Castlehaven 0-12 St Finbarr’s 1-8
CASTLEHAVEN will face Kanturk in the Rebel Óg Premier 2 Minor Football final after a lively replay at floodlit Clougduv.
The West Cork outfit were marginally the better side, having learned that bit more from the first game when they came back late on to deny the city side.
Jack Cahalane, who recently won a Premier 1 hurling county with St Finbarr’s, Liam McCarthy and Robbie Minihane shared the 12 points between them and were the standout performers.
Sean Bohane, Jack O’Neill and Tiarnan Collins also contributed hugely to the cause, with the Haven stringing four points in a row together in the fourth quarter following an Ethan Twomey free that levelled it at 0-8 apiece.
At that juncture, all they needed to do was avoid conceding a goal but a long delivery to Ben O’Connor saw David Murnane signal a penalty and the Cork minor hurler dusted himself off to bury the kick himself.
Extra time was looming but Stephen Connolly’s charges burned a lot of time from the clock by moving possession laterally, again their leaders making the key plays.
The Barrs, with Fionán Murray at the helm, were never able to get within range to find an equaliser. Twomey had a fine game at midfield, while Ruairí Fitzpatrick, Ciarán Doolan and Matthew Nason were prominent too.
However, they were over-reliant on frees to keep the scoreboard ticking over and weren’t allowed through for the goal chances that characterised the previous outing, notwithstanding the penalty.
The first half was as cagey an affair as you’d expect following a tight draw eight days earlier.
The Haven altered their line-up by bringing back Thomas O’Mahony to shore up the rearguard and moved the direct running Seán Bohane into the attack. They got enough bodies back from the off to clog up the Barrs’ support game.
It was 0-3 to 0-1 at the first water-break, Ritchie Burchill setting up a sweet Cahalane point from play, with Robbie Minihane and Liam McCarthy also scoring, the Blues’ response courtesy of the nimble Rian Doyle.
The Barrs settled for the second quarter, Twomey arrowing over two lovely scores from play, in between a Cahalane free to leave it 0-4 to 0-3 at half-time.
The second half saw the tempo upped considerably, and while both teams were guilty of some cheap frees, it was far more entertaining as a consequence.
Cahalane hit two savage points from play, while Liam McCarthy also had two, one a free, the other a gem of an effort.
Barrs’ Fionn Crowley profited from a quick break and an off-load via Doolan and at 0-8 to 0-7 to Castlehaven at the second water-break we’d seen more scores in 15 minutes than in the opening 30-plus.
Ultimately, Castlehaven made the decisive burst with the game on the line and will be hoping to follow up an U16 A grade success two years ago with a minor trophy.
These two clubs will meet again this Sunday, in a Premier Senior semi-final at Páirc Uí Rinn, where Cahalane will feature for the Haven.
Scorers for Castlehaven: J Cahalane 0-5 (0-2 f), L McCarthy 0-4 (0-2 f), R Minihane 0-3 (0-1 f).
St Finbarr’s: E Twomey 0-6 (0-4 f), B O’Connor 1-0 pen, F Crowley, R Doyle 0-1 each.
ST FINBARR’S: C Sexton; S Kennedy, JJ O’Connor, M Nason; S Crowe, R Fitzpatrick, D Kennedy; E Twomey, B Cunningham; C Doolan, B O’Connor, G Gowen; R Doyle, F Crowley, W Buckley.
Subs: A Buckley (h-t), S Osubar Kennedy (47).
CASTLEHAVEN: R Courtney; U O’Donovan, T O’Mahony, T Collins; A O’Donoghue, J O’Neill, J McNulty; L McCarthy, R Minihane; F Collins, S Bohane, J O’Driscoll; R Burchill, J Cahalane, C O’Neill.
Subs: D O’Donovan (h-t), O Daly (45), J Bohane (50).
Referee: David Murnane (Macroom).