CASTLEHAVEN'S progression to the quarter-finals of the Bons Secours Hospital Cork Premier SFC was rarely in doubt as they saw off Newcestown at Rossmore on Sunday afternoon.
This was a winner-take-all tie – the Haven went in a point ahead so a draw would suffice for them, but in the end they had nine to spare, setting up a quarter-final meeting with Mallow. Unfortunately for Newcestown, a relegation play-off with Éire Óg awaits.
Goals in the 16th and 20th minutes from Brian Hurley and Rory Maguire respectively put the Haven firmly in control as they made the most of their first-half wind advantage. They were 2-6 to 0-4 in front at half-time and, while Tadhg Twomey did net for Newcestown early in the second half, the lead was never less than five points at any stage in the second period.
Already hampered by injuries, Newcestown lost Séamus O’Sullivan in the opening minutes while captain Seán O’Donovan was short of full fitness too. It meant that Castlehaven were able to dominate at midfield through Mark Collins – who kicked three first-half points – and Conor Cahalane, while Newcestown punished themselves with unforced errors when in possession.
Even so, they broke even on the first four points in the opening 11 minutes but Collins’ second point, after he was found in acres of space, was followed by a goal chance for Michael Hurley, denied by Christopher White. They didn’t have to wait long for the green flag, though, as Brian Hurley forced a turnover close to goal and there was never a doubt as to the destination of the ball.
When Rory Maguire rounded off a lovely move involving Conor and Jack Cahalane and Michael Hurley, it was 2-4 to 0-3 and further points followed from Mark Collins and Cathal Maguire before Edmund Kenneally pulled one back for Newcestown with an injury-time free.
They had some hope after the restart as Gearóid O’Donovan did well to reach a clearance out of the Newcestown defence and send it on towards Twomey, who dummied well to create space before firing home. Unfortunately for them, a combination of poor shooting and Castlehaven’s composure ensured that a full-blown turnaround wouldn’t be materialising.
Conor Cahalane, Cathal Maguire and the Hurley brothers kept the scores coming for the Haven, while Rory Maguire and Michael Hurley were denied further goals by White.
Luke Meade, influential in a roving role, had a couple of late Newcestown points but the result in the Nemo Rangers-Clonakilty game condemned them to the bottom spot and the battle to avoid the drop.
B Hurley 1-3 (0-3 f), M Hurley, R Maguire 1-1 each, M Collins, C Maguire 0-3 each, C Cahalane 0-1.
T Twomey 1-1, L Meade 0-3, E Kenneally, R O’Sullivan 0-2 f each, C Goggin 0-1.
A Seymor; J O’Regan, R Walsh, R Maguire; C Nolan, Damien Cahalane, T O’Mahony; M Collins, C Cahalane; R Whelton, B Hurley, R Minihane; J Cahalane, M Hurley, C Maguire.
C O’Driscoll for R Whelton (half-time), A Whelton for Minihane (59), S Walsh for Nolan, K O’Donovan for M Hurley, D Whelton for R Walsh, Darragh Cahalane for C Cahalane (all 60).
C White; S O’Sullivan, G O’Donovan, C Twomey; M Kennelly, M McSweeney, R O’Sullivan; E Collins, S O’Donovan; D McAree, C Dinneen, J Meade; L Meade, T Twomey, E Kenneally.
J Kelleher for S O’Sullivan (4, injured), N Kelly for Dinneen (24, injured), O Walsh for McAree (half-time), F Keane for Collins, C Goggin for Kenneally (55).
A Long (Argideen Rangers).