Russell Rovers GAA

12 May, 2009

Russell Rovers GAA

www.russellroversgaa.com

Russell Rovers 1-6 Lisgoold 1-6

We have all seen the film “The Great Escape”; well, a different version was played out in Lisgoold on Tuesday evening, 5th May, when this first round tie of the Junior B football championship ended in a draw. With two minutes remaining on the clock and Rovers leading by two points, Lisgoold were awarded a 45 which was dropped into the edge of the square and punched to the net to put them a point ahead. Then, with time almost up Colin Crowley, who had made a significant impact when introduced as a second half substitute, won a close-in free and Brian Hartnett held his nerve to despatch it over the bar for the equaliser, with referee Tim Dineen blowing the full-time whistle following the kick-out.

This may sound like an exciting game of football but it was far from it, at least from a Rovers perspective. Had we lost this game to Lisgoold’s second string it would surely have been the most embarrassing defeat suffered by the club for many years, bearing in mind that we were able to match and beat their first team only a couple of short years ago. This is no disrespect to Lisgoold because they played well and with an intensity that we were unable to match at times. Indeed, if the truth was told they would have won comfortably had they brought their shooting boots with them. There seemed to be no shape to our team with our defence retreating back in front of Eoin Ivers’ goal far too often, leaving their direct opponents roam out field to build attack after attack which yielded five unanswered points from play in a 15 minutes spell of the opening half. For much of the second half, with the breeze behind us, most of our forward division and midfield duo played far too deep, leaving Ian Smiddy to plough a lone furrow up front with a marker on either side of him.

Rovers were first on the scoreboard with a pointed free by Anthony Archer in the 3rd minute but then Lisgoold took control of the game and began firing over points at will. In the 21st minute we received a timely fillip when Ian Smiddy measured his run to perfection to collect a dropping ball behind his marker, side-stepped the advancing goalkeeper and planted it in the back of the net to haul us back into the game. Anthony Archer pointed another free to leave the sides deadlocked at the short whistle, 1-2 to 0-5 but we spurned two other gilt-edged chances from close-in frees at either side of the break.

On the resumption the home side forged ahead with a point in the first minute but Ian Smiddy restored parity with our only point from play over the hour. Two points from frees by Brian Hartnett, one from outside the 45 metre line, gave us some breathing space until the final two minutes of drama and relief all around.

The replay is fixed for Wednesday night, 20th May at 7 pm in Shanagarry.

Team: Eoin Ivers; Brian Crowley, Derek Crowley, Anthony Walsh; John Ahern, Padraig Higgins, Tadgh Crowley; Seamus Kearney, John Paul Ivers; Barry Fitzgerald, Anthony Archer (Capt), Daniel Moynihan; James Furlong, Ian Smiddy, Brian Hartnett. Subs: Colin Crowley, Joe Walsh, Brendan Kearney, James Walsh, John Burke, Seamus Cronin.

Fixtures:

JFL.2: v. Cobh in Cobh 13th May at 7.30 pm

Co. JBFC: v. St Catherines in Youghal (Top of the Hill) 17th May at 7 pm.

JBFC Replay: v. Lisgoold in Shanagarry 20th May at 7 pm.

JHL.1: v. Midleton in Midleton 24th May at 11.30 am (provisional).

Lá na gClub

Last Sunday was La na gClub to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the founding of the GAA. Following 11 o’clock Mass for deceased members, there was a parade from the church to the club grounds where a blessing ceremony was performed by Canon John Terry. Hopefully, this will be of benefit to our teams during the year!

Various competitions and games took place in the field, such as an obstacle course, skills test, egg solo run, etc while in the marquee there was an extensive collection of both old and new photographs and other memorabilia on display, along with a re-run of a video of the 2002 BHC final against Lisgoold which brought back happy memories. As usual, the ladies did not let the show down with the provision of tea, cakes and other goodies for visitors to the marquee. It was nice too to see old-timers like John Shanahan, Richie Fitzgerald, John Draddy, etc paying us a visit.

Well done to Niall Cronin and his crew for organising the events.