Rovers run riot

Irish Examiner - County - - Front Page - Derek Kiely

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.

Blow

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)

Pic­ture: David Keane

Rus­sell Rovers cel­e­brate their vic­tory over St Ita’s, in the East Cork JAHC fi­nal in Castle­mar­tyr.

Pic­ture: David Keane

Rus­sell Rovers’ Josh Beau­sang and Kieran Walsh cel­e­brate their vic­tory over St Ita’s, in the East Cork JAHC fi­nal in Castle­mar­tyr.

Pic­ture: David Keane

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.

Pic­ture: David Keane

Rus­sell Rovers’ Josh Beau­sang shoots un­der pres­sure from St Ita’s Mark Cole­man, dur­ing the East Cork JAHC fi­nal at Castle­mar­tyr.

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