Committed Courcey Rovers continue to defy the odds to reach the PIHC last four

Committed Courcey Rovers continue to defy the odds to reach the PIHC last four

Colm Daly, Courcey Rovers, picks up this breaking ball as Caoimhin O’Coileain battles with Sean Desmond of Watergrasshill in the PIHC clash. Picture: Dan Linehan

Courcey Rovers 1-21 Watergrasshill 1-15
THEY might have scraped through to the knockout stage of the Co-Op Superstores Cork Premier IHC, but Courcey Rovers proved at Ballyanley that they deserve to be there. 

The 2018 defeated finalists knocked out one of the favourites in Watergrasshill, a team that was unbeaten in their group.

They were full value for the victory and were on top in most positions. Watergrasshill, on the other hand, simply never got going and as well their shooting betrayed them at critical times.

Even though, Watergrasshill’s danger man Shane Óg O’Regan finished with 1-5, credit must go as well to Courceys full-back Billy Mulcahy who had a fine outing at the edge of the square.

With the wind at their backs, Courcey’s made their presence felt with a brace of quickfire points from their top scorer Richard Sweetnam.

They were 0-4 to 0-3 in front before Aidan O’Donovan struck for a Courcey Rovers goal – a move that involved Brian Ó Coileaín and Brendan Ryan. This settled them, and their lively attack and midfield proceeded to hit six points without reply – some great scores from Ronan Nyhan, Sweetnam, Jerry O’Neill and Tadgh O’Sullivan.

Watergrasshill had two goal chances, one went wide and goalkeeper Stephen Nyhan was alert to the other. Nyhan pulled off another two valuable saves in the second half.

Watergrasshill trailed 1-11 to 0-5 at the break, having only scored twice from play from Shane Óg O’Regan.

But they restarted with Shane Óg O’Regan putting the sliotar in the net after he doubled first-time on a cross from Kieran O’Keeffe. Through the accurate free-taking of Shane O’Regan, they clawed back the deficit. However, the nearest they could get was five points.

A second yellow card for wing-back Martin Collins at the death failed to upset their momentum as they move to a semi-final meeting with Castlelyons.

Scorers for Courcey Rovers: R Sweetnam (0-11, 0-6 frees), R Nyhan (0-4), A O’Donovan (1-0), T O’Sullivan (0-3), J O’Neill (0-2), B Ryan (0-1).

Watergrasshill: S O’Regan (0-8, 0-7 frees), S Óg O Regan (1-5, 0-1 free), D O’Leary (0-2).

COURCEY ROVERS: S Nyhan; C Ó Coileaín, B Mulcahy, C Daly; M Collins, F Lordan, B Ó Coileaín; J O’Neill, D J Twomey; B Ryan, R Ryan, T O’Sullivan; R Sweetnam, O Crowley, A O’Donovan.

Subs: S Twomey for D J Twomey (40), D Duggan for B Ó Coileaín (46 inj), M O’Donovan for O Crowley (52), J McCarthy for B Ryan (57).

WATERGRASSHILL: D O’Callaghan; K O’Keeffe, A Ricken, S Field; P Cronin, G Kelly Lynch, B Fenton; A Cronin, P O’Regan; P O’Leary, K O’Neill, S O’Regan; D O’Leary, S Óg O’Regan, S Desmond.

Subs: C Cronin for A Cronin (45), A Foley for P O’Leary (48), W Connolly for K O’Neill (53).

Referee: Ciarán O’Regan (Ballyhea).

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