Castlehaven 1-13 St Finbarr’s 1-13 (Castlehaven won 4-3 on penalties)
CAPTAIN Mark Collins was the Castlehaven hero on Sunday night as he slotted home the winning sudden-death penalty to send his side through to the Bons Secours Hospital Cork Premier SFC final.
With 80 minutes of football unable to separate the sides, a penalty shootout was required and two saves each from goalkeepers Anthony Seymour and Patrick O’Neill meant that the teams were tied 3-3 after five rounds of spot-kicks.
Sudden death was required and Cillian Myers Murray, who had netted his first kick, saw his next one come back off the crossbar, allowing Collins to win it for the Haven.
While Páirc Uí Rinn wasn’t as full as it might ordinarily have been for such a heavyweight clash, the admittance of 200 patrons provided for a raucous atmosphere, mirroring the intensity shown on the pitch as the teams traded blows.
The Barrs had the wind in the first half and had a good start as Cillian Myers Murray landed a point after claiming a mark and then Brian Hayes scored a fine point.
Though the Haven were level thanks to a pair of Mark Collins frees, the Barrs seized the initiative again as Eoghan McGreevey intercepted a Haven defensive free and fed Sherlock, who fired a low shot to the net before adding a free to put them four in front.
The Haven’s response was admirable as they scored six of the seven points registered between the 15th minute and half-time. They were helped by the reduction of the Barrs to 14 men for ten minutes as Colin Lyons was black-carded and the numerical disparity was made to count and Brian Hurley and Mark Collins had frees before Damien Cahalane, set up by Hurley, got in on the act.
They were level as Michael Hurley pointed in the 23rd minute but the Barrs, back to the full complement, moved back in front as Ian Maguire’s strong run was the catalyst for Hayes’s second point, which was wall-taken.
However, by the break the Haven were in front as Cathal Maguire’s good work set up Jamie Walsh and then Brian Hurley sent over another free after his brother Michael was fouled.
Within 15 seconds of the second half starting, they were two in front thanks to Michael Hurley, who first-timed Walsh’s pass over the bar, but again the pendulum swing.
A pair of Sherlock frees – either side of the Haven’s first wide, in contrast to six in the first half for the Barrs – had the scores level and Denis O’Brien’s very good individual score had the city side in front again.
Sherlock’s fourth point extended the lead and it looked like it might not be the Haven’s night when sub Jack Cahalane set up Michael Hurley, whose shot was saved by Patrick O’Neill, with follow-up efforts by both Hurleys kept off the line.
With 13 minutes left, though, the West Cork side had the lead again. Mark Collins drove forward and fed Cathal Maguire, whose pass found the run of Conor Cahalane, allowing him to drill a low shot beyond O’Neill.
That 1-9 to 1-8 advantage was only fleeting as Sherlock tied with a free and then put the Barrs ahead when they won the kick-out. In the wake of that, he was struck off the ball and a melee ensued, with red cards shown to Roland Whelton of the Haven and the Barrs’ Eoghan McGreevey.
In the closing stages, Castlehaven’s search for an equaliser left them open at the back and Myers Murray almost scored another St Finbarr’s goal but Anthony Seymour saved. At the other end, Maguire levelled and then Brian Hurley looked to have won it with a superb pointed sideline kick.
However, with seven minutes of injury time, the Barrs were always likely to have a chance and Sherlock sent over a levelling free – brought in to the 13m line – at the death.
Extra time saw four more points evenly shared, with Mark Collins sending over the levelling free for Castlehaven. It wouldn’t be his last vital contribution.
Scorers for Castlehaven: M Collins (f), B Hurley (0-2 f, 0-1 sideline) 0-4 each, C Cahalane 1-0, M Hurley 0-2, Damien Cahalane, J Walsh, C Maguire 0-1 each.
St Finbarr’s: S Sherlock 1-9 (0-7 f), B Hayes 0-2, D O’Brien, C Myers Murray 0-1 each.
CASTLEHAVEN: A Seymour; J O’Regan, Damien Cahalane, R Walsh; C O’Sullivan, R Maguire, D McCarthy; J Walsh, M Collins; R Whelton, B Hurley, C Maguire; C Cahalane, M Hurley, C O’Driscoll.
Subs: D Whelton for McCarthy (15), J Cahalane for O’Driscoll (36), Darragh Cahalane for O’Sullivan (57), C Nolan (15th man for extra time), S Nolan for M Hurley (66), T O’Leary for R Walsh (70- , blood), J Davis for C Maguire, K O’Donovan for B Hurley (both half-time in extra time).
ST FINBARR’S: P O’Neill; O Murphy, S Ryan, A O’Connor; C Lyons, J Burns, C Scully; I Maguire, M Shields; D O’Brien, E MCGreevey, C Walsh; C Myers Murray, S Sherlock, B Hayes.
Subs: C Dennehy for Scully, E Finn for Walsh (both half-time), A Lyne for Lyons (44), E Keane for Shields, G O’Connor for O’Brien (both 56), E Twomey (15th man for extra time).
Referee: J Ryan (Macroom).