Randal Óg 0-11 Douglas 0-5
RANDAL Óg are through to the County Junior B Championship Final after a gutsy victory over Douglas in biting cold wind and rain at Brinny.
Crucially the victors made the most of every scoring opportunity and showed great character in the opening exchanges when they really struggled for possession. Their goalkeeper Ciarán Murray kept his side in the game with two outstanding saves in a lively opening quarter. After surviving an early onslaught Randal Óg took control of the game playing against the elements and dominated the final quarter to set up a clash with Dripsey.
The West Cork club have a junior B hurling final with Belgooly first and already won the junior B football competition for first-teams only.
Randal Óg enjoyed a positive start and registered the opening score from the accurate left foot of Barry O’Driscoll. The Douglas men equalised with a lovely long-range effort from Cathal Deasy with the slippery conditions making life difficult for both sides. The west Cork men edged in front with another placed effort from O’Driscoll after a well worked team move.
But Douglas seized control at this stage with Shane O’Donoghue denied a certain goal by a brilliant save from Ciarán Murray. Douglas kept pressing and patient build up resulted in an equaliser from Conor Kingston. Moments later a marauding run from Mark Howell resulted in a Douglas penalty but Shane Buckley’s effort was superbly stopped by Ciaran Murray before the first water break.
These inspirational saves seemed to galvanise the West Cork side as they forced Douglas to shoot from distance which resulted in a number of scoring chances being missed. Randal Óg’s attack looked lively and points from Peter Collins and a beautiful free from Barry O’Driscoll settled them.
Douglas got one back with a distance score from Conor O’Donovan before the west Cork side replied with a great score from Conor O’Neill. Randal Óg finished off the opening half in style with a beautiful point from Sean Daly ensuring they led by 0-6 to 0-3 at the break.
On the resumption, Douglas seized the initiative and patiently worked through the lines before Conor O’Donovan clipped over. But Douglas had to work very hard for every point while Randal Óg’s Conor O’Neill put them three points clear again with an excellent point.
Another dispossession from Randal Óg resulted in a super Peter Collins point just before the second water break as the heavens opened.
Barry O’Driscoll with his lazy style landed another super placed effort to consolidate their lead while Sean Daly gave them a six point lead as the Douglas challenge really petered out in the final quarter. Ben Bowler got a late consolation score for the Douglas men as Randal Óg continue their remarkable season.
B O’Driscoll 0-5 f, S Daly, C O’Neill , P Collins 0-2 each.
C O’Donovan 0-2, C Deasy, C Kingston, B Bowler 0-1each.
C Murray; E Murray, S Crowley, I Crowley; P Duggan, S Patterson, C O’Neill; D Collins, P Collins; K Dullea, P O’Sullivan, S Collins; B O’Driscoll, C O’Neill, S Daly.
P Galvin for P O’Sullivan(h-t), S Crowley for E Murray (45).
A Cullinane; L Healy, C O’Donoghue, I Turnbull; N Lynch, C Kingston, S O’Donoghue; K O’Donovan, M Howell; M Mason, C Deasy, A O’Connell; C O’Donovan, S Buckley, S St Ledger.
D Maher for S Buckley (35), A O’Brien for M Mason (45), M O’Callaghan for L Healy (55).
L Knight (Kilmurry).