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Niamh O’Sullivan fires Castlehaven into county final

October 5th, 2023 3:00 PM

By Ger McCarthy

Niamh O’Sullivan fires Castlehaven into county final Image
The Castlehaven team that overcame Clonakilty 3-8 to 0-10 to reach Saturday's Cork LGFA senior B county final where they will face Fermoy. (Photo: Ger McCarthy).

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NIAMH O’Sullivan’s two-goal blast helped secure a Cork LGFA senior B football championship county final berth for Castlehaven at the expense of Clonakilty in Ahamilla on Sunday.

The Haven will face Fermoy in Saturday’s senior B county decider at MTU following a stern test from their West Cork rivals.

A couple of days after scoring a hat-trick in Castlehaven’s West Cork minor A final victory, Niamh O’Sullivan raised two more green flags inside the opening five minutes of her latest senior outing.

Those scores put Clonakilty on the backfoot for the remainder of a semi-final in which the host team contributed much but were left with too big a mountain to climb.

‘We took a fair thumping up in Aghada last weekend so the heads were down,’ Castlehaven manager Dinny Cahalane admitted to The Southern Star. ‘In fairness to the girls, they rose to the occasion today after getting back into things during the week at training.

‘We knew heads were down and asked them to lift things for one hour against Clon. As I have said to you before, we have come a long way from junior D, so to get to a senior B county final within five or six years is a great achievement. It is brilliant for the girls.’

It was the visitors who got off to the brighter start, scoring a goal from their first foray forward. Niamh O’Sullivan got on the end of a swift move and fired into the bottom corner of the net inside two minutes. Clonakilty’s response was positive but four consecutive wides thwarted their attempts to recover from that early setback.

Dogged Castlehaven defending kept the hosts at bay until another move sliced through the heart of Clonakilty’s defence. Gráinne O’Sullivan released Niamh O’Sullivan to thunder in her second goal off the crossbar inside five minutes.

Sinead O’Donovan got Clonakilty off the mark but Niamh O’Sullivan responded within 60 seconds to make it 2-1 to 0-1 after 10 minutes. Millie Condon reduced the deficit from a tight angle and Sinead O’Donovan added her second as Clon settled to their task. Mairead O’Driscoll converted a free as did Clon’s Síofra Pattwell to make it 2-2 to 0-4 heading towards the interval.

Gráinne O’Sullivan looked a threat whenever in possession and kicked over a fine score to make it a five-point game. The same forward was denied a goal by a point-blank Martina O’Brien stop before an entertaining opening half concluded.

Defences tightened up in the third quarter making scoring opportunities harder to come by. The Haven made a breakthrough when Niamh O’Sullivan hammered her shot against the crossbar and fired the rebound over, under pressure from a number of defenders, to make it 2-4 to 0-4. Aisling Moloney and Gráinne O’Sullivan exchanged scores prior to a Kate O’Donovan free and Orla Lowney effort bringing Clonakilty to within four. Sinead O’Donovan continued to flourish and another score from the energetic full-forward made it 2-5 to 0-8.

Gráinne O’Sullivan fired over a much-needed Castlehaven score and Niamh O’Sullivan followed suit, breaking through to kick over her third point of the semi-final.

Now 2-7 to 0-8 behind, Clonakilty made several changes off the bench, but it was another replacement, Castlehaven’s Ellie McCarthy, who extended her team’s advantage to six via a close-range point. Two superb Sinead O’Donovan left-footed points sandwiched another shot from the Clon forward that crashed back off an upright.

That was as close as Clonakilty got to mounting a late comeback once Mairead O’Driscoll converted Castlehaven’s third goal from close range after her initial effort came back off the crossbar. 3-8 to 0-10 and it was game over. Castlehaven deservedly marched on to senior B county final appearance against Fermoy on Saturday.



Clonakilty: Sinead O’Donovan 0-5; Síofra Pattwell (1f), Kate O’Donovan (1f), Millie Condon, Aisling Moloney, Orla Lowney 0-1 each.

Castlehaven: Niamh O’Sullivan 2-3; Mairead O’Driscoll 1-1 (1f); Gráinne O’Sullivan 0-3; Ellie McCarthy 0-1.


Clonakilty: Martina O’Brien; Meabh O’Donovan (captain), Siobhan Callanan, Niamh Desmond Collins; Ruth Shanley, Ciara Ryan, Katie O’Driscoll; Clare O’Leary, Áine O’Leary; Millie Condon, Kate O’Donovan, Orla Lowney; Aisling Moloney, Sinead O’Donovan, Síofra Pattwell.

Subs: Aoife O’Flynn-Meade for A Moloney (39), Kyia O’Mahony for S Pattwell (47), Moira Barrett for K O’Driscoll (49), Meabh Deasy for O Lowney (55).

Castlehaven: Emma O’Callaghan, Emma McCarthy, Aideen Santry, Ellen Maguire; Áine Daly, Noreen O’Sullivan, Ellen Buckley; Alice O’Driscoll, Shelly Daly; Emma Daly, Niamh O’Sullivan, Siobhan Courtney (captain); Hannah Sheehy, Mairead O’Driscoll, Gráinne O’Sullivan.

Subs: Ellie McCarthy for A O’Driscoll (48), Ellen Connolly for E Buckley (52), Lisa Murphy for N O’Sullivan (61).

Referee: Conor McCarthy (Rosscarbery).

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