'This is a different Rossa side,' insists Gene O'Donovan after Skibb beat Ilen in local derby

August 22nd, 2022 12:30 PM

By Tom Lyons

O'Donovan Rossa's David Shannon gets away from Ilen Rovers' Daniel Coakley during the Cork SAFC clash at Castlehaven. (Photo: Anne Minihane)

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O’Donovan Rossa 2-16    

Ilen Rovers 1-9


O’DONOVAN Rossa grabbed the bragging rights in this intriguing Bons Secours senior A football championship game in sun-splashed Moneyvollahane, guaranteeing themselves a place in the knock-out stages after two straight wins. 

This local derby had all kinds of everything before the Skibb men clinched a well-deserved win with two late goals. 

Superb scores. Mighty endeavour. Three black cards. Yellow cards. A unique penalty. Hard hits. Injuries. Stoppage. And plenty of dark arts too. This was a hell of a football game with Rossas showing more pace all round and better penetration in attack to emerge convincing winners.

‘Delighted with the performance, the score says it all, 2-16 to 1-9. It was 3-16 to 1-10 the last day against Newmarket,’ said Rossa manager, Gene O’Donovan.  

‘I think we’re creating a formula, we have a formula now and you have to come and try to break it down. Warriors, Dave Shannon, Paudie Crowley, and the rest fell in behind them. We’ve been called fine-day footballers. It’s been said we want to win championships without working hard. There was plenty of hard work today. 

‘Fair play to Ilen Rovers, they could easily have laid down when we went three or four points up but they came out and fought us. The two goals were crucial. This is a different Rossa side, even though many of the players are the same. They’re wonderful footballers and they’ve toughened up a bit.’


Rossas dominated the opening exchanges as Dylan Hourihane, Donal Óg Hodnett (2), Mark Collins and Kevin Davis (free) raised white flags in response to a single effort from Dermot Hegarty to lead 0-5 to 0-1 after only eight minutes of frantic action. Dan MacEoin pointed a free to cut the lead. 

Then came the first black card, for Rossas’ Brian Crowley in the tenth minute, and the Skibb side appeared to lose some momentum subsequently. Sean O’Donovan and Hourihane swapped points before the second black card, for Thomas Hegarty in the 19th minute, saw Rossas down to 13 for a couple of minutes.

Despite the numerical disadvantage, it was Rossas who regained control. Points from Hodnett, David Shannon and Davis (two frees) had them leading by double scores at the break, 0-10 to 0-5, MacEoin and Alan O’Driscoll replying for Ilen. The third quarter saw football almost taking second place as the game took on an unwanted mean look. Fouls, frees, hard hits, stoppages and a unique penalty award disrupting any flow of play. 

Points from Adrian and Conor O’Driscoll sandwiched a Davis free. In the 35th minute, Ilen goalkeeper Damien O’Sullivan got involved in an adventurous passing movement that saw him ending up in the Rossa square where he was fouled by Rossa goalkeeper Ryan Price. A black card for Price and a cracking penalty goal by Dan MacEoin had Ilen within a point of the opposition but promises of a top=class encounter had to wait a while as the game took on a very broken pattern.

Damien and Brendan O'Brien, Skibbereen, at the big match.


Elliot Connolly and MacEoin (free) swapped points and the last quarter dawned with only a single point between the sides. It began to look as if Rossas were lasting the pace better in the exhausting heat. When Thomas Hegarty burst on the scene with two fine points, the gap was opening. Ilen’s lingering hopes were dealt a death blow in the 52nd minute when sub Kevin Hurley, on the pitch only five minutes, rose highest in the Ilen goalmouth to palm a high centre to the net in the 52nd minute. There was no catching a rampant Rossas subsequently as Davis pointed from a free and play. In the 58th minute Hourihane set up the flying Thomas Hegarty for Rossas’ second goal. 

Conor O’Driscoll had a final consolation point for Ilen in injury time but it was Rossas who grabbed the bragging rights and the two vital points on offer.


Scorers - O’Donovan Rossa: Kevin Davis 0-6 (5f); Thomas Hegarty 1-2; Kevin Hurley 1-0; Donal Óg Hodnett 0-3; Dylan Hourihane 0-2; Elliot Connolly, David Shannon, Mark Collins 0-1 each.  Ilen Rovers: Dan MacEoin 1-3 (1-0 pen, 1f); Conor O’Driscoll, Adrian O’Driscoll 0-2 each; Dermot Hegarty, Sean O’Donovan 0-1 each.

O’Donovan Rossa: Ryan Price; Dylan O’Donovan, Darren Daly, Brian Minihane; Mark Collins, Paudie Crowley, Oisín Lucey; Donal Óg Hodnett, David Shannon; Brian Crowley, Niall Daly, Elliot Connolly; Dylan Hourihane, Kevin Davis, Thomas Hegarty. Subs: Shane Crowley for B Crowley (37), Kevin Hurley for B Crowley (47), Luke Connolly for E Connolly (53), Brian Crowley for N Daly (55), Elliot Connolly for D Shannon (60).

Ilen Rovers: Damien O’Sullivan; Paddy Minihane, Seán Minihane, Shane Carey; Daniel Coakley, Donal Collins, Conor O’Driscoll; Peadar O’Driscoll, Dermot Hegarty; Jack Collins, Adrian O’Driscoll, Michael Sheehy; Dan McEoin, Seán O’Donovan, Alan Holland. Subs: Conor Harrington for D Coakley (47), Barry Collins for A O’Driscoll (50), Kieran Lynch for D Hegarty (53).

Referee: Alan Long (A. Rangers).


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