Cork's Russell Rovers win a classic semi to reach Croke Park and All-Ireland final

Cork's Russell Rovers win a classic semi to reach Croke Park and All-Ireland final
Kevin Moynihan of Russell Rovers (Cork) gets a shot away despite pressure from Adrian O'Tuaithail of Micheál Breathnach (Galway) in the 2020 AIB GAA Hurling All-Ireland Junior Club Championship Semi-Final in Kilmallock, Co Limerick on Sunday.Pic: Don Moloney

Russell Rovers (Cork)) 1-26

Micheál Breathnach (Galway) 1-15 AET

CROKE PARK here they come! 

Saturday week will be a historic day at GAA headquarters when two east Cork teams contest the All-Ireland club hurling championship finals.

After quite a remarkable game in Kilmallock yesterday (Sunday), Russell Rovers came good in extra-time to book their place in the junior final against Conahy Shamrocks of Kilkenny. 

The double headers will see their neighbours, Fr O’Neill’s against another Kilkenny side, Tullaroan in the intermediate showdown.

Russell Rovers had a man-of-the-match performance from Brian Bud Hartnett, including a 65th minute point from a very difficult free to force extra time. 

The corner forward bagged 12 points having taken over the free taking in the absence of the injured Josh Beausang.

Kevin O'Brien of Russell Rovers (Cork) breaks away from Einne O'Conghaile of Micheál Breathnach (Galway) in the 2020 AIB GAA Hurling All-Ireland Junior Club Championship Semi-Final in Kilmallock, Co Limerick on Sunday.Pic: Don Moloney
Kevin O'Brien of Russell Rovers (Cork) breaks away from Einne O'Conghaile of Micheál Breathnach (Galway) in the 2020 AIB GAA Hurling All-Ireland Junior Club Championship Semi-Final in Kilmallock, Co Limerick on Sunday.Pic: Don Moloney

In a massively entertaining contest, the sides were level 0-4 apiece after quarter of an hour. 

Points from James Kennifick, Kevin Moynihan and Hartnett pushed Russell Rovers 0-8 to 0-5 up.

Micheál Breathnach fought back through Breandán Ó Conghaile and Ronán Mac Donnacha to come within one. 

But Russell pulled away again to lead 0-9 to 0-7 at the break.

The Cork champions pushed on in the second half. At the three-quarter stage, they led 0-15 to 0-9 but their supremacy was whittled down on the home straight.

When Micheál Breathnach were presented with a rare goal chance, Ronán Ó Beoláin obliged for the lead.

A pair of Hartnett frees saved Russell Rovers’ day.

A goal in the first minute of extra time from James Kennefick saw the Munster men dominate the rest of the exchanges.

Kieran Walsh of Russell Rovers (Cork) manages to keep the ball in play despite a tackle from Sean O'Feinneadha of Micheál Breathnach (Galway) in the 2020 AIB GAA Hurling All-Ireland Junior Club Championship Semi-Final in Kilmallock, Co Limerick on Sunday.Pic: Don Moloney
Kieran Walsh of Russell Rovers (Cork) manages to keep the ball in play despite a tackle from Sean O'Feinneadha of Micheál Breathnach (Galway) in the 2020 AIB GAA Hurling All-Ireland Junior Club Championship Semi-Final in Kilmallock, Co Limerick on Sunday.Pic: Don Moloney

Scorers for Russell Rovers: B Hartnett (0-12, 0-6 frees), J Kennefick (1-1), K Walsh and K Moynihan (0-4 each), L Duggan Murray (0-3), C Ruddy and K Tattan (0-1 each).

Scorers for Micheál Breathnach: R Ó Beoláin (1-2), B Ó Conghaile (0-4), M Ó Conghaile (0-7, 0-5 frees, 0-1 65), R Mac Donnacha and E Ó Conghaile (0-1 each).

Russell Rovers: R Walsh; E O’Sullivan, P Lane, K O’Brien; K Tattan, JP Ivers, C Ruddy; J Kennifick, K Walsh; D Moynihan (Capt), D O’Brien, J McGrath; L Duggan Murray, K Moynihan, B Hartnett.

Subs: B Whelehan for J McGrath (44 inj) E McGrath for K Walsh (52 inj), K Walsh for D O’Brien (65), J McGrath for B Whelehan (70), D O’Brien for JP Ivers (72), J Ahern for K O’Brien (73).

Micheál Breathnach: C Ó Conghaile; M Ó Béarra, S Mac Giolla Bhríde, F Ó Béarra; A Ó Tuathail, M Ó Conghaile, S Ó Feinneadha; R Mac Donnacha, C Mac Giolla Bhríde (Capt); D Ó hÉallaithe, O Ó Ceallaigh, S Denvir; E Ó Conghaile, R Ó Beoláin, B Ó Conghaile.

Subs: L Mac Donnacha for M Ó Béarra (15 inj), R Ó Béarra for A Ó Tuathail (42), C Ó Griallais for E Ó Conghaile (44), R Óg Ó Béarra for D Ó hÉallaithe (62), M Ó Duibhir for C Ó Griallais (70), A Ó Tuathail for F Ó Béarra (77).

Referee: Kevin Brady (Louth).

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