Russell Rovers GAA Club

19 June, 2017

Russell Rovers GAA Club

Russell Rovers 1-17 Carraig na bhFear 1-16

After a lengthy lay-off of over a month we returned to competitive action in Division 1 of the JHL with a hard-fought narrow win over a strong Carraig na bhFear side in Shanagarry last Saturday evening.

With the pitch in immaculate condition and a fine summer’s evening, conditions were ideal for a cracking game of hurling and that’s exactly what the spectators got. In fact, one could be forgiven for thinking that this was a knock-out championship game, given the tempo and fervour in which it was played.

After Carraig opened the scoring with a point in the 3rd minute, Rovers raced into a 0-7 to 0-2 lead over the next 15 minutes of play, courtesy of Bud Hartnett (0-4), Kieran Walsh, Ian Smiddy and Eoin McGrath but our wide count in the opening half was a cause for concern. Carraig then took over completely, at least on the scoreboard anyway, shooting six unanswered points in the remaining 13 minutes of play to lead 0-8 to 0-7 at the interval, their half-back line being the main driving force for this revival.

There was no let-up in the tempo on the resumption of play with an early Carraig point being cancelled out by a like score from Bud in the 2nd minute. A minute later Rovers were rocked back on their heels when a low ground shot found its way to the net to put Carraig 4 points ahead. This was the catalyst for our mentors to spring Leaving Cert exam-tied Josh Beausang from the bench who proceeded to have a major influence on the outcome. With Chris Ruddy winning vital frees, points from Bud (0-2), Dan Moynihan and Josh kept us in touch.

In the 45th minute, with Carraig ahead 1-13 to 0-12, goalkeeper Ross Walsh brought off a brilliant save to keep us in the game. Further points from Josh (0-2) and a great score by Kieran Walsh from away out on the right wing reduced the arrears to two before a long range free from Josh dipped under the Carraig crossbar to put us a point ahead. At this stage our mentors made a key move by introducing Kevin O’Brien at corner-back and moving Eoghan O’Sullivan outfield where he began to win vital possession.

Bud and Josh extended our lead to three by the end of normal time but in 4 minutes of stoppage time our defence had to withstand severe Carraig pressure which yielded two points to reduce the margin to the bare minimum at the final whistle.

Paul Lane was solid as a rock at full-back and the half-back trio of Kevin Moynihan, James Kennefick and particularly Daniel O’Brien put in great performances over the hour. This game was a much needed test and a great boost in preparation for the first round of the championship next week-end.

Team: Ross Walsh; Aidan Beausang, Paul Lane, Eoghan O’Sullivan; Daniel O’Brien, James Kennefick, Kevin Moynihan; Daniel Moynihan, Capt, (0-1), Kieran Walsh (0-2), David Whelehan, John Paul Ivers, Chris Ruddy; Eoin McGrath (0-1) Ian Smiddy (0-1) Brian Hartnett (0-8).

Subs: Josh Beausang (1-4), Kevin O’Brien, Dan Ruddy (all used), Luke O’Riordan, Barry Fitzgerald, Kevin Ivers, Alan Cott, Joe O’Flynn, James Moynihan, Ciaran Ahern. Sean Gilsenan.

Fixtures:

All roads lead to Dungourney next Sunday evening when we face Bride Rovers in the 1st Round of the Junior A hurling championship at 7 pm. Though this is their second team, they will provide us with a stern test, as all Bride Rovers teams do, having recorded five wins from five games in Division 2 of the JHL to date with comfortable margins in most of them so we need to be on our toes from the throw-in. Please come along and lend your support to the lads in Black-and-Amber. Best of luck to the players and management