St Finbarr’s 2-9 Castlehaven 0-15
IT’LL take another outing to decide this Rebel Óg Premier 2 minor football semi-final, after an enthralling draw in Clonakilty.
When St Finbarr’s led by two points after a neat William Buckley effort on a counterattack in the 58th minute they looked set to progress to the decider. Castlehaven, the better side for much of the second half, kept pushing. Two clever angled passes into midfielder Robbie Minihane, after being relocated to full-forward, earned the frees which Jack Cahalane converted to level the game.
This, like all other underage fixtures this season, should have been decided by extra time, but with the light fading referee Andrew Whelton had no choice but to call it up.
It was the right result, because while the Barrs had periods of superiority and started impressively, they got a couple of breaks for their goals, via Ethan Twomey after the first-half water break and Rian Doyle after 42 minutes.
They threatened to raise green flags all through, Ben O’Connor going close in the first five minutes and again in the second half when he hit the post. Castlehaven could have had a goal in the first half too, Callum Sexton saving brilliantly from Jamie O’Driscoll.
It helped that Jack Cahalane, despite being policed by a sweeper, nailed some fantastic points, nine in all and 0-5 from play, against the club he won a P1 hurling county with last week. Cormac O’Neill, another Barrs hurler but Haven footballer, landed a fine point for the West Cork outfit.
There were some fascinating battles over the hour, with Minihane and Liam McCarthy taking on Twomey and Ben Cunningham at midfield, while Sean Bohane and Ben O’Connor duked it on the 45.
The Haven tactic of pressing up on the Barrs’ extra defender reaped a reward and it will be interesting to see how the teams adjust to that tactic in the rematch.
Scorers for St Finbarr’s: E Twomey (0-5 f) 1-7, R Doyle 1-0, W Buckley 0-2.
Castlehaven: J Cahalane (0-3 f, 0-1 mark) 0-9, L McCarthy (0-1 f) 0-2, R Minihane (0-1 f, 0-1 mark) 0-2, C O’Neill, J O’Driscoll 0-1 each.
ST FINBARR’S: C Sexton; S Kennedy, JJ O’Connor, M Nason; R O’Sullivan, R Fitzpatrick, M Ryan; E Twomey, B Cunningham; C Doolan, B O’Connor, G Gowen; R Doyle, A Buckley, W Buckley.
Subs: D Kennedy for O’Sullivan (h-t), F Crowley for A Buckley (38), S Osubar Kennedy for Doyle (40), M Clarkson for Ryan (56), A O’Regan for Gowen (59).
CASTLEHAVEN: R Courtney; C O’Neill, T Collins, U O’Donovan; J O’Neill, S Bohane, J McNulty; L McCarthy, R Minihane; J O’Driscoll, J Cahalane, F Collins; A O’Donoghue, T O’Mahony, S Browne.
Subs: R Burchill for Browne (40), O Daly for O’Donoghue (55).
Referee: A Whelton (Clonakilty).