Russell Rovers 1-15 St Catherine’s 0-13
THIS Cork Co-Op Superstores LIHC semi-final at Killeagh went down to the wire with a 10-point contribution from Josh Beausang crucial as a Russell Rovers revival saw off gallant St Catherine’s.
In a typical east Cork derby, the winners only led for the second time with 10 minutes remaining and were made work hard for their victory by their dogged opponents.
Russell Rovers had superiority in terms of possession early on but couldn't finish and were punished with two slick points from Matt and Brian Mulcahy.
Rovers were intent on getting quick ball into their energetic forwards and it worked the seventh minute when Brian ‘Bud’ Hartnett showed incredible pace to drill a low shot to the corner of the net.
Credit to Catherine’s they responded in style and five consecutive points that included four from the stick of Shane O’Brien saw them lead 0-7 to 1-0 in the 16th minute.
After the water break, the Shanagarry outfit increased the tempo but their scoring drought didn’t end until the 25th minute when Dan Ruddy drilled over a classy point.
Both sides were struggling to raise white flags and Catherine’s ended 13 minutes without a score before consecutive points from O’Brien and Dan Mangan.
Russell Rovers finished the half with a Beausang point but they went in trailing 0-9 to 1-2 at the break.
Rovers showed more urgency from there, and, wind-assisted, they won a pile of ball on the restart despite Richard Galvin missing a wonderful goal opportunity after 34 minutes.
It was a highly tense game up to the 50th minute when a Beausang 65 edged Russell Rovers ahead by the minimum.
When the game hung in the balance the sublime striking of Beausang swayed the balance in Rovers' favour as St Catherine’s fire was finally quenched in added time.
Scorers for Russell Rovers: J Beausang 0-10 (0-6 f, 0-1 65), B Hartnett 1-0, L Duggan-Murray, J McGrath 0-2 each, D Ruddy 0-1.
St Catherine’s: S O’Brien 0-8 (0-6 f, 0-1 65), M Mulcahy 0-3, B Mulcahy, D Mangan 0-1 each.
RUSSELL ROVERS: R Walsh; K O’Brien, P Lane, E O’Sullivan; J Kennifick, J P Ivers, C Ruddy; K Tattan, K Walsh; L Duggan-Murray, K Moynihan, J McGrath; B Hartnett, J Beausang, D Ruddy.
Subs: P Cummins for D Ruddy (42).
St CATHERINE'S: E Davis; S O’Brien, E Wallace, C O’Brien; C Hegarty, R Galvin, K Neville; S O’Brien, J Neville; S Cotter, L O’Connor, D Mangan; B Mulcahy, P Roche, M Mulcahy.
Subs: R Galvin for P Roche (h-t), B Davis L O’Connor (45), S O’Regan for S O’Brien (50).
Referee: Dave Daly (Brian Dillon's).