Ilen Rovers 2-11 Douglas 0-16
ILEN Rovers staged a second-half comeback to defeat Douglas in a thrilling Rochestown Park Division 3 football league final at Clonakilty last Saturday.
The West Cork side were 0-9 to 0-5 behind at the interval and struggling to contain a lively Douglas forward line in which Conor Russell and Brian Collins split the posts at every opportunity.
It took a goal from Sean O’Donovan, who finished with 1-8, a minute after the restart to ignite Ilen back into life before their opponents restored order and led by three with 10 minutes to go.
Rovers introduced the experienced Kevin O’Sullivan as a second-half substitute and he made his presence felt by rifling home a gem of a goal to level the score heading into the home straight.
A fisted O’Sullivan point made it 2-11 to 0-15 before Douglas lost Eoin O’Sullivan to a second yellow card deep into injury-time. Brian Collins landed a late free but Douglas couldn’t breach Rovers’ rearguard and the West Cork club held on for a memorable win.
Sean O’Donovan got Ilen off the mark from a free inside the first minute. Both sides moved the ball well but were guilty of poor shooting until Liam Dineen converted a free after Eoin Cadogan had been fouled.
The O’Driscoll’s, Peadar and Conor, won plenty of possession in midfield yet it was Douglas who made better use of the ball, moving ahead courtesy of a fine Brian Collins effort. Ilen responded within a minute, a flowing move ending with Aaron O’Sullivan splitting the posts and the scores kept coming as Sean O’Donovan edged the West Cork side back in front.
That would be Rovers last score for nearly quarter of an hour however as Douglas found another gear. Conor Russell and Brian Collins points made it 0-4 to 0-3 and the city club should have been further in front but Shane Duggan blazed a rebound wide after Damien O’Sullivan denied the full-forward a goal.
A scoring surge edged Douglas five in front heading into the second period when heavy rain made life difficult for both teams. Sean O’Donovan’s goal a minute after the restart kick-started a terrific period in which both sides produced excellent scores but were also guilty of turning over possession.
Sam Collins, Brian Collins and Conor Russell helped Douglas re-establish a three-point advantage until Kevin O’Sullivan’s thunderbolt provided the catalyst for a narrow but deserved Ilen Rovers victory.
Scorers for Ilen Rovers: S O’Donovan 1-8 (0-5 f), K O'Sullivan 1-1, T O’Regan and A O’Sullivan 0-1 each.
Scorers for Douglas: B Collins (0-1 f) and C Russell 0-6 each, L Dineen 0-2 (0-1 f), B Lynch and S Collins 0-1 each.
ILEN ROVERS: D O’Sullivan; P Minihane, S Minihane, J Collins; B Leonard, D O’Donovan, D Hegarty; P O’Driscoll, C O’Driscoll; J Hickey, T O’Regan, C Harrington; S O’Donovan (captain), M Bushe, A O’Sullivan.
Subs: K O’Sullivan for C Harrington (h-t), B Collins for S O’Donovan (38, blood), S O’Donovan for B Collins (39), B Collins for J Hickey (50), H O’Neill for M Bushe (57).
DOUGLAS: B Boyle; D Sheehan, E Cadogan, L McGrath; B Lynch, D McSweeney, K Hayes-Curtin; E O’Sullivan, L Dineen; B Collins, D Hanrahan (captain), S Collins; S McCarthy, S Donegan, C Russell.
Subs: A O’Farrell for S Donegan (h-t), D Kelly for S Collins (57).
Referee: A Whelton (Clonakilty).