Castlehaven 3-11 Wolfe Tones 2-9 (after extra time)
CASTLEHAVEN’S ability to rise to the occasion in extra time quelled the intentions of Wolfe Tones in the delayed 2020 Rebel Óg Premier 2 FC final after a thrilling encounter at Bishopstown 4G.
Though 14 months later than its intended date, this clash of what are now U19 teams, saw the battling traits of both sides surface in a contest that had no shortage of quality and excitement.
There were a host of talented footballers on view, many of them having progressed onto adult football since the semi-finals were played, including Jack Cahalane for the Haven.
The key personnel figuring on the Tones side were involved with Kanturk's seniors, defeated by Newmarket in a dramatic Premier IFC decider a week earlier.
When required, Castlehaven produced a performance brimful of commitment and resolve not least during extra time on outscoring their opponents 1-3 to 0-1.
A wind-assisted Castlehaven made the early running, Cahalane pointing a pair only for Tones, a combination of Kanturk and Lismire, to answer with a superb goal from Colin Walsh.
With the action unrelenting, the Haven answered on Cahalane placing Jamie O’Driscoll for a peach of a goal.
However, Tones worked their way upfield, Walsh, proving a thorn for the opposing rearguard netted a second for a 2-1 to 1-3 lead at the initial water break.
Play resumed with the ‘Haven possessing a greater pep, Jack O’Neill curled over neat points.
With the sides deadlocked at the interval, Tones forfeited a terrific chance of a third goal, the Haven custodian Rory Courtney to the rescue with a brilliant double save from a penalty and subsequent follow-up effort by Tones’ Grantas Bucinskas, Kanturk's first-choice adult hurling goalie.
Such heroics lifted the boys in Blue, Thomas O’Mahony on hand to net for a clear 2-8 to 2-3 advantage.
However, Tones were far from finished, Walsh and Brian O’Sullivan landed five points without reply and stalemate at 2-8 apiece.
Into extra time, Tones were down to 13 players due to black cards and Castlehaven made a telling breakthrough; Joseph Bohane cut out a ball in defence for O’Neill to find O’Driscoll in a crisp move and rattle the net.
Try as they may, Tones attempted to rescue the day only for the Haven to circle the wagons.
That allowed captain Tiarnan Collins to accept the silverware, bringing down the curtain on Rebel Óg activity for 2021.
Scorers for Castlehaven: J O’Driscoll 2-2, J Cahalane 0-4 (0-2 f), T O’Mahony (1-1), J O’Neill (0-2), S Browne, R Burchill 0-1 each.
Wolfe Tones: C Walsh 2-4 (0-2f), B O’Sullivan (0-3), R Sheahan, G Bucinskas (f) 0-1 each.
CASTLEHAVEN: R Courtney; F Collins, J McNulty, O Daly; A O’Donoghue, T Collins, T O’Mahony; J O’Neill, R Minihane; S Browne, C O’Neill, D Maguire; J Bohane, J O’Driscoll, J Cahalane.
Subs: J Baudains for C O’Neill(35), R Burchill for D Maguire (38).
WOLFE TONES: R Cashman; C Carroll, J O’Connor, D O’Connor; E Hayes, O O’Connor, M Hooton; B O’Sullivan, A Walsh; R Sheahan, G Bucinskas, B Healy; D Gray, C Walsh, E McAulliffe. Sub. T Walsh for C Carroll (44).
Referee: S Scanlon (Newcestown).