
It was 1-5 to 0-8 at the interval, but O’Donovan Rossa raised their performance on the resumption, thanks primarily to the impact made by Rob Long, who had been brought out from centre-forward, and Flor Crowley at midfield.
Crowley, with an inspirational effort from long-range, substitute Kevin Cotter and Michael O’Donovan chipped in with good points from play as the Carbery side moved 1-10 to 0-10 ahead entering the last quarter.
Just when it seemed as if O’Donovan Rossa were about to drive on to victory, they were rocked back on their heels by an equalising goal from Freemount’s Padraig Curtin in the 46th minute.
It took a splendid save by Alan Foley to prevent prolific Freemount full-forward Padraig Collins from finding the net on the run-in when O’Donovan Rossa had to rely on a brace of late scores – shared by Stephen Cotter and Flor Crowley, who slotted over another beauty – to force extra-time.
Excellent Skibb custodian Foley proved his worth again when making another superb stop in the first period, but Freemount still managed to ease into a 1-17 to 1-13 lead prior to the change of ends.
As things transpired, the winner’s advantage was never seriously threatened afterwards, although O’Donovan Rossa, who were best served overall by Foley, Rob Long, Flor Crowley, and half backs Hugh Leonard and Daniel Kingston battled valiantly until the bitter end.
Freemount: P Collins 0-12 (9f), D Collins 0-4, P Curtin 1-1, D Curtin 0-2, D O’Sullivan, T O’Callaghan 0-1 each.
O’Donovan Rossa: A Foley 1-4 (f), K Crowley 0-3 (3f), S Cotter 0-3, F Crowley, R Long 0-2 each, K Cotter, M O’Donovan 0-1 each.
Freemount: J Morrissey; D O’Flynn, M Curtin, S McSweeney; B Carroll, J Ballantyne, W O’Regan; D Collins, M McSweeney; P Curtin, D Curtin, I Guiney; M O’Callaghan, P Collins, D O’Sullivan.
Subs: K O’Connor for Carroll (ht), A Ballantyne for Guiney (ht), K Broderick for O’Callaghan (51), L Enright for O’Connor (53), T O’Callaghan for O’Sullivan (57).
O’Donovan Rossa: A Foley; N McCarthy, C Crowley, D Lynch; C Long, D Kingston, H Leonard; F Crowley, A Keane; S Cotter, R Long, M O’Donovan; D McCarthy, K Crowley, J O’Driscoll.
Subs: S Crowley Jnr for C Long (27), K Cotter for D McCarthy (52), K Shannon for K Crowley (54), J McCarron for N McCarthy (extra-time), N Kearney for S Crowley Jnr (68), P Paison for Shannon (72).
Referee: G Ahern (Canovee).