Two east Cork clubs will be involved in the All Ireland club finals on Saturday week in a Croke Park double header after Russell Rovers got the better of Micheál Breathnach in the All Ireland junior hurling championship semi-final today in Kilmallock to book their place in the decider against Conahy Shamrocks of Kilkenny.
They will join their next-door neighbours, Fr O’Neill’s who qualified to meet another Kilkenny side Tullaroan yesterday in the intermediate final.
Russell Rovers needed man-of-the-match Brian Bud Hartnett to land an equalising point from a difficult free in the fifth minute of stoppage to force extra time. Their return of 1-6 in the first period of extra time proved to be the difference. Huge credit to Hartnett who took over the free-taking duties due to the absence of the injured Josh Beausang.
In a hugely entertaining clash, the sides were level 0-4 apiece after quarter of an hour.
Points from James Kennifick, Kevin Moynihan and Hartnett (who led the way with 12 points) pushed Russell Rovers 0-8 to 0-5 up.
Micheál Breathnach fought back through Breandán Ó Conghaile and Ronán Mac Donnacha to come within one. But Russell pulled away again to lead 0-9 to 0-7 at the break.
The Cork side dominated exchanges after the interval. At the three-quarter stage they led 0-15 to 0-9, and with five minutes remaining were four to the good.
When Micheál Breathnach were presented with a rare goal chance, Ronán Ó Beoláin obliged for the Galway team to take the lead by two one minute from time. A pair of Hartnett frees saved Russell Rovers’ day.
A goal in the first minute of extra time from James Kennefick saw the Munster men dominate the rest of the exchanges.
They added six points to go 1-24 to 1-15 ahead. In the second period of extra time Hartnett and Kevin Walsh added points while they also managed to keep the opposition scoreless.
B Hartnett (0-12, 0-6 frees), J Kennefick (1-1), K Walsh and K Moynihan (0-4 each), L Duggan Murray (0-3), C Ruddy and K Tattan (0-1 each).
R Ó Beoláin (1-2), B Ó Conghaile (0-4), M Ó Conghaile (0-7, 0-5 frees, 0-1 65), R Mac Donnacha and E Ó Conghaile (0-1 each).
R Walsh; E O’Sullivan, P Lane, K O’Brien; K Tattan, JP Ivers, C Ruddy; J Kennifick, K Walsh; D Moynihan (Capt), D O’Brien, J McGrath; L Duggan Murray, K Moynihan, B Hartnett.
B Whelehan for J McGrath (44 inj) E McGrath for K Walsh (52 inj), K Walsh for D O’Brien (65), J McGrath for B Whelehan (70), D O’Brien for JP Ivers (72), J Ahern for K O’Brien (73).
C Ó Conghaile; M Ó Béarra, S Mac Giolla Bhríde, F Ó Béarra; A Ó Tuathail, M Ó Conghaile, S Ó Feinneadha; R Mac Donnacha, C Mac Giolla Bhríde (Capt); D Ó hÉallaithe, O Ó Ceallaigh, S Denvir; E Ó Conghaile, R Ó Beoláin, B Ó Conghaile.
L Mac Donnacha for M Ó Béarra (15 inj), R Ó Béarra for A Ó Tuathail (42), C Ó Griallais for E Ó Conghaile (44), R Óg Ó Béarra for D Ó hÉallaithe (62), M Ó Duibhir for C Ó Griallais (70), A Ó Tuathail for F Ó Béarra (77).
Kevin Brady (Louth).