Russell Rovers retain the Jamesy Kelleher after sizzling hurling decider

Russell Rovers retain the Jamesy Kelleher after sizzling hurling decider
Russell Rovers celebrating their victory in the East Cork JAHC final at Lisgoold. Picture: David Keane.

Russell Rovers 1-16 Carraig na bhFear 0-16

CHAMPIONS Russell Rovers retained their East Cork Oil JAHC title in dramatic fashion.

Rovers pipped Carraig na bhFear with an injury-time goal from Luke Duggan-Murray to send the fans wild and the Jamesy Kelleher Cup back down the road from Lisgoold to Shanagarry.

Though the goal was decisive, a tally of 0-14 between Josh Beausang and Bud Hartnett was just as important.

Spectators were treated to a very entertaining opening half, with both teams playing intelligent hurling at a rip-roaring pace from end to end.

Unerring accuracy from Josh Beausang for Rovers and John Forde from Carraig na bhFear kept it tight throughout.

The sides were level on six occasions during the first half but then Carraig struck the front thanks to three points from Forde, Brendan Murphy, and David Sweeney in the space of two minutes.

The Shanagarry men responded through two from Hartnett and another silky score from play from Beausang.

The second half was also brilliant and the game developed into a classic.

Hartnett and Beausang were deadly when given the chance, as was Forde, who really played inspired hurling.

The sides were level on the 56th minute following some great scores, and then Beausang fired over what looked like a match-winning point.

Yet back came Carraig through Forde to level matters for the ninth time in the contest. Nerves were rattling and both sides looked like they might just settle for the draw.

Then Beausang chased what looked to be a hopeless cause on the right wing.

The corner-forward managed to keep the sliotar in play and drove goalwards through three tough tackles before laying off the perfect pass to Duggan-Murray, who drove the ball into the net to seal the title for Rovers. 

They can now savour this victory for a few days, as they’re not in action in the county section until the weekend after next, where they’ll be hotly tipped to account for Éire Óg’s second team, beaten by Cloughduv in the Mid Cork final.

Carraig na bhFear face Cloughduv and showed enough here to regroup and drive onwards.

Scorers for Russell Rovers: J Beausang 0-10 (0-7 f), B Hartnett 0-4, L Duggan-Murray 1-2.

Carraig Na bhFear: John Forde 0-9 (0-5 f, 0-1 65), D Sweeney 0-2, P Murphy, P Sheehan, B Murphy, A Dorgan and J Forde 0-1 each.

RUSSELL ROVERS: R Walsh; K O’Brien, P Lane, E O’Sullivan; JP Ivers, J Kennifick, C Ruddy; L Duggan-Murray, K Walsh; D Moynihan (c), K Moynihan, K Tattan; B Hartnett, J McGrath, K Beausang.

Subs: D O’Brien for K Tattan (h-t), K Tattan for J McGrath (44).

CARRAIG NA BHFEAR: B Casey; T Sheehan, D O’Driscoll, G Geaney; J Forde, T Geaney (c), P Geaney; J Forde, A Dorgan; B Murphy, P Sheehan, P Murphy; J Meehan, A Hegarty, D Sweeney.

Subs: T O’Driscoll for J Meehan (45), S Farrell for P Sheehan (53), B Sheehan for D Sweeney (59).

Referee: James Hennessy (Dungourney).

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