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O'Donovan Rossa forward Donal Óg Hodnett returned from injury in style against St Nick's.
O'Donovan Rossa forward Donal Óg Hodnett returned from injury in style against St Nick's.
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Returning Donal Óg Hodnett leads Skibb footballers to a rout of St Nicks

O’Donovan Rossa 4-22 St Nicholas 1-5 

ST Nicks were given a reminder that life in the fast lane in the Bon Secours Cork Senior A football championship could be a mighty struggle as they were demolished by a rampant O’Donovan Rossa side at Brinny on Saturday.

Such was the gulf in class between the teams if this was a boxing match Nick’s would have been counted out in the early rounds as the Skibbereen side were simply a level above them.

Last season O’Donovan Rossa defeated Ballincollig in the first round but as the season matured injuries, including a cruciate to Donal Óg Hodnett, hampered their progress.

That injury occurred on May 12, 2019 in a challenge game against Valley Rovers but the former Cork star now looks back to his very best.

Kevin Davis started the rout just two minutes into the game and when Davis added a second white flag in the fifth minute O’Donovan Rossa increased their lead to three points.

On the next possession, Hodnett showed his class with a solo run before unleashing an unstoppable shot to the roof of the net.

The intensity that O’Donovan Rossa showed paved the way for them to dominate the first half and despite the effort of St Nick’s 43-year-old full-forward David Brosnan it proved in vain as he didn’t get enough of quality ball.

At the break, Nicks had a mountain to climb as they trailed 1-13 to 0-2 and they were dealt a blow just four minutes into the restart when Hodnett assisted a perfect pass to Davis who drilled in their second goal from close range.

Two minutes later we looked to be heading for a complete blow-out when Dylan Hourihane drilled in Rossa’s third goal.

Midway through the half Newcestown referee Eamonn Sheedy awarded a penalty that looked a clear shoulder by the Nicks corner forward David Dunlea but justice was done when keeper Eddie Fuller produced a magnificent save from Dylan Hourihane’s penalty.

There is little doubt Nick’s looked an ill-prepared side but their warrior Brosnan kept the fight going when he was hand to billow the net with five minutes remaining.

In the end, O’Donovan Rossa strolled to an easy win but will be under no illusions that their next games against Ballingeary and St Michael’s will be far tougher assignments.

As for the city side, they have some serious improvement if they are to win a game in this group as attitudes in the camp will have to change.

Scorers for O’Donovan Rossa: K Davis 1-6 (0-3 f, 0-1 mark), D Óg Hodnett 2-1, D Hourihane 1-1, E Connolly 0-6, D Shannon 0-5, D Daly, T Hegarty, S Fitzgerald 0-1 each.

St Nicks: D Brosnan 1-2 (0-1 mark), L Coughlan 0-2 (0-1 f), A Lynch 0-1.

O'DONOVAN ROSSA: R Price; S Fitzgerald, E Fitzgerald, D Hayes; P Crowley, D Daly; R Byrne, C Fitzgerald; D Og Hodnett, D Hourihane, E Connolly; T Hegarty, D Shannon, K Davis.

St NICKS: E Fuller; D Dunlea, K McCarthy-Coade, A Hosford; G Mulcahy, A O’Donovan, R McCarthy-Coade; L Forde, J Morrissey; A Lynch, S Kennifick, S Morris; L Coughlan, D Brosnan, J Galvin.

Subs: R Byrne for A O’Donovan (42), J O’Brien for D Morris (42), C Cullinane for A Hosford (42).

Referee: E Sheedy (Newcestown).