Skibb sunshine boys crack the winning formula to sink Ilen Rovers

Kevin Hurley and Tomás Hegarty goals cemented a deserved O’Donovan Rossa Bon Secours Cork SAFC victory
Skibb sunshine boys crack the winning formula to sink Ilen Rovers

Cork Senior AFC: O’Donovan Rossa 2-16 Ilen Rovers 1-9 

Kevin Hurley and Tomás Hegarty goals cemented a deserved O’Donovan Rossa Bon Secours Cork SAFC victory over local rivals Ilen Rovers at a humid Moneyvollahane on Sunday afternoon.

A west Cork derby with local bragging rights on offer for the winners as well as two precious Group A points delivered as intense and entertaining a spectacle as expected.

The winners overcame three black cards and an Ilen fight back that reduced the deficit to a single point before kicking for home in the closing quarter.

“We are absolutely delighted with the performance and the final score says it all,” O’Donovan Rossa manager Gene O’Donovan said.

“2-16 today, 3-16 the last day. I just said to the lads there that we are creating a formula. We have a formula that makes it hard for people to break us down.

“Warriors, Dave Shannon and Paudie Crowley, The rest fell in behind them. We have been called fine day footballers. It has been said that we want to win championships without hard work. Well that was hard work out there today.

“Fair play to Ilen Rovers. I have the utmost respect for Jason Whooley and Diarmuid Duggan. They must be heartbroken.” 

Kevin Davis played superbly and contributed six points on an afternoon when Kevin Hurley's and Tomás Hegarty’s second-half green flags put Rossas firmly in the driving seat for making the knockout stages.

The Skibbereen club led 0-10 to 0-5 at the short whistle following a commanding first-half display that saw Dylan Hourihane, Donal Óg Hodnett, Mark Collins and Kevin Davis kick over some sublime scores.

Dermot Hegarty, Sean O’Donovan and Dan Mac Eoin kept Ilen in touch but Rovers’ failure to capitalise on Brian Crowley and Tomás Hegarty black cards within seven minutes of one another proved pivotal.

Ilen were handed a lifeline shortly after the resumption. Rossa’s goalkeeper Ryan Price brought down his opposite number Damien O’Sullivan, who had ventured forward, and received a black card.

Dan Mac Eoin made no mistake from the penalty spot to make it 0-11 to 1-7 and Ilen’s fans sensed an upset.

But O’Donovan Rossa had other ideas and completely dominated the closing quarter.

Mac Eoin converted a free before their west Cork neighbours went on a scoring spree. Tomás Hegarty kicked over two sublime points to make it 0-14 to 1-8 with less than 10 minutes remaining.

Then, a lofted ball towards the Ilen Rovers square was punched into the net by Skibbereen substitute Kevin Hurley. That goal took the wind out of Rovers’ sails and Tomás Hegarty piled on the misery with another goal late on.

The closing minutes saw Hegarty and Conor O’Driscoll exchange points to conclude an entertaining local derby in which O’Donovan Rossa ran out deserving winners.

Scorers for O’Donovan Rossa: K Davis (0-6, 0-5 frees), T Hegarty (1-2), D Óg Hodnett (0-3), K Hurley (1-0), D Hourihane (0-2), M Collins, D Shannon and E Connolly (0-1 each).

Ilen Rovers: D Mac Eoin (1-3, 1-0 pen, 0-1 free), A O’Driscoll and C O’Driscoll (0-2 each), D Hegarty and S O’Donovan (0-1 each).

O’DONOVAN ROSSA: R Price; D O’Donovan, D Daly, B Minihane; M Collins, P Crowley, O Lucey; D Óg Hodnett, D Shannon; B Crowley, N Daly, E Connolly; D Hourihane, K Davis (captain), T Hegarty.

Subs: S Crowley for R Price (37, black card), K Hurley for B Crowley (48), L Connolly for E Connolly (53), B Crowley for N Daly (57), E Connolly for D Shannon (60).

ILEN ROVERS: D O’Sullivan; P Minihane, S Minihane, S Carey; D Coakley, D Collins, C O’Driscoll; P O’Driscoll, D Hegarty; J Collins (captain), A Hollan, M Sheehy; D Mac Eoin, S O’Donovan, A O’Driscoll.

Subs: E O’Neill for D Coakley (48), B Collins for A O’Driscol (50), K Lynch for D Hegarty (53).

Referee: Alan Long (Argideen Rangers).

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