Purple patch downs Duffry
R’GAROGUE-C’TOWN 3-8 DUFFRY ROVERS 1-9
TWO QUICKFIRE goals at the start of the second-half propelled Rathgarogue-Cushinstown to victory in their Permanent TSB Junior ‘B’ hurling championship semi-final in Hollymount on Saturday.
In that purple patch they turned a one-point half-time deficit into a five-point advantage in little more than a blink of an eye and, try as they might, Duffry Rovers just couldn’t bridge the gap.
It had looked like the Duffry might be the ones celebrating at the final whistle as they made much the better start, to lead by 1-3 to 0-1 inside twelve minutes, although a Rathgarogue-Cushinstown goal in the 19th minute was also a big turning point, as it kept them in it when their opponents threatened to take a stranglehold on the game.
Duffry Rovers couldn’t have asked for a better start, with Jack Bates rattling the net with just two minutes on the clock, driving a first-time pull off the ground past goalkeeper Fionn Slattery.
The influential Peter Aspel replied with a free, but Rovers stretched the lead to five, with Alan Doyle firing over a fine point on the run and Micheál Doyle converting two placed balls.
Colin Whelan slotted over a score for Rathgarogue-Cushinstown in the 17th minute, and moments later he got the telling touch for a goal after Peter Aspel had dropped a long-range free into the danger zone.
Micheál Doyle replied with a point but Aspel slotted over a free to ensure that there was the minimum between the sides at the break (1-4 to 1-3).
Rathgarogue-Cushinstown then assumed complete control in the space of three minutes after the turnaround.
Just 30 seconds into the new half, Shane O’Connor drove a shot past Kaylem Fenlon after good work from Patrick Barron, and moments later the goalkeeper was again picking the ball out of the net.
An O’Connor delivery from the right wing fell kindly for Mark Carroll, and he made no mistake, blasting to the net to make it 3-3 to 1-4.
To their credit, Duffry Rovers kept plugging away and scores from Micheál Doyle and Ted O’Brien got them back within three points, but they couldn’t get any closer as Peter Aspel and James Devereux kept the scoreboard ticking over for Rathgarogue-Cushinstown, and they comfortably kept their opponents at arm’s length to book their place in the final.
Next weekend is another big one for the Rathgarogue-Cushinstown club, with their Junior ‘B’ footballers facing Craanford in the county final in Bellefield on Saturday, while their first team face Castletown in their Junior semi-final replay in St. Patrick’s Park the previous evening.
Rathgarogue-Cushinstown: Fionn Slattery; Colm Murphy, Paul Murphy, John O’Keeffe; Eoin Whelan (joint capt.), Francis O’Brien, Ian Kennedy; Peter Aspel (0-5, 4 frees), John Bolger; Aaron Ryan, James Devereux (0-2), Mark Carroll (1-0); Shane O’Connor (1-0), Colin Whelan (joint capt., 1-1), Patrick Barron. Subs. - John James Carroll for Ryan (49), James Bolger for O’Connor (56), Liam Roche for C. Whelan (60+1).
Duffry Rovers: Kaylem Fenlon; Seamus Breen, Tom O’Connor, Seamie Cullen; Michael Coleman, Seamus Doyle, Jamie Roban; Alan Doyle (0-1), Glenn Rafter; Jack Bates (1-1), Kyle Kavanagh, Ted O’Brien (0-1); Michael Doyle, John McCarthy, Micheál Doyle (capt., 0-5, 2 frees, 1 ‘65). Subs. - Matthew Flynn-O’Connor for Michael Doyle (48), Jim O’Neill (0-1 free) for Kavanagh (48)
Referee: Paul Browne (Clonee).