Minor marvel McDonnell gives Mallow the league title at Castlehaven's expense

Minor marvel McDonnell gives Mallow the league title at Castlehaven's expense
Mallow players celebrating, after defeating Castlehaven in the Division 2 football league final at Kilmurry. Picture: David Keane.

Mallow 2-16 Castlehaven 0-16 

MALLOW were full value for their six-point victory over Castlehaven in the Rochestown Park Hotel Division 2 football league final at Kilmurry on Friday. 

Second-half goals from minor Sean McDonnell were the scores that settled the contest, and manager Keith Moynihan would have to be pleased with the effort from all 15 players, plus the impact off the bench.

Castlehaven relied on the free-taking of Mark Collins who contributed eight points from placed balls, and while they gained parity four times in the opening half, they had no answer to Mallow’s powerful second-half display.

There was plenty of inter-county talent on view – Brian and Michael Hurley and Collins for Castlehaven, while James Loughrey and Mattie Taylor lined out for Mallow.

The north Cork side recovered well from falling 0-3 to 0-1 behind on six minutes to take a one-point lead after quarter of an hour – Pa Herlihy and captain Cian O’Riordan on target.

Castlehaven’s finishing let them down (they registered 10 wides to Mallow’s four) and while Collins, Brian and Michael Hurley put them in the ascendancy – there were times when goals were at their mercy.

They moved two points up but Mallow finished the half with white flags from O’Riordan, Herlihy and Ryan Harkin to lead by one, 0-8 to 0-7.

Turning to play with the wind, it wasn’t long before Mallow stamped their authority. McDonnell scored a brilliant individual goal, followed by points from O’Riordan, Taylor and Harkin.

Castlehaven pegged the deficit back to four points, but Mallow accelerated clear again with another fine goal from McDonnell. Michael O’Rourke racked up a pair of points stretching the advantage to eight points.

Harkin blasted a shot off the crossbar, and at the other end the Mallow defence did well not to concede a goal. Castlehaven, though, failed to recover from McDonnell’s double as Mallow maintained a healthy distance on the scoreboard.

Next up for both teams is round two of the senior football championship when Mallow will face St Nick’s while Castlehaven are up against Carbery Rangers.

Scorers for Mallow: S McDonnell 2-1, C O’Riordan 0-6 (0-1 f), R Harkin and M O’Rourke (0-1 f) 0-3 each, P Herlihy 0-2, M Taylor 0-1.
Castlehaven: M Collins 0-9 (0-8 f), B Hurley and M Hurley 0-2 each, D Whelton, C Maguire ad S Dineen 0-1 each.

MALLOW: J Murphy; B Myers, J Loughrey, M Quirke; A Cahill, A Cashman, M Taylor; E Stanton, S Merritt; K O’Sullivan, R Harkin, M O’Rourke; S McDonnell, C O’Riordan (c), P Herlihy.

Subs: P Hennessy for M Quirke (15), K O’Mahony for J Loughrey (47 inj), E Kelleher for M O’Rourke (58), S Coughlan for A Cahill (60).

CASTLEHAVEN: A Seymour; J O’Regan, R Walsh, S Collins; C Hayes, Damien Cahalane, J Walsh; M Collins (c), S Dineen; D McCarthy, C Maguire, Darragh Cahalane; C Nolan, B Hurley, M Hurley.

Subs: J Davis for C Nolan (half-time), C O’Sullivan for S Collins (40), C Cahalane for D McCarthy (45), A Whelton for J Walsh (48), D Whelton for C Hayes (52), K O’Donovan for M Hurley (55 inj).

Referee: Pat O’Leary (Kilmurry).

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