Russell Rovers Report

26 April, 2010

Russell Rovers GAA

Castlelyons 3-14 Russell Rovers 2-14


Our minor hurlers made their debut in the Premier 2 MHC when they lost to a strong Castlelyons side after extra time in a well prepared Watergrasshill venue last Tuesday evening. This was an absorbing and highly entertaining contest between two evenly matched teams who gave a great exhibition of scoring while at the same time displaying a high standard of sportsmanship. On our side Philip O’Neill grabbed a brace of well-taken goals while midfielder Brian Hartnett hit over twelve marvellous points, off both his right and left and from various angles and distances. Indeed, many of them would do justice to any grade of hurling.

Castlelyons opened the scoring with points in the 3rd and 5th minutes before Eoin McGrath set the tone of the game when he soled through from midfield and hit over our first score in fine style. Three minutes later Philip O’Neill got the first of his two goals with a deft overhead flick on a dropping ball and Brian Hartnett followed up with his opening point from a pass provided by the hard-working Daniel O’Brien. Our defence was being well marshalled by Kevin O’Brien in the pivotal position with good support from David Whelehan and Aaron Beausang while Paul Lane was playing his part in an unfamiliar role at midfield. As the game progressed Castlelyons began to exert pressure which yielded 1-6 between the 12th and 24th minutes while Rovers could only respond with just two Brian Hartnett points in the same period. We were now 4 points adrift and the game looked like slipping away from us until Philip O’Neill pounced for his second goal. Aidan Beausang robbed a defender as he was about to clear and the sliotar fell kindly to O’Neill who duly despatched it to the net for a badly needed goal. Rovers finished the half strongly with 3 points from Hartnett to give us a slender half-time lead of 2-7 to 1-9.

We had a poor start to the second half, conceding 1-2 inside seven minutes but Brian Hartnett hauled us back into the game again with another 3 points, along with a fine score from Jack McGrath. Castlelyons edged in front with a point in the 25th minute but the mercurial Hartnett came to our rescue once more with the equaliser two minutes from the end to send the game into extra time with the scoreboard reading

2-12 apiece. As both sides began to show signs of leg weariness in ET, scores were at a premium. Two Rovers points by Hartnett and one from Castlelyons in the first period gave us a one-point advantage at the break but unfortunately we failed to score again. Castlelyons levelled matters once more within a minute of the resumption and four minutes later lady luck deserted us when a well-struck shot by Eoin McGrath from close range brought an outstanding save from the Castlelyons keeper. Play switched quickly to the other end of the field where Castlelyons got in for what proved to be a match-winning goal, though there were strong suspicions of a square ball infringement. Shortly afterwards, Rovers keeper Daniel Guerin brought off a spectacular point-blank save to maintain some hope of a come-back. We spent the remaining two minutes camped in the Castlelyons half of the field in search of an equalising goal but to no avail. A great performance by a young Rovers team – well done lads and to coach Mossy Walsh.

Apart from losing the game, it was also disappointing to see so little Rovers support present compared to that of Castlelyons. Hopefully, this will be rectified as we try to get things back on track via the back-door which will probably be played in July.

Team: Daniel Guerin; Aaron Beausang, Kevin Ivers, Shane Fleming; Daniel O’Brien, Kevin O’Brien, David Whelehan; Brian Hartnett (Capt), Paul Lane; Eoin McGrath, Aidan Beausang, Jack McGrath; David Casey, Philip O’Neill, Sean Maher.

Subs: Ciaran Mullins, James Moynihan, Martin O’Flynn (all used), Joseph O’Flynn, Ricky Walsh, Kieran Walsh, Coleman Quinlan, Brian Whelehan, Andrew Hartnett, Shane Casey.

Fixtures:

JHL Div 1: Russell Rovers v Dungourney in Shanagarry on Monday, 3rd May at 7 pm.

P2 MHL: Away to Kilbrittain on Thursday, 6th May at 7 pm.

Best Wishes:

The club wishes Brian Hartnett the best of luck when he lines out for Cork minor hurlers against Tipperary in Pairc Ui Caoimh on Wednesday night at 6.30 pm.

Sympathy:

The club wishes to extend its sincere sympathy to the Kenneally, O’Brien and McGrath families on the recent death of Mrs Peggy Kenneally, Youghal and formerly of Ballybane. May her soul rest in peace.