Russell Rovers GAA Club

02 May, 2017

Russell Rovers 2-22 Cobh 0-6

Our hurlers got off to a flying start in their JHL Division 1 campaign when they had a comprehensive win over Cobh in Pairc Ui Conaill last Monday evening week, 24th April. Those in attendance found themselves scratching their heads trying to figure out were Cobh that weak or were Rovers that good. I guess the answer probably lies somewhere in between.

It was all one way traffic in the opening half with our forwards causing mayhem in the Cobh rearguard. Brian Hartnett and Jack McGrath fired over four points each from play, Josh Beausang had two and a point apiece from Kieran Walsh, Dan Moynihan and John Ahern. Our first goal came in the 22nd minute when Hartnett made a great run down the left flank before off-loading to Beausang who made no mistake from close range. Our second goal arrived just before half-time when Bud latched on to a rebound and despatched it to the net to give us a comfortable 2-14 to 0-1 lead at the break.

In fairness to Cobh, instead of throwing in the towel they made a game of it in the second half though we still managed to outscore them 8 points to 5, courtesy of Josh 0-4, Bud 0-3 and a fine point from John Ahern when he bolted through the middle and slotted over from 50 yards. Our backs defended well throughout, particularly Paul Lane in the unfamiliar position of full-back while Ross Walsh has developed into a sharp and confident goalkeeper, though he didn’t have a lot to do on this occasion.

Our next game in Division 1 against our 2016 semi-final opponents St Catherines on May Bank Holiday Monday will provide a much sterner test and a better barometer of where we are.

Team: Ross Walsh; Aidan Beausang, Paul Lane, Ian Smiddy; Kevin Ivers, James Kennefick, Kevin Moynihan; Kieran Walsh (0-1), Daniel Moynihan (0-1); John Ahern (0-2), David Whelehan, Chris Ruddy (0-1); Josh Beausang (1-6), Brian Hartnett (1-7), Jack McGrath (0-4).

Subs: Eoin McGrath, John Paul Ivers, Barry Fitzgerald, Dan Ruddy (all used), Joe O’Flynn, Alan Linehan, Sean Gilsenan, Cormac Ahern and Ciaran Ahern.

Russell Rovers 1-11 Fr. O’Neills 2-9

Our second hurling team played their first game in Division 3 of the JHL in Shanagarry last Saturday evening against our near neighbours Fr. O’Neills but came up just short by the narrowest of margins.

The game was spoiled somewhat by a very strong wind blowing into the top goal with the O’Neills’ puck-outs landing on our 20 metre line serving as an indicator of same.

Fielding a weakened side with 7 or 8 eligible players being unavailable for various reasons, we still put in a good performance in the opening half playing against the elements. A number of young players, such as Alan Linehan, Dan Ruddy, Sean Gilsenan, Cormac and Ciaran Ahern were making their starting debuts on a Rovers adult hurling team in a competitive game and it must be said they all gave a good account of themselves. Hopefully, they’ll be challenging for first team places in a few years time.

After taking a year’s sabbatical, James Moynihan made an impressive return to action and opened the scoring with a point in the 3rd minute which O’Neills cancelled out a few minutes later and followed up with the first of their two goals in the 10th minute.

Alan Cott kept Rovers in touch with three pointed frees while Dan Ruddy and Ciaran Ahern chipped in with nice points from play. Because of the wind our defence was under constant pressure in this half but Pa Crowley was a tower of strength at full-back while Luke O’Riordan Joe O’Flynn and veteran Seamus Kearney cleared a lot of ball. Our midfield partnership of Eoin McGrath and Brian Whelehan worked tirelessly over the hour. O’Neills finished the half strongly with three unanswered points in three minutes to leave us trailing by 1-7 to 0-6 at the break.

The second half began like the first with James Moynihan again the first to register a point after three minutes of play and another veteran Brian Crowley pointing in the 7th minute. However, as the half wore on we seemed to retreat into a defensive mode and failed to take advantage of the wind which was now accompanied by sweeping rain. We had to wait until the 21st minute for our next score, a point by Alan Cott from a free which was won by Colman Quinlan. Our chances of collecting the league points on offer were dealt a major setback in the 25th minute when O’Neills got in for their second goal. Dan Ruddy and Alan Cott reduced the arrears with a point each before Eoin McGrath did well to squeeze the sliotar past the O’Neills keeper from an acute angle late in the game to reduce the margin to a single point but unfortunately there wasn’t enough left on the clock to grab an equaliser. Well done to all in very difficult conditions.

Team: Chris Scanlon; Alan Linehan, Pa Crowley, Cormac Ahern; Joe O’Flynn, Luke O’Riordan, Seamus Kearney; Eoin McGrath (1-0), Brian Whelehan; Dan Ruddy (0-2) Alan Cott (0-5), James Moynihan (0-2); Sean Gilsenan (0-1), Colman Quinlan, Ciaran Ahern (0-1).

Subs: Brian Crowley, Shane Casey, Kieran Ivers, Fergal Walsh, Stephen Walsh (all used)

Fixtures:

JHL Division 1 v Erins Own in Shanagarry on Sunday 7th May at 4 pm.

JHL Division 3 v Killeagh in Killeagh on Thursday 11th May at 7.30 pm.