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Castlehaven ladies' football juggernaut powers to fifth county title in five incredible years

October 12th, 2023 8:00 AM

By Ger McCarthy

Castlehaven ladies' football juggernaut powers to fifth county title in five incredible years Image
Castlehaven's Aideen Santry and Shelley Daly raises the trophy after their team's victory last Saturday. (Photo: Paddy Feen)

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GER McCARTHY reports from MTU


CASTLEHAVEN marked their first year as a senior club with Cork LGFA senior B success following a terrific victory over Fermoy.

County champions in 2019, ’20 ’21 and ’22, as they rose from junior C to senior, the Castletownshend-Union Hall club made it five trophy-winning seasons in a row at the expense of last year’s senior B winners.

It was far from straightforward on Saturday and the winners were only a missed injury-time Fermoy shot from going to extra-time but Castlehaven will not care one iota. Four superbly finished goals, a solid defensive effort and their trademark never-say-die spirit saw Castlehaven leave MTU Cork as, yet again, the most deserving of county champions.

The Castlehaven team celebrates their fantastic victory over Fermoy in the Cork LGFA senior B final. (Photo: Paddy Feen)

‘We suffered a few bad beatings to some good teams in this year’s (senior A) championship,’ Castlehaven manager Dinny Cahalane admitted. ‘That’s why today’s result is very important. To get a trophy at the end of the year, our first year up senior, to win the senior B is a great achievement. Hopefully, we can drive things on again next year.’

The West Cork club’s latest championship triumph owed much to their finishing ability in front of goal, as Mairead O’Driscoll (two), Gráinne O’Sullivan and Niamh O’Sullivan were all on target. The age profile of Castlehaven’s panel has changed in recent times. It had to, and some of the newcomers played a vital role in this latest county final triumph.

‘We are a young team,’ Dinny Cahalane added. ‘Our young players were outstanding today. Our defence, the way everyone tracked back, Fermoy just couldn’t break us down. Yes, we gave away a few points but we kept the goals out. That was the main thing for us today after conceding three goals to Fermoy earlier in the senior championship.

‘On the other side, our girls up front got goals at important stages. We were down five points at one stage in the first half. To go in level at half time was brilliant.’

Fermoy's Michelle Parker challenges Castlehaven's Áine Daly.

A nervy beginning saw Ashling Hutchings register the game’s only score inside the opening ten minutes. In contrast, the next ten minutes produced a plethora of scores beginning with Haven's Gráinne O’Sullivan pouncing on a defensive mistake to fire into the Fermoy net.

The latter hit back through Aisling Daly and Aoibhe Carey (free) prior to a converted Eve Buckley penalty making it 1-3 to 1-0 in Fermoy’s favour. Ashling Hutchings and Aisling Daly extended Fermoy’s advantage to five points before Castlehaven stormed back into the final.

A terrific passing move concluded with Mairead O’Driscoll palming into the net, and Castlehaven were only a point behind, 1-5 to 2-1, after Hannah Sheehy raised a white flag. Aoibhe Carey (free) and Abbie Scannell pushed Fermoy ahead but late Alice O’Driscoll and Niamh O’Sullivan points drew Castlehaven level, 2-4 to 1-7, by half time.

The third quarter proved a closer affair as both defences tightened up. Mairead O’Driscoll and Katie Flynn scored at either end before another swift passing move released Haven's Niamh O’Sullivan in on goal. The talented forward rounded Caoimhe Moore and netted from close range to make it 3-5 to 1-8 heading into the final quarter.

Castlehaven's Grainne O'Sullivan breaks past Fermoy's Mary O'Sullivan.

Fermoy enjoyed their best spell during the closing 15 minutes and showed why they won last year’s senior B title. Aisling Daly reduced the deficit prior to a flurry of late scores but not before Castlehaven raised a fourth and crucial green flag.

Mairead O’Driscoll netted her second goal of the afternoon from the penalty spot with ten minutes to go. Creditably, Fermoy tore into their opponents with Aoibhe Carey, Muireann O’Brien (two) and Aisling Daly making it a one-point game as the clock ticked past 60 minutes.

Fermoy had two late chances to force extra-time but squandered both as Castlehaven’s swarming defence refused to yield.

There is a Munster LGFA championship to look forward to and another crack off the Cork senior competition in 2024. An evolving Castlehaven panel has every right to look forward to both competitions with renewed confidence.



Castlehaven: M O’Driscoll 2-1 (1-0 pen); G O’Sullivan, N O’Sullivan 1-1 each; H Sheehy, A O’Driscoll 0-1 each.

Fermoy: A Daly 0-4; A Carey 0-3 (2f); A Hutchings, M O’Brien 0-2 each; E Buckley 1-0 (1-0 pen); A Scannell, K O'Flynn 0-1 each.


Castlehaven: E O’Callaghan; E McCarthy, A Santry, E Maguire; E Buckley, N O’Sullivan, Á Daly; A O’Driscoll, S Daly; E Daly, N O’Sullivan, S Courtney (captain); H Sheehy, M O’Driscoll, G O’Sullivan.

Subs: E McCarthy for A O’Driscoll (51), E Connolly for M O’Driscoll (54).

Fermoy: C Moore; E Buckley (captain), R Coffey, C O’Brien; K O’Flynn, M O’Sullivan, A Hutchings; T Murphy, S O’Sullivan; A Scannell, A McGrath, A Carey; S Moore, M Parker, A Daly.

Subs: M O’Brien for A McGrath (35), A O’Sullivan for M Parker (46), A Mansell for K O’Flynn (53).

Referee: Cathal McAllister (Glanmire).

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