Clyda Rovers 'spirit' drove Barry O'Leary's side into the SAFC semis

Victory over O'Donovan Rossa at the weekend propelled Avondhu side through as a top seed
Clyda Rovers 'spirit' drove Barry O'Leary's side into the SAFC semis

Clyda Rovers Conor Corbett breaks from O'Donovan Rossa's Kevin Hurley and Daniel Hazel during the Bon Secours Cork SAFC at Coachford. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

A WIN that came with a big bonus is the best way to describe Clyda Rovers’ victory over O’Donovan Rossa in their Bon Secours SAFC clash at Aghabullogue on Saturday night.

Coming into the game, Skibb would have been the slight favourites to take the points and top their group, a win that would have seen them straight into the semi-final. And at one stage in the second half, that looked the likely outcome, as they went four points up, to make it 1-10 to 2-3.

But one thing Clyda have in abundance is spirit and a never-say-die attitude, topped off with plenty of match winners. A second goal from Dan O’Callaghan put a point between them and a free from Eoin Walsh had the sides level.

Both players pointed again, as they won 3-7 to 1-10, with Walsh getting the last score in injury time. And even though they didn’t know it at the time, that Walsh point meant the difference between a semi-final or quarter-final spot as Clyda joined St Michael’s in the semis.

Afterward, coach Barry O’Leary was delighted to go straight to the semi, something he didn’t know until the assembled media told him.

“Getting into the semi is a bonus, we spoke at a meeting last night about it.

“I said to the lads that if we got a win, we might get a semi-final spot, but even with the win I didn’t think we would get it,” said Barry.

“But I am delighted after the win and the bonus of going straight through to the semi-final.

“I thought we were sloppy, particularly in the first half, but the big man at the end of the square did the damage and we got the goals at the right times that kept us in it.

Once the Clyda spirit lifted us, there would only be one team leaving here as winners.

“They haven’t really shown that Clyda spirit this year and I thought that final 20 minutes they really showed it for the first time and it made a huge difference. When they come out, they are a different animal out there.

“I didn’t realise the importance of that last point until ye called me over to tell me what it meant.

“It was a score to secure the win for us first, but then it became a big bonus, as it secured that semi-final spot for us and we can look forward to that now in a few weeks."

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