Russell Rovers GAA Club News

09 June, 2014

Russell Rovers GAA
Russell Rovers  1-19  Churchtown 3-10

Rovers had a narrow win in this well contested Round 7 game of the Avondhu / Imokilly Junior A Hurling league played in Shanagarry  on the June Bank Holiday Monday. Despite the closeness of the score this was a game in which the home side were well on top for the majority of the time but let complacency develop  for the last 10 minutes of the first half in which some soft  frees were conceded which gave the visitors the boost they needed to make a real fight of things. The opening period belonged to the Rovers and by the 20th minute they were 7 points to the good without reply, courtesy  of 4 Kevin  Moynihan frees and one from play as well as a point each from Derek Crowley and Jack McGrath. Despite the dominance of the Rovers half back line,  where the experienced Matt Fitzgerald,  John Paul Ivers and Paul Lane shone throughout, and midfield where John Ahern and Chris Ruddy more than held their own, our forward line, apart from  an impressive performance by Derek Crowley at centre-forward,  never seriously threatened the Churchtown goal in the first half. The visitors had to wait till the 21st minute to register their first score but Jack McGrath restored the seven point lead with a fine point after picking up on a pass from Aidan Beausang. However, four unanswered points, two from placed balls, meant that our lead had been whittled down to a mere goal by the break, 0-8 to 0-5 . 
The introduction of Kevin Tattan after half time was to have a vital role in the proceedings of the second half. After the sides had exchanged converted frees, Tattan popped over a lovely point when he collected a diagonal pass from Moynihan. Churchtown were now finding the mark from play as well and had two quick points in succession. A great passing movement involving John Paul Ivers and Moynihan  resulted in Tattan’s second point in the 39th minute which restored our 3 point lead. This was added to by Moynihan a minute later when he took a great pass from James Kennefick. However, Churchtown scored the first of their three goals almost immediately to leave just the bare minimum between the sides. But Rovers responded well and points from Moynihan, Tattan and McGrath had us 4 points ahead at the three-quarter stage. Barry Fitzgerald’s introduction in the forwards was also to have a bearing on events as well as the move to midfield of James Kennefick who helped steady the ship when the visitors were piling on the pressure. Two pointed frees  had them back to within a goal but then  Barry Fitzgerald struck for the Rovers first and only green flag after Chris Ruddy’s initial attempt had been blocked down by the keeper  with seven minutes to go. It was short relief for the Rovers, though, as Churchtown came back for a second goal and sensing that they were in with a chance of an upset they upped their attacks. Tattan hit over his fourth point in quick reply, but when Churchtown struck for their third goal on the 26th minute just a point separated the sides. In a tense final two minutes Barry Fitzgerald and Kevin Tattan fired over points which finally settled the issue and ensured a deserved, if not very convincing, fifth league win for Rovers. Conceding three goals in the second half must be worrying for the Rovers defence. Goalkeeper Chris Scanlon played well, brought off some good saves and couldn’t be faulted for the goals.
The game was well handled by referee Arthur Murphy of Carrigtwohill.
Russell Rovers: Chris Scanlon, Anthony Archer, Kevin Ivers, Ricky Walsh, Matt Fitzgerald, John Paul Ivers, Paul Lane, Chris Ruddy, John Ahern, Kevin Moynihan, Derek Crowley James Kennefick, Alan Cott, Jack McGrath, Aidan Beausang,     Subs: Kevin Tattan, Barry Fitzgerald, Daniel Moynihan, David Whelehan, Daniel O’Brien, James Moynihan, Seamus Kearney, Brian Crowley, Jack Beausang, Colman Quinlan.
Ballyhea  2-5   Russell Rovers  2-14

Last Sunday morning we made the long trip to Ballyhea to play the home side in Round 6 of the Avondhu/Imokilly JHL.
Before the game commenced a minute’s silence was observed as a mark of respect to the late John O’Driscoll, Ladysbridge who passed away last Friday evening. RIP.
As championship time looms, it was encouraging to see a strong panel of 24 players turn up and while the quality of hurling could have been better at times, it was nonetheless a good workman-like performance, given the adverse weather conditions especially in the second half. The mission was to collect the league points on offer and this they did with 9 points to spare.
With Kevin Tattan and Kevin O’Brien showing a clean pair of heels in the corner-forward positions, this duo provided the highlights of the first half, scoring 1-4 and 0-3 respectively while Jack McGrath converted 4 points from frees, two of which were won by full-forward David Whelehan. In a lapse of concentration we conceded a needless 20-metre free in injury time which Ballyhea blasted to the net to leave the half-time score at 1-11 to 1-5.

In the 4th minute of the second half James Kennefick got in for a well-taken goal which should have lifted the team to greater things but instead we seemed to take our foot off the gas. Playing with the elements, we could only muster another 3 points over the remainder of the game, courtesy of a Jack McGrath free and two more points from play by Kevin O’Brien. But it was deja vous at the end of this half also when we conceded another sloppy goal in the 29th minute as a result of loose marking. This seems to be a problem that needs to be addressed. Other good performances were put in by Joe Walsh in goal and John Ahern at midfield.

Team: Joe Walsh; Anthony Archer, Matt Fitzgerald, Barry Fitzgerald; Daniel Moynihan, John Paul Ivers, Paul Lane; John Ahern, Chris Ruddy; James Kennefick, Derek Crowley, Jack McGrath; Kevin O’Brien, David Whelehan, Kevin Tattan.
Subs: Chris Scanlon, Eoin McGrath, Kevin Ivers, Daniel O’Brien, Aidan Beausang, Seamus Kearney, Ricky Walsh, Brian Crowley, James Moynihan.
The Club would like to thank the host club for the excellent hospitality afforded to us after the game, providing tea, sandwiches and cakes galore.

Race Night:
The Club would like to say a big thank you to everyone who supported our successful fund-raiser at Youghal Grehound Stadium last Friday night. Also, to the ticket-sellers and sponsors of prizes, especially Motherway’s Bar, Ardnahinch who generously sponsored the first prize of €500 which was won by Mrs Madge Kennefick, Maytown to whom we offer our congratulations.

There are no definite fixtures at the time of going to press. Our first round of the East Cork JAHC versus Midleton will be fixed at the next Board meeting on Wednesday night (11th). The date is likely to be Saturday, 29th June.

John O’Driscoll, RIP:
It was with profound shock and sadness that we learned of the untimely death of John O’Driscoll, Ladsbridge last Friday evening. John gave sterling service to Russell Rovers for many years and played major roles in annexing our first and only East Cork U21B football title in 1981, along with an East Cork Junior B football title in 1986. We extend our deepest sympathy to his wife Catherine, sons John, Liam, David and Conor, daughter Ciara, parents Billy and Nora, sisters Margo, Ann, Norma, and Yvonne. May his soul rest in peace.

Other Bereavements:
The Club wishes to extend a vote of condolence to the Furlong family, Ballycotton on the death of Jim’s mother Mrs Sheila Furlong, Duagh, Co. Kerry. To the Kennedy, Stack and Higgins families on the death of Mrs Mai Kennedy (nee Stack) and to the Swanwick, Daly and Brackett families Shanagarry on the death of Mrs Pat Swanwick (nee Daly). May their souls rest in peace.