Castlemartyr 2-24 Castlelyons 3-17
CASTLEMARTYR have kept their remarkable championship record going as they are through to the Co-Op Superstores PIHC final after their win over Castlelyons at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Saturday evening.
After this battle of the East Cork sides, Castlemartyr are now into their third final in a row having won the LIHC and IAHC deciders in the last two seasons.
This was a battle all through and it literally was only when the final whistle went they knew they were safe, thanks to the effort of the likes of Barry Lawton, Daragh Moran and Mike Kelly in particular.
Barry Lawton opened the scoring in the first minute for Castlemartyr with James Kearney replying at the other end.
Mike Kelly put Castlemartyr back in front before Kearney got his second to level it again, with six minutes gone.
Alan Fenton put Castlelyons in front for the first time, before a long-distance point from Castlemartyr’s Cork star Ciaran Joyce made it 0-3 apiece.
With nine minutes gone Castlelyons had their first goal chance but Daragh Joyce saved superbly from Barry Murphy to deny him a green flag.
However, a minute later there was nothing he could do when Colm Spillane played his brother Anthony in to blast to the back of the net to make it 1-3 to 0-3.
The lead didn’t last long as two minutes later a long ball in from Jack McGann was caught by Joe Stack and he raised a green flag.
Kelly added a point and it got even better for Castlemartyr in the 15th minute when Eoghan Martin got their second goal to put them 2-4 to 1-3 ahead.
In a game that was flowing from end to end Fenton pointed for his side before Kearney set up Colm Spillane to get Castlelyons second goal to level it again.
Two in a row from Anthony Spillane made it 2-6 to 2-4, before Martin and Andrew Kelly responded to level it for the sixth time.
Colm Spillane raised a white flag, with Barry Lawton replying – level for the seventh time and all in the first 25 minutes.
Mike and Andrew Kelly put Castlemartyr two clear, with Fenton pointing from a free to make it a one-point tie.
McGann and Stack increased their lead, with Anthony Spillane on target to make it 2-9 to 2-11 but Barry Lawton raised another white flag just before half-time to put them 2-12 to 2-10 up at half-time.
Andrew Kelly put three between the sides at the start of second-half and Mike Kelly raised a white flag from a free to make 2-14 to 2-10.
Castlelyons thought they had a third goal but it was ruled out for a square ball. McGann increased Castlemartyr’s lead before Fenton got Castlelyons first score of the second half. He added another from a free to put three between the sides and he added another to make it 2-13 to 2-15 with 41 minutes played.
It was down to one point when Eoin Maye scored as both sides showed no signs of dropping the pace. Barry Lawton put two between the sides again before Fenton but Castlemartyr weren’t fazed.
Lawton, Mike Kelly and Martin all pointed as they went in front by four, 2-19 to 2-15 with eight minutes to go. Ciaran Sice put five between them as Castlemartyr were edging towards the final at this stage.
Niall O’Leary scored for Castlelyons but points from Barry Lawton and Mike Kelly kept Castlemartyr in control as they were 2-23 to 2-16 to the good going into injury-time. Anthony Spillane pulled a goal back but Castlemartyr hung on to deservedly go through to the final where they will face Inniscarra.
Barry Lawton, M Kelly (0-2 f) 0-7 each, E Martin 1-3, J Stack 1-1, A Kelly 0-3, J McGann, C Sice, C Joyce 0-1 each.
A Spillane 2-3, A Fenton 0-8 (0-4 f, 0-1 65), C Spillane 1-1, J Kearney 0-3, E Maye, N O’Leary 0-1 each.
D Joyce; C Martin, D Moran, B O’Tuama; J Lawton, C Joyce, M Cosgrave; J Stack, Brian Lawton; J McGann, M Kelly, Barry Lawton; A Kelly, J Stack, E Martin.
C Sice for Brian Lawton (30 inj), P Fleming for M Cosgrave (45), J McGann for B McGann (50).
J Barry; J O’Leary, L Sexton, C O’Neill; C Barry, N O’Leary, L Doocey; E Maye, A Fenton; K O’Leary, C Spillane, P Roche; A Spillane, J Kearney, B Murphy.
D Spillane for C O’Neill (h-t), D Morrison for P Roche (36).
Shane Scanlon (Newcestown).