Russell Rovers 2-14 Castlemartyr 0-14
Our hurlers reached the final of the East Cork Junior C Hurling Championship with an impressive display over Castlemartyr in Ballinacurra on Sunday afternoon last. Facing into a tricky cross-field breeze in the opening half, Rovers had difficulty coping with the lively Castlemartyr attack who had notched up four unanswered points in the opening five minutes. Our forwards had some chances in the opening period but rushed shooting led to a number of wides before Daire Healy collected the ball out near the end line and, rounding a number of defenders, blasted home our first score to the back of the net to put us back in the game in the tenth minute. Castlemartyr added on two more points, the second from a placed ball, and only alert reaction from keeper Chris Scanlon prevented a goal on the quarter hour mark. Kevin Moynihan shot over the first of eight frees in the 17th minute. Indeed, throughout the game his shooting was unerring and a joy to watch. Castlemartyr, though, continued to pile on the pressure and only stout defending by Rovers prevented any goals. James Ahern at centre-back, working tirelessly, broke up many of the Castlemartyr attacks and full back, Shane Casey was also outstanding. Castlemartyr had cancelled out Moynihan’s point within a minute and Scanlon had to dash off his line shortly afterwards to collect the ball. Once in possession the keeper went off on a solo run to the forty and lofted a fine delivery in to Jack Beausang who scored our second point. Castlemartyr added on two more before Alan Cott was fouled in the square leading to a penalty for Rovers. Beausang’s well struck shot was deflected out by the Castlemartyr defence but a minute later Moynihan was on hand to strike over his second point. Castlemartyr stretched their lead to four points (0-10 to 1-3) just before half time with a well-taken free.
At half time James Moynihan was brought on for David Whelehan, who had been struggling with a back injury for much of the opening period. The sides exchanged pointed frees inside the opening minute of the second half but then Rovers had four points on the trot from Kevin Moynihan, the first from a 65, the second when our keeper and Chris Ruddy combined well to provide the pass, the third a massive free from 2 metres outside his own 65 so by the 41st minute the sides were level. Daire Healy put us in the lead for the first time in the game at the three-quarter stage. Two more Moynihan frees extended it and in the 52nd minute right half-back Ricky Walsh found his way up field to give us a four point lead. Castlemartyr pegged one back in the 54th minute. Another Moynihan free restored the four point advantage to Rovers. But Castlemartyr were not giving up easily and converted two easily conceded frees to bring the difference back to just two points. The Reds were now giving it everything in search of a goal and again Chris Scanlon had to bring off some fine saves to prevent them scoring. While they were under tremendous pressure the Rovers defence held firm. A Rovers clearance downfield found Healy again in the far right corner and he repeated his first half effort, soloing in along the end line, rounding a defender and giving the keeper no chance for his second goal to settle the issue on the 60th minute. A point from Alan Cott in stoppage time sealed the Rovers victory in a game well handled by referee Aidan Barry of Sars, whose job was made easy by the sporting temperament of both teams. Philip White and Colman Quinlan were introduced for Jack Beausang and Brendan Kearney for the final ten minutes of the game. While this was definitely a whole team effort, midfielders Chris Ruddy and Brian Crowley and Tadg Crowley at centre-forward stood out for their tremendous work rate throughout the hour.
Team: Chris Scanlon, Aidan Beausang, Shane Casey (Capt), David Whelehan, Ricky Walsh, James Ahern, Seamus Kearney, Brian Crowley, Chris Ruddy, Alan Cott, Tadhg Crowley, Kevin Moynihan, Jack Beausang, Brendan Kearney, Daire Healy.
Subs: James Moynihan for David Whelehan, Philip White for Brendan Kearney, Colman Quinlan for Jack Beausang, Donal Fitzgerald.
The final of this championship is not expected to be played for a couple of weeks as there is yet no date set for the other semi-final between Bride Rovers and Midleton.
J.F.L. Div 2: Russell Rovers v Ballinacurra on Sunday, 7th September at 11.30 am in Ballinacurra.
Vote of Sympathy
The Club wishes to pass on its deepest sympathy to the Cahill family KIlva on the recent death of David Cahill. His son David is a prominent member of the Club and tireless worker for the promotion of Gaelic games in the parish, currently holding the position of Chairman of the St Colmans Juvenile Club. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.