Rovers run riot
Russell Rovers make history to lift first Kelleher Cup.
Russell Rovers 2-16
St Ita’s 1-12
HISTORY was made in East Cork. Russell Rovers lifted the East Cork Oil JAHC Jamesey Kelleher Cup, with an emotional win over nearneighbours, St Ita’s, at a packed Castlemartyr.
It was a special occasion for both sides, with neither Rovers nor Ita’s having won the title previously, and even though we witnessed a nervous opening quarter, it was Russell Rovers who had the momentum, with two early points, from Josh Beausang and Luke Duggan-Murray.
It took eight minutes for Ita’s to register a score and it came from the Cork captain, Seamie Harnedy, but it was a rare moment for the Gortroe outfit in the opening half, because the response from Rovers was clinical. With four unanswered points, they led by five points by the 16th minute.
Ita’s got a score back through Daniel Hickey, in the 21st minute, but back came Rovers, with a Daniel Moynihan score.
Then came a massive blow for St Ita’s, as Fintan Murray found an onrunning Bud Hartnett, who leaned to the right, pulled the trigger, and sent the ball into the net for a great goal.
Things got worse for Ita’s, when Sean Supple was sent off in the 27th minute, leaving his side with a mountain to climb, and even though both sides exchanged further points, it was Rovers who led by seven points at halftime.
Ita’s made significant inroads on that mountain, with a blistering start to the second-half, in the form of a Harnedy goal and three quick points to just one score from Rovers.
Harnedy nearly gave Ita’s the lead in the 41st minute, as he tormented the Rovers back-four, but his shot flew over.
Equally impressive was Bud Hartnett, who dug Russell Rovers out of a big hole in the 51st minute, as his side led by a point. He fed the ball beauti- fully to substitute, Eoin McGrath, who scored a goal at a vital moment, having just come into the game 20 seconds earlier.
Harnedy came close in injury time, hitting the post, but Rovers deservedly held out, finishing strongly, to win the championship.
Scorers f), B Hartnett for Russell 1-2, E McGrath Rovers: J 1-0, Beausang D Moynihan, 0-8 (0-5 L Duggan-Murray 0-2 each, D O’Brien and J Kenefick 0-1 each.
St Ita’s: S Harnedy 1-4, D Hickey, D O’Brien 0-3 each, M O’Brien, R Desmond 0-1 each.
RUSSELL ROVERS: I Smiddy; E O’Sullivan, C Ruddy, K O’Brien; D O’Brien, JP Ivers, J Kenefick; L Duggan-Murray, K Walsh; K Moynihan, D Moynihan (Cpt) J McGrath; F Murray, J Beausang, B Hartnett.
Subs: B Whelehan for J McGrath (41) E McGrath for F Murray (51) D Whelehan for E O’Sullivan (60).
ST ITA’S: P O’Brien; B Cunningham, B McCarthy, E Barron; M Coleman, D O’Brien, R Desmond, C O’Brien, S Supple; C Deane, S Harnedy, E Loughlin; D Hickey, D O’Rourke, M O’Brien (c).
Referee: N O’Neill (Midleton)
Russell Rovers celebrate their victory over St Ita’s, in the East Cork JAHC final in Castlemartyr.
Russell Rovers’ Josh Beausang and Kieran Walsh celebrate their victory over St Ita’s, in the East Cork JAHC final in Castlemartyr.
Russell Rovers captain, Daniel Moynihan, and man-of-the-match, Brian Hartnett, after their victory over St Ita’s in the East Cork JAHC final in Castlemartyr.
Russell Rovers’ Josh Beausang shoots under pressure from St Ita’s Mark Coleman, during the East Cork JAHC final at Castlemartyr.