Russell Rovers 1-17 Carraig na bhFear 0-9
PÁIRC UÍ RINN was a winter wonderland for Russell Rovers yesterday as they made up for the heartbreak of 12 months ago to lift the Cork County JHC for the first time in the club’s proud history.
Cloughduv denied them in the final on the same sod last year but it was a case of agony turning to ecstasy here as they proved far superior to the team that they had beaten with a last-gasp goal in the divisional final a few months ago.
The Shanagarry based side fully deserved this great victory, the team as a unit playing superbly from the outset and never allowing their East Cork rivals to get any sort of a decent foothold on the game.
They led from the off and by half-time they had constructed a nine-point advantage and at that juncture the writing was very much on the wall.
Carraig na bhFear did not help their own cause in the opening half by shooting some very poor wides including three scorable frees
Russell Rovers were hugely competent in attack with the twin strike force of Josh Beausang and Bud Hartnett in sublime form.
Between them they registered 1-11, Hartnett with 1-4 and Beausang with 0-7 and when you have two forwards of that quality in your side, it’s half the battle.
Luke Duggan-Murray and Daniel Moynihan fired over some precious points too while back in defence they limited their opponents to just 0-4 from general play.
John Paul Ivers, James Kennefick and Chris Ruddy formed a very formidable half-back sector in front of a full-back line that gave nothing away.
Behind them all, Ross Walsh was superb between the sticks, making some fine saves on an afternoon when this Russell Rovers team kept the best until the last day.
They led by 1-8 to 0-2 at the break, Bud Hartnett executing the goal with aplomb after just five minutes.
The Carraig na bhFear ‘keeper Barry Casey denied the Rovers a second goal very shortly afterwards when saved from the outstanding Beausang.
It was 1-4 to 0-1 after 20 minutes, Carraig na bhFear’s only response in that period was a pointed free from John Forde
Beausang, Hartnett, Duggan-Murray and Jack McGrath were all on target for the Rovers as they went to the dressing rooms in complete control of the proceedings.
Carraig na bhFear’s only other scorer in that opening half was another pointed effort from Paul Murphy.
When they resumed, Beausang converted a wonderful point from a sideline puck and at the other end Ross Walsh denied Brendan Murphy.
Timmy Geaney did strike a brace of points for Carraig na bhFear and Murphy put over another free in the 46th minute to leave the margin between the teams at seven points
But that was really as good as it got for them and it was very much a case of Russell Rovers embellishing their superiority as we entered the game’s closing sequences.
Beausang, Hartnett and Duggan-Murray all rifled over points as the wait of 12 long and impatient months since that loss to Cloughduv ended.
Russell Rovers had learned from the heartbreak of that loss, proving once again that maybe you have to lose one before you win one.
As junior finals go, this was too lopsided but that won’t bother this wonderful Russell Rovers squad of players in the slightest
This was the day when a small club from East Cork wrote their own piece of history
They are very worthy Cork County junior hurling champions and they will be fine ambassadors for the county in the provincial arena.
Scorers for Russell Rovers: B Hartnett 1-4, J Beausang 0-7 (0-2 f, 0-1 65), L Duggan-Murray, D Moynihan 0-2 each, J McGrath, K Walsh 0-1 each.
Carrig na bhFear: P Murphy 0-4 f, T Geaney 0-2 (0-1 f), J Forde 0-2, C Hayes 0-1.
RUSSELL ROVERS: R Walsh; K O’Brien, P Lane, E O’Sullivan; JP Ivers, J Kennefick, C Ruddy; K Tattan, K Walsh; D Moynihan, L Duggan-Murray, J McGrath; B Hartnett, J Beausang, K Moynihan. Subs: E McGrath for J McGrath (58), D O’Brien for K Tattan (60), K Ivers for K O’Brien (61), C Quinlan for B Hartnett (62).
CARRIG NA BHFEAR: B Casey; T Sheehan, D O’Driscoll, G Geaney; J Forde, T Geaney P Geaney; J Forde, A Dorgan; M Hickey, P Sheehan, A Hegarty; P Murphy, B Murphy, D Sweeney.
Subs: S Casey for G Geaney (inj 4), C Hayes for A Hegarty (41), P O’Sullivan for D Sweeney (46), J Aherne for J Forde (52), J O’Sullivan for M Hickey (58).
Referee: M Maher (St Finbarr’s)