Full marks to both sides for serving up a teak-tough, entertaining contest and especially to dogged Dohenys, who battled hard, even overcoming the sending off of influential midfielder Sean Farr entering the final quarter. Throw in a plethora of yellow cards, two penalties and Jurgen Werner missing a free in front of the posts at the death, which would have levelled the scores, and it all adds up to an exciting hour.
The perfect start for Dohenys, Denis Healy goaling after only 15 seconds, and just before the end of the first quarter Daniel O’Donovan had a second to really rattle Rossas. With Sean Farr also adding two mighty frees into the wind, Dohenys were well worth their 2-2 to 0-3 lead after the opening 15 minutes.
But great battlers Skibb were in no mood to be rolled over. With Rory O’Donovan now buzzing around the middle of the park, leaving just the tasty Colin Crowley and Rob Long up front, they soon hit back. Werner pointed, Crowley worked hard to score a delightful goal, and when Sean Carmody and substitute Paddy Nealon tacked on further points Skibbereen were in the lead for the first time, 1-6 to 2-2.
It was time for Dohenys to respond now and they duly delivered as a free from Jer McCarthy and tasty point from wing back Johnny Collins earned them a 2-4 to 1-6 half-time lead.
A couple of frees from Jer McCarthy kept Dohenys’ noses in front, but 44 minutes into a no-nonsense final excellent work by Flor Crowley put Colin Crowley away. He set up Frank McCarthy who was upended and Rob Long slotted home the penalty to put Skibb back in the lead, 2-7 to 2-6, entering the final quarter.
And what a final quarter it was, real championship fervour. Farr got his marching orders for a second yellow and when Werner added a further Skibb point it looked all over for the champions. Then a break in the 54th minute when young Rossa keeper James McCarthy was penalised for a foot tackle and Jer McCarthy powered the penalty to the roof of the net to put Dohenys back in front.
There was Real late tension as Paul Kearney again tied up the scores, only for the deadly McCarthy to again give Dohenys the lead with his third free in the 57th minute.
But it looked odds on extra-time when Werner had an easy free chance in front of the posts. Unbelievably, he miscued and presented with another chance from further out he did likewise and it was all over for Rossas.
: Dohenys: J. McCarthy 1-4 (1-0 pen, 0-3 frees), D. Healy, D. O’Donovan 1-0 each, S. Farr 0-2 (frees), J. Collins 0-1. O’Donovan Rossa: C. Crowley, R. Long (1-0 pen, 0-1 free) 1-1 each, J. Werner 0-3 (0-1 free), P. Kearney 0-2, S. Carmody, P. Nealon 0-1 each.
: D. Farr; C. Collins, P. Deane, P. Murray; T. O’Donovan, M. O’Donovan, J. Collins; S. Farr, P. Collins; S. Collins, P. McCarthy, D. Healy; Jerry McCarthy, D. O’Donovan, Jer McCarthy.
: S. Hayes for S. Collins.
: J. McCarthy; M. Bohane, K. Cotter, E. Nealon; F. Crowley, J. O’Sullivan, N. McCarthy (J); S. Carmody, N. McCarthy (S); J. Werner, F. McCarthy, P. Kearney; C. Crowley, R. Long, R. O’Donovan.
: P. Nealon for McCarthy (J), S. O’Neill for Cotter, D. McCarthy for F. McCarthy.
: Martin Collins (Clonakilty).