Castlehaven 1-12 Newcestown 0-9
CASTLEHAVEN pulled clear of the clutches of Newcestown in the closing stages at Rossa Park in Skibbereen to ensure they claimed top spot in group B of the Bons Secours Hospital Cork Premier SFC.
With Newcestown having battled back to within three points with a strong surge in the third quarter, the Haven were under pressure but, having lived on their wits at times, they avoided allowing the gap become any smaller.
Points from captain Mark Collins and Conor O’Driscoll eased them five clear before Michael Hurley’s goal in injury time clinched the victory. Having already beaten Carbery Rangers, the Haven cannot be overtaken even if they were to lose their remaining game against Ilen Rovers. Newcestown will now clash with Carbery Rangers in what will effectively be a quarter-final play-off.
The intermittent rain prevented a classic encounter from developing but this was nevertheless an absorbing contest with heavy hits going in. While Newcestown defended in numbers and limited the Haven to four points in the opening 20 minutes, they did need a good Chris White save to deny Mark Collins a goal while they could only manage a point at the other end.
Though Cian Healy’s free made it 0-4 to 0-2, the Haven found their groove in the closing stages of the half with a Brian Hurley point and three Collins frees pushing them six ahead before a late Healy free.
While the second half started slowly, Newcestown sub Séamus O’Sullivan did have a half-chance of a goal but Anthony Seymour saved well. Nevertheless, they were doing well on the Haven kick-outs and sub Daniel Twomey sent over a free before David Buckley had a pair of points to bring it to 0-8 to 0-6.
The Haven looked to have weathered the storm as Collins fisted his fifth point following a breakaway and Cathal Maguire had his second point of the game to make it 0-10 to 0-6. Newcestown kept pushing though and Colm Dinneen pulled a point back and they were unlucky not to cut the deficit to two again as Daniel Twomey’s free hit the post and went wide.
Instead, the margin was increased to four as Michael Hurley’s run yielded a free which Collins converted and then Damien Cahalane set up O’Driscoll for his second point of the game.
Five ahead in injury time, they were almost assured of victory but it was franked as sub Darragh Cahalane and Cathal Maguire combined for Michael Hurley to slot home the goal.
Luke Meade and Tadgh Twomey had late points as Newcestown ensured that they go into the Carbery Rangers game with a superior scoring-difference, which would be enough for them to progress if the game were to end in a draw.
Scorers for Castlehaven: M Collins 0-6 (0-5f), M Hurley 1-0, B Hurley, C O’Driscoll, C Maguire 0-2 each.
Newcestown: C Healy 0-3f, D Buckley 0-2, D Twomey (0-1f), C Dinneen, L Meade, T Twomey 0-1 each.
CASTLEHAVEN: A Seymour; J O’Regan, R Walsh, R Maguire; C O’Sullivan, Damien Cahalane, D McCarthy; J Walsh, M Collins; R Whelton, C Maguire, C O’Driscoll; C Cahalane, B Hurley, M Hurley.
Subs: J Cahalane for Whelton (50), Darragh Cahalane for B Hurley (58, injured).
NEWCESTOWN: C White; M McSweeney, C Twomey, C O’Donovan; G O’Donovan, L Meade, C Dinneen; F Keane, S O’Donovan; M Kelly, D Buckley, C Keane; J Meade, T Twomey, C Healy.
Subs: S O’Sullivan for Kelly, D Twomey for Healy (both half-time), J Kelleher for C O’Donovan (32, injured), C O’Neill for C Keane (44, injured).
Referee: C Lane (Lyre).