'Cork football has been in the doldrums for a few years but that was just a great game'

'Cork football has been in the doldrums for a few years but that was just a great game'
Mark Collins breaks from Duhallow's Kealan Buckley. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

CASTLEHAVEN captain Mark Collins was still trying to draw breath and get his around his side’s second draw with Duhallow following a terrific county senior football championship semi-final replay at Pairc Ui Rinn last Sunday night.

The match ended level at 1-18 to 2-15 after over 80 minutes plus of non-stop action in a game which did much to restore the sport’s image.

“It was a super game. Cork football has been in the doldrums for a few years, but that was just a great game of football.

“It’s hard to know what to feel. We got out of jail in the drawn game and there was a massive improvement in our performance.

“We went for it this time and had a right cut off it, but, to be honest, we let Duhallow out of jail twice on this occasion.

“We had the match won in normal time, but gave away a sloppy goal and it was the same in extra-time.

“But we have some heart in this team. Everyone was out on their feet, a point down in the 21st minute of extra-time, and then we move the ball at pace to get the equaliser.

“It was a fair result. I saw Duhallow play Valley Rovers here in the quarter-final and they’re a very good team.

“We will have to be at our very best next weekend to make the county final.

“We’ve had two very tough games. We’ve to get our bodies right now again,” he said.

St Finbarr’s are still waiting to know who they’ll be playing in Sunday weeks’ final.

Some believe the advantage is with the Togher club now, but Duhallow manager Padraig Kearns takes a different stance.

“The two teams are still in the championship. The games will improve both ourselves and Castlehaven.

“One thing is for sure whoever gets to the final will be match fit. The Barrs will be waiting three weeks for a game and I think the games will bring both teams on.

“And, I believe whichever team comes out on top will have a great chance of winning the county,” he said.

Kearns was full of praise for goalkeeper Patrick Doyle, who was beaten only once by a Michael Hurley piledriver at the start of the second half, but made a string of brilliant saves at crucial times.

“He’s a good shot-stopper, has a good kick-out whether going long or short and Patrick’s a cocky guy, which is what you want in your goalkeeper.

“A lot of people were harsh on him following the first drawn game, but Patrick stood up to be counted, when others would have lied down,” Kearns concluded.

Duhallow's Aidan Walsh wins the ball from Castlehaven's Damien Cahalane. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Duhallow's Aidan Walsh wins the ball from Castlehaven's Damien Cahalane. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

 

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