CASTLEMARTYR secured top spot in group B of the Co-op SuperStores Cork Lower IHC as they earned a 1-22 to 3-14 win over Milford at Mourneabbey on Sunday afternoon.
While Milford led early in the first half, Castlemartyr had managed to get on top to lead by 1-14 to 2-9 by half-time, Jack McGann with their goal while their North Cork opponents had green flags from Anthony Watson.
With Daragh Moran and Ciarán Joyce imperious in defence and Brian Lawton outstanding in midfield, Castlemartyr pushed on with Barry Lawton on song from frees and man of the match Mike Kelly finishing with six points from play while Seán Hennessy notched four. Cillian O’Gorman impressed for Milford.
On Sunday night, St Finbarr’s— beaten by Castlemartyr last week — got back on track as they beat Ballymartle by 0-22 to 0-16 in Ballinhassig. Sam Cunningham, Philip Kelleher nailed some big points while Billa O'Connell was flawless from frees.
The Barrs now face Milford in a final-round battle of the Blues for a place in the knockout stages — but whoever wins that game would still lose out to Castlemartyr on a head-to-head tie-break, even if they were to lose to Ballymartle.
Group A remains finely poised after a third draw in the four games played to date. In Carrigaline, Russell Rovers had a great start as Brian Hartnett’s goal put them four points up on Kilbrittain and Luke Duggan Murray and Jack McGrath opened up a six-point lead before Philip Wall pulled a goal back for the West Cork side.
By half-time, it was 1-9 to 1-7 for Rovers, but Kilbrittain stayed in touch in the second half and took the lead again when Morgan Madden’s goal put them 2-11 to 1-13 in front.
They pushed on to lead by three after a Maurice Sexton free, but Rovers came back and secured a draw when Hartnett equalised at the death.
With both sides having drawn their first games, they are now on two points while Ballygarvan lead the way on three after they beat Barryroe by 1-15 to 2-10 in Ballinspittle.
Barryroe led by 1-7 to 0-9 at half-time, Jack Murphy with the goal, and a second green flag from Adam McSweeney — set up by Robbie Kiely, as the first one was — put them four ahead in the second half. However, Dylan O’Connor replied immediately with a Ballygarvan goal and they were level by the water break before finishing strongly, with O’Connor, Mark Kennefick, and Ray O’Halloran contributing important points.
Ahead of the last round of games, Ballygarvan v Kilbrittain and Russell Rovers v Barryroe, any of the four sides could qualify.
St Catherine’s will top group C after they made it two wins from two with a 1-15 to 0-11 win over Grenagh in Rathcormac.
Ben O’Brien’s early goal set them on their way as they led by 1-8 to 0-6 at half-time, with Shane O’Brien on song too. Michael O’Riordan, Séamus Cronin and Seán Bourke showed up well for Grenagh.
At Passage, Tracton overcame Dripsey by 1-24 to 3-12, having trailed by 3-6 to 1-11 at half-time. Ronan Walsh finished with ten points for the winners while Alan Kiely got the goal.