Castlehaven boss James McCarthy: New format raising Cork football standards

'The beauty of this competition is that we are going into our last game and we are out of relegation but we can’t say yet we are in knockout.'
Castlehaven boss James McCarthy: New format raising Cork football standards

Éire Óg's Brian Hurley trying to get past Castlehaven's Ronan Walsh in the Bon Secours Cork PSFC at Enniskeane. Picture: Denis Minihane.

CASTLEHAVEN manager James McCarthy summed up very well their titanic battle with county SAFC winners Éire Óg in Enniskeane on Saturday. 

It gives them two wins from two now in the Bons Secours Cork Premier SFC as they head to their final Group B game against Carbery Rangers in a good position.

They were forced to dig deep for the points though.

“We started very slowly and the next thing we sprung into life. The two Hurleys (Brian and Michael) got some great goals. As I said about Newcestown the last day, this championship is brilliant. You are not going to hammer any team.

"Éire Óg are a good football team and they came again. They came level. We only scored one point in our second quarter. This Éire Óg team will take some beating.

“We could have made a raft of changes at half-time, but we trust the players that are on. We said lads, let’s sort ourselves out and we had a great third quarter. And then we died again in the fourth quarter. But we had a five-point cushion and if you lost that you would be really kicking yourselves.

“To watch it as a neutral it was great stuff, end-to-end football. I think that is what this championship is going to bring in the next couple of years, there are going to be no soft touches.” 

There were plenty of goal opportunities but at times they opted for the safer option. Four times towards the end of the second half they were happy to raise white flags instead of green.

“The points we punched over the bar at the end were scores we weren’t taking other days and we were conscious of that. Our plan was to keep the scoreboard ticking over and I think we did that brilliantly in the third quarter. We got four-in-a-row that we punched over the bar and that sucks the life out of other teams.” 

He feels they have a bit of work to do ahead of that final group game.

I wouldn’t be happy with the full 60 minutes but when are you going to get 60 minutes? 

"If you are beaten and knocked out you can’t get any better. But if you keep winning and keep going forward, you can keep tweaking things and hopefully get better.

“The beauty of this competition is that we are going into our last game (against Carbery Rangers) and we are out of relegation but we can’t say yet we are in knockout. If we can get over Ross, we are into the quarter-final.

“Again I can’t praise the county board enough for this competition which is second to none.”

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