Clon take underdogs tag in their stride

O’DONOVAN Rossa, Skibbereen, without a title since 1992, are certain to be hot favourites for tomorrow’s permanent tsb Cork SFC semi-final against western neighbours Clonakilty at Dunmanway.

However, Clonakilty manager Owen O’Mahony is not unduly concerned: “This is nothing new for us because we have been underdogs in all our matches since day one.”

O’Mahony, in his second year at the Clon helm, said he was very impressed by O’Donovan Rossa’s powerful victory over Na Piarsaigh in the quarter-final last weekend. “They looked very good and pulled away impressively near the end.”

The Clon boss added: “Skibb are well-organised. There’s a good balance to the team and I think their forwards are very good. Scoring 17 points is some achievement and it must be remembered that they beat the team that had knocked out reigning All-Ireland club champions Nemo Rangers.”

O’Mahony faces one injury problem. Midfielder Brendan Walsh sustained a shoulder injury during Clon’s defeat by Laune Rangers in the quarter-final of the Munster club league last Sunday. “He’s damaged the ACT joint and the injury lay-off is a minimum of a fortnight,” said O’Mahony.

Clon lost their opening game to Castlehaven but bounced back to reach the last four with victories over UCC after a replay, Youghal and Imokilly. This will be the first senior championship meeting between those two clubs, who have established close links over the years with no intense parish rivalry.

O’Donovan Rossa manager Peader Healy is expecting a good game. “The two clubs get on very well together, it’s as simple as that. I think it should be a good game with plenty of open football, because that’s the way both teams like to play,” said Healy, who incidentally, was a colleague of O’Mahony’s on the Cork minor football team that won the All-Ireland in 1981. Both men are gardaí.

Healy announced no injury problems and said: “We played last weekend so we will just have a couple of light training sessions this week. He added: “The most important thing is that we must get our heads right so that we can put back-to-back wins together. O’Donovan Rossa also lost their opening game to Na Piarsaigh, but stormed back to defeat Avondhu, Aghada after a replay, and exacted revenge with their great win over the city club last weekend.

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