Lough Rovers bag first title in 75 years after powerful last quarter

Lough Rovers bag first title in 75 years after powerful last quarter
CUP OF JOY: Lough Rovers are presented with the cup by Cork chairman Ger Lane.

THERE were huge celebrations in Lough Rovers after their footballers landed the club’s first county title in 75 years.

The southsiders hit two crucial goals to edge a tight junior C county final against North Cork’s St John’s at Carrigadrohid on Friday night.

Despite a sluggish start, the Bandon Road outfit wrestled back the initiative thanks to vital goals from Seán Blake and Rory O’Connor, while Danny Kiely was topscorer with four points from play and Michael Dineen chipped in with 0-3.

They trailed 0-5 to 0-1 in the first half, until O’Connor’s goal pulled Rovers right back into it, and a powerful last quarter saw them capture the junior C crown 2-8 to 0-9.

John Sheehan, Danny Flaherty and Jason Keegan were outstanding in defence, with Sean Keane and Kiely influential further out the field.

On the senior hurling front, Blackrock improved on their first round display against Bandon with a more convincing win over Ballymartle at Páirc Uí Rinn.

Alan O’Callaghan was their attacking spearhead, hitting 1-9, while Shane O’Keeffe and Ger Regan also chipped in with four points apiece. John Cashman, Eoin Smith and Stephen Murphy provided the steel as the Rockies finished 1-21 to 1-17 winners.

In the PIHC there was a 0-18 to 0-13 victory for Ballinhassig, despite playing for over 40 minutes with 13 men against Carrigaline’s 14.

Having lost their last two games against their Carrigdhoun rivals Hassig had the bit between their teeth here, with Fintan O’Leary and Seán Coleman sharing 10 points.

Castlelyons and Fr O’Neill's hurlers go for the ball. Picture: John Hennessy
Castlelyons and Fr O’Neill's hurlers go for the ball. Picture: John Hennessy

An Eoin Conway hat-trick gave Fr O’Neill’s a 5-17 to 3-20 win over Castlelyons in a pulsating clash where last year’s IHC kingpins had to survive a massive comeback from Castlelyons, who had Cork senior Colm Spillane at the heart of their efforts and got two goals from Ciarán McGann.

The big concern for O’Neill’s, however, was the loss of Cork U21 Billy Dunne to a knee injury after 43 minutes.

In the IHC, Ballygarvan and Na Piarsaigh couldn’t be separated after extra time on a 2-14 to 1-17 scoreline.

Mark Kennefick rattled off 1-9 for Ballygarvan, but Cork minor Evan Sheehan was on song for the city side to the tune of 1-13.

Sheehan will be one of the leading figures for the Rebel minors on Thursday when they face Tipp in the Munster semi-final in Thurles.

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