FERMOY'S first SFC game since 1964 ended in victory as Martin Brennan’s 63rd-minute point proved to be the winner against Castlehaven in Brinny yesterday.
While the North Cork side fell behind to the game’s opening score by Cathal Maguire, Kieran Morrison’s fourth-minute goal put them into the lead and they never trailed after that, though the Haven did draw level during the second half.
Immediately after the goal, Fermoy goalkeeper Liam Coleman was preparing to take a 45 when referee Cormac Dineen stopped play and sent off Castlehaven’s Ciarán O’Sullivan for an off-the-ball incident. Coleman eventually landed the dead ball and though the Haven replied with scores from Maguire and Mark Collins, they couldn’t establish parity in the first half.
With centre-back Darragh O’Carroll setting the tone with an assured display and Cork’s Tomás Clancy prominent at midfield, Fermoy kept things steady and a superb point from Morrison on 24 minutes, following good build-up play from Brian O’Sullivan, Pádraig de Róiste and Ruairí O’Hagan, left it 1-4 to 0-5.
Collins replied with his third from a tight angle after a nice Haven move, but O’Hagan’s free, which he won himself, ensured that there was a two-point half-time lead.
Clancy’s second point put Fermoy a goal ahead on the resumption, but Castlehaven replied again, Collins with a free which had been brought in and then another after Damien Cahalane’s driving run was illegally ended.
A black card for Maguire dented the Haven’s momentum, but Fermoy couldn’t capitalise as their wides tally mounted. Martin Brennan pointed to make it 1-7 to 0-8 on 40 but it was their last score for 10 minutes and Collins notched another Haven free before Michael Hurley – unable to start but brought on – made an impact with a fine score to level.
In the 57th minute, a superb Pádraig de Róiste free from the left put Fermoy in front again, but the Haven almost forged back in front in the final minute of normal time. After exchanging passes with Collins, Damien Cahalane surged towards goal. As things opened up, he went for three points but Coleman saved well with his leg. Play was brought back, however, and Collins’s free left people expecting extra time.
There was still more action though, and when Fermoy forced a turnover, the ball was worked to Brennan, who scored what proved to be the winner. The Haven tried to respond again but were unable to work the ball into a scoring position and the final whistle brought delirium for Fermoy.
Scorers for Fermoy: K Morrison 1-1, T Clancy, M Brennan 0-2 each, L Coleman (45), D O’Flynn, P de Róiste (free), R O’Hagan (free) 0-1 each.
Castlehaven: M Collins 0-7 (four frees), C Maguire 0-2, P Hurley (free), M Hurley 0-1 each.
FERMOY: L Coleman; E Clancy, J Payne, P Clancy; B O’Sullivan, D O’Carroll, A Baragry; S Aherne, T Clancy; D O’Flynn, P de Róiste, D Dawson; M Brennan, R O’Hagan, K Morrison.
Subs: A O’Connor for O’Hagan (46), R Morrison for Clancy (54).
CASTLEHAVEN: P Hurley; J O’Regan, R Walsh, C O’Sullivan; C Hayes, Damien Cahalane, R Whelton; M Collins, Darragh Cahalane; S Hurley, C Maguire, J Walsh; S Cahalane, C Cahalane, C Nolan.
Subs: M Hurley for Nolan (36), S Dineen for Maguire (38, black card), K O’Donovan for S Hurley (54).
Referee: C Dineen (Douglas)