Premier SFC: Mark Collins' goal crucial to Castlehaven's deserved victory

Brian Hurley also impressed as last season's beaten finalists qualify for the semi-final at the expense of Valley Rovers
Premier SFC: Mark Collins' goal crucial to Castlehaven's deserved victory

Castlehaven's Mark Collins celebrates his goal against Valley Rovers at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Castlehaven 1-14 Valley Rovers 0-10 

CASTLEHAVEN survived horrendous weather conditions to book a semi-final spot in the Bon Secours county premier senior football championship at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday.

Their goal arrived at a critical stage of a wind-assisted opening half and it involved the creativity and finishing of two Cork players.

Brian Hurley had the vision to take a quick free, awarded against Valleys for hanging on to the ball too long, and he sent Mark Collins in from the right.

Valleys also switched off for that decisive split second, allowing Collins an initial free run before gliding past the last defender and supplying an expert cool finish past keeper Cormac Desmond.

It was a crucial moment in a half when Valleys trailed by just 0-5 to 0-4 after Billy Crowley landed a super score against the elements after 26 minutes.

Michael Hurley, who had been quiet until then, replied with an equally impressive point, three minutes before Collins pounced for a 1-6 to 0-4 interval advantage.

Yet, Valleys posed questions in the second period by scoring four points in as many minutes for a one-point game, but could only add two more in the remainder as the Haven regained control.

Conor O'Driscoll, who was outstanding throughout, began a scoring spree, which would have been greater but for Desmond, who denied Brian Hurley with a series of brilliant saves.

Castlehaven's Brian Hurley is tackled by Valley Rovers' Jacob O'Driscoll. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Castlehaven's Brian Hurley is tackled by Valley Rovers' Jacob O'Driscoll. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

And a magnificent O'Driscoll 'mark' from a super Damien Cahalane pass had the Haven 1-11 to 0-9 clear at the second water break and on their way to victory.

The sides were level three times in the opening quarter until the Haven edged in front with a Collins point just before the water break, 0-4 to 0-3, by the 19th minute.

The Haven led on three occasions only for the Innishannon club to cancel them out each time with Fiachra Lynch and two Crowley frees obliging.

O'Driscoll shot over for a point on the resumption and it could easily have been a goal, but, still, the Haven looked well placed to face the wind in the second half despite Valleys' promising start.

Castlehaven's Conor O'Driscoll goes past Valley Rovers' Jack Walsh. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Castlehaven's Conor O'Driscoll goes past Valley Rovers' Jack Walsh. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Scorers for Castlehaven: M Collins 1-2, B Hurley 0-5 (0-2 f), C O'Driscoll 0-4 (0-1 m), M Hurley, J Cahalane, R Minihane 0-1 each.

Valley Rovers: B Crowley 0-5 (0-4 f), F Lynch, R O'Sullivan, D Murphy, J Walsh, A Walsh-Murphy 0-1 each.

CASTLEHAVEN: A Seymour; J O'Regan, R Maguire, R Walsh; D Whelton, D Cahalane, D McCarthy; J Walsh, M Collins, captain; C Maguire, B Hurley, C Cahalane; C O'Driscoll, J Cahalane, M Hurley. 

Subs: R Whelton for C Cahalane 45, R Minihane for C Maguire 49, S Nolan for O'Driscoll and A Whelton for J Cahalane 59.

VALLEY ROVERS: C Desmond; J Kiely, D Lynch, A Walsh-Murphy; T O'Brien, W Hurley, J O'Driscoll; C O'Leary, K Canty; R O'Sullivan, D Murphy, J Walsh; B Crowley, F Lynch, E Delaney. 

Subs: E O'Reilly for O'Sullivan 45, G Farrell for Hurley 50, C O'Keeffe for Murphy 57, C McCarthy for Lynch 58.

Referee: D Murnane (Macroom).

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