O’DONOVAN ROSSA will meet St Michael’s in the semi-final of the Bons Secours Hospital Cork SAFC after they came out on top in Sunday’s West Cork derby against Dohenys.
At the picturesque setting of Wolfe Tone Park in Bantry, the Skibbereen side led from wire to wire, assembling a half-time advantage of 0-6 to 0-3 that Dohenys were never able to puncture, despite staying in touch.
A combined tally of ten points from Kevin Davis and Dylan Hourihan was key for Rossa, who also had to be thankful to goalkeeper Ryan Price for a 46th-minute penalty save.
At that stage, the scoreboard read 0-10 to 0-6 in Skibb’s favour, with Mark Buckley having brought Dohenys closer with a pair of good points.
As Fionn Herlihy looked to weave his way through the Skibb cover, corner-back Dylan O’Donovan fisted the ball away, but he was deemed to have done so unfairly and a penalty was awarded, to the shock and horror of those in the Skibb dugout.
Centre-back Jerry McCarthy came forward but, though he struck his shot well, Price saved and also held on to the ball from McCarthy's rebound.
Though Dohenys sub Colm O’Shea did cut the deficit to a goal in the 49th minute, Skibb replied as Hourihane kicked his fourth point of the day to end ten scoreless minutes and they were able to see things out as no goal chances were allowed.
They will know that improvement is required in the last four against Michael’s, the defeated finalists of 2021, but the key thing is that they are there and have the opportunity to effect such an uptick.
They were on top in midfield for the most part, where Dónal Óg Hodnett had a strong influence on the game, while their solid defending forced Dohenys into less-than-ideal scoring attempts, as evidenced by a total of 11 wides for the Dunmanway men.
In Davis, Skibb had a strong attacking focal point and he was allowed too much space early on as he kicked the game’s first two points.
While Dohenys did look to rectify that and were level thanks to Mark Quinn and Gavin Farr, Skibb still had the edge for the rest of the half, with Paudie Crowley another on song, and were good value for the three-point interval lead as Rory Byrne had two good points coming up to the break.
Three became four as sub Brian Crowley set up Dylan Hourihane for the first of his points with 18 seconds of the restart.
While Gavin Farr replied after a good Dohenys move, David Shannon (mark) and Hourihan made it 0-9 to 0-4 by the 34th minute.
On 38, Dohenys might have fashioned a goal chance as Herlihy made good headway after linking with Farr, but Price was off his line well to dispossess him and Crowley cleared.
When Hourihane landed a booming effort, they were 0-10 to 0-4 to the good and cruising but Buckley, subdued up until then, gave Dohenys hope with pair of five points to leave four in it as the three-quarter mark approached.
Had the penalty been converted, the deficit would have been down to just one point with all to play for, but Price’s intervention ensured that Skibb retained a cushion.
They were able to keep their noses in front as Davis kicked the game’s final two points to put the game beyond Dohenys and leave Rossa looking ahead to the semi-finals.
K Davis 0-6 (0-3 f, 0-1 m), D Hourihane 0-4, R Byrne 0-2, D Shannon 0-1m
M Buckley 0-3 (0-1 f), G Farr 0-2 (0-1 f), M Quinn, C O’Shea, K White 0-1 each.
R Price; D O’Donovan, D Daly, B Minihane; M Collins, P Crowley, K Hurley; R Byrne, D Óg Hodnett; T Hegarty, N Daly, E Connolly; D Hourihane, D Shannon, K Davis.
B Crowley for Hegarty (half-time), P O’Neill for O’Donovan (49), Hegarty for N Daly, O Lucey for Hurley (both 60).
Stephen Daly; J Farrell, C Barry, D Rice; J Collins, J McCarthy, B O’Donovan; C O’Donovan, J Kelly; M Quinn, F Herlihy, E Lavers; G Farr, K White, M Buckley.
Seán Daly for Rice (3, injured), D Collins for Seán Daly (half-time, injured), C O’Shea for Farr (43), R Coakley for Collins (52), A O’Donovan for Quinn (56).
D Murnane (Macroom).