Russell Rovers Report

19 October, 2009

Russell Rovers GAA

Russell Rovers 1-10 Glenville 1-7

Last Saturday evening in Caherlag we qualified for the final of the East Cork Junior B football championship for the first time in 23 years with a hard-earned and hard-fought victory over a tough Glenville side. From the opening exchanges it was clearly evident that our opponents did not intend taking any prisoners and they paid a price for this tactic when they had a player red-carded midway in the second half for a heavy blow to the face of corner-forward Brian Hartnett after he had delivered the ball. If the truth were to be told, one or two other players could consider themselves fortunate not to have received their marching orders in this physical encounter.

We opened our account with a well-taken point by Joe Walsh in the 3rd minute but four minutes later disaster struck when slack marking by our backs allowed Glenville in for a goal from a low shot just inside the post which left keeper Mike Mannion stranded. Rovers responded with 5 points over the next 20 minutes from the Hartnett brothers, Barry (0-4) and Brian (0-1) with Eoin Ivers, Colin Crowley and Daniel Moynihan each playing a part in some of these scores. After the setback of the early goal our backs put up the shutters and limited Glenville to just a single point for the remainder of the half. Corner-backs Tony Walsh and Barry Fitzgerald were giving an excellent display of tight marking and support play while outside them Paudie Higgins was a commanding figure in the pivotal position, along with Anthony Archer and James Furlong playing his best game this year. Seamus Kearney too was doing some good work despite being dragged out of position while Kevin Hartnett and particularly Colin Crowley were on top at midfield. Leading by 0-6 to 1-1 at the break, we turned to play with the advantage of a slight breeze in the second period as the game picked up in tempo.

An early foray up field by James Furlong lead to a free which Barry Hartnett converted and Brian Hartnett added his second from play a few minutes later with Joe Walsh providing the final pass. Glenville replied with a brace of their own and then in the 11th minute came the most defining moment of the game when a speculative shot from Barry Hartnett slipped through the keeper’s hands and into the net to take his tally over the hour to 1-5 and put us 5 points clear. But Glenville had no intention of folding just yet as they tacked on another brace of points in quick succession to keep them in touch. The introduction of substitutes Ian Smiddy and John Ahern proved to be crucial as they each scored vital points to maintain daylight between the sides. As expected, Glenville put us under the cosh in the last few minutes, pointing two frees but not enough to alter the final result. While Dan Moynihan, John Paul Ivers and Eoin Ivers did not get on the score-sheet, they contributed hugely to this victory with a high work-rate as did Mike Mannion’s safe handling in goal allied to his lengthy kicks-out. Well done to Mossy Tattan and his management team for stepping into the breach in mid year and we wish them the best of luck in the final.

One disappointing feature of the game was the very poor support on our side. Hopefully this will be addressed for the final which is pencilled in for the 8th November.

Let’s hope that losing the County B Final this year will prove to be a good omen as we also lost the County B Final in 1986 when we were crowned East Cork champions.

Team: Mike Mannion; Anthony Walsh, Seamus Kearney, Barry Fitzgerald; James Furlong, Padraig Higgins, Anthony Archer (Capt); Kevin Hartnett, Colin Crowley; Dan Moynihan, Barry Hartnett, John Paul Ivers; Brian Hartnett, Eoin Ivers, Joe Walsh.

Subs: Ian Smiddy, John Ahern (both used), Brian Crowley, Tadgh Crowley, Brendan Kearney, James Ahern.