Castlemartyr beat Cloyne to reach first East Cork Junior A final in 31 years 

Better known for their hurling exploits, Castlemartyr hit Cloyne for four goals but also needed their keeper Conor Whyte in top form to cause an upset
Castlemartyr beat Cloyne to reach first East Cork Junior A final in 31 years 

Cork hurler Ciarán Joyce hit a goal for his club's footballers. Picture: INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Castlemartyr 4-13 Cloyne 1-16

TWO goals in each half, allied to a superb goalkeeping performance by Conor Whyte and a positive impact off the bench were the key components of this Castlemartyr reaching a first JAFC final in 31 years.

Cloyne settled well and led by 0-3 to 0-1 after only six minutes. Jamie Stack soon reduced the margin before the prominent Paudie O’Sullivan, tallied to restore the two-point advantage. On 10 minutes the first goal arrived as Eoghan Martin coolly slotted home.

Cloyne’s response was excellent. Mikey Cahill did some smart work to set up O’Sullivan for a goal. As half time approached Mike Cosgrave’s second point had edged the winners ahead before a second Castlemartyr goal courtesy of a fine Darragh Moran finish: 2-8 to 1-7.

After Keith Dennehy’s early second-half point was balanced out by Eoin Cashman for Castlemartyr, Cloyne squeezed the gap down to two thanks to from Stephen Beausang and Eanna Motherway. However, their progress was promptly halted at 41 minutes as Andrew Kelly provided a neat finish following great work by the highly impressive Cathal Martin.

At 3-9 to 1-10 in front, Castlemartyr now held a grip. Conor Whyte, whose distribution was also top-class, became a key figure in denying Cloyne a lifeline as he made three excellent second-half saves.

Inside the last 10 minutes, Mike Kelly restored the five-point advantage, before impressive sub Conor Ronayne tallied two fine points.

By now, Cork hurling star Ciarán Joyce had also entered the field and he became a huge presence. Joyce was on hand to score a goal from close range to leave his team 4-11 to 1-12 ahead on 55 minutes.

Cloyne battled right to the end with Keith Dennehy and Paudie O’Sullivan pointing, but they just could not find the goals they needed despite six minutes of stoppage time.

Scorers for Castlemartyr: E Martin 1-2, D Moran 1-1, A Kelly, C Joyce 1-0 each, M Kelly 0-3 (0-2 f), M Cosgrave, Jamie Stack, C Ronayne 0-2 each, E Cashman 0-1.

Cloyne: P O’Sullivan 1-5 (0-1 f), K Dennehy 0-6 (0-4 f) C Mullins 0-2, M Cahill, S Beausang, E Motherway 0-1 each.

CASTLEMARTYR: C Whyte; N O’Donovan, E Ronayne, D Kelly; C Martin, B O’Tuama, J Lawton; M Cosgrave, D Joyce; E Cashman, M Kelly, D Moran; E Martin, Jamie Stack, A Kelly.

Subs: Joe Stack for Cashman (43), C Joyce for D Joyce (47), C Ronayne for A Kelly (49).

CLOYNE: C Smith; A Walsh, B Walsh, Eoin Motherway; A Sherlock, Eanna Motherway, J Sherlock; S Beausang, B Minihane; T O’Regan, P O’Sullivan, C Mullins; C O’Sullivan, M Cahill, K Dennehy.

Subs: J Hallihan for O’Regan (h-t), B O’Shea for M Cahill (49).

Referee: E Coleman (Youghal)

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