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Eoin Fitgerald of O'Donovan Rossa is challenged by Josh Galvin of St Nicholas in the first round win. Picture: Howard Crowdy
Eoin Fitgerald of O'Donovan Rossa is challenged by Josh Galvin of St Nicholas in the first round win. Picture: Howard Crowdy
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O'Donovan Rossa footballers hold out for victory to reach the SFC knockout stages

O’Donovan Rossa 0-17 Béal Áthan Ghaorthaidh 1-10 

A cracking Bon Secours Cork SAFC tie ended in O’Donovan Rossa’s favour despite Béal Áthan Ghaorthaidh producing a battling display in Ballinacarriga last Saturday.

The west Cork side qualified for the knockout stages after being pushed all the way by a dogged Ballingeary who finished the game with only two names on their score-sheet.

Ben Shorten and Diarmuid Mac Tomáis accounted for all Béal Áthan Ghaorthaidh’s scores on an afternoon their opponents greater attacking threat proved decisive.

O’Donovan Rossa cruised past St Nick’s in their opening group game but got the tough contest they desired en-route to making it two championship wins in a row.

In the absence of the injured Kevin Davis, Dylan Hourihane led his side to victory by kicking six excellent points. The young forward was ably assisted by David Shannon and Donal Óg Hodnett who contributed four apiece. Daniel Hazel was superb in defence with Rory Byrne enjoying an effective afternoon in midfield.

Leading 0-10 to 0-7 at the end of a free-flowing opening half, Skibbereen threatened to pull away from their opponents until Ballingeary conjured up a goal after 36 minutes. Ben Shorten palmed into the net to tie the score but their opponents responded and led 0-13 to 1-8 heading into the final quarter.

Hodnett stretched Rossa’s advantage only for two marvellous Shorten efforts to leave the bare minimum between the teams. Late Rory Byrne, Sean Fitzgerald and David Shannon points sealed O’Donovan Rossa’s victory in a game marred by an after-match melee that threatened to get out of hand.

Ballingeary are without a win going into their last outing against St Nick’s while Rossa’s face another tough test against St Michael's.

Scorers for O’Donovan Rossa: D Hourihane 0-6 (0-4 f); D Óg Hodnett and D Shannon (0-1 mark, 1 45) 0-4 each; R Byrne 0-2; E Fitzgerald 0-1.

Béal Áthan Ghaorthaidh: B Searten 1-4; D Mac Tomáis 0-6 (0-2 f).

O’DONOVAN ROSSA: R Price; S Fitzgerald, E Fitzgerald, D Hazel; S O’Driscoll, P Crowley, D O’Donovan; C Fitzgerald, R Byrne; D Óg Hodnett (c), D Hourihane, K Hurley; E Connolly, D Shannon, T Hegarty.

Subs: J Breen for C Fitzgerald (19, inj); D Daly for K Hurley (41); B Crowley for D O’Donovan (56); E O’Connell for D Shannon (60).

BÉAL ÁTHAN GHAORTHAIDH: G Ó Muirthile; C Ó Nuanáin, J Ó Donnchú (captain), N Ó Duinín; M Ó Ríordáin, L Ó Criodáin, N Ó Laoire; É Ó Dúinín, S Ó Tuama, A Ó Concheannáin, C Ó Duinín; D Mac Thomáis, B Searten, D Seartan.

Subs: C Ó Loinsigh for S Ó Tuama (34); D Ó Ceallacháin for M Ó Ríordáin (35); T Ó Laoire for L Ó Criodáin (52); S Ó Muimhneacháin for D Mac Tomáis (54, injured); S Ó Luasa for C Ó Tuama (56).

Referee: T Hayes (Éire Óg)