Dohenys beat Castlehaven by one point to secure three-in-a-row
GER McCARTHY REPORTS
DOHENYS claimed a third West Cork LGFA Division 2 title in a row following a thrilling encounter with Castlehaven in Clonakilty.
The Dunmanway club – lining out without the services of inter-county star Melissa Duggan – overturned an early four-point deficit and held off their opponents in a cracking finale to successfully defend their title.
Full-forward Michelle Love was the winner’s standout performer, winning a huge amount of possession and causing issues in the Castlehaven defence whenever in possession. Yet, Dohenys would not have won without Catriona Maloney’s accuracy. The corner-forward accounted for eight scores on the evening including five frees.
Castlehaven got off to the best possible start by racing into a 0-4 to 0-0 lead. Backed by a strong wind, Siobhan Courtney and Shelly Daly’s midfield dominance laid the platform for Katie Cronin to fire over three consecutive points before Alice O’Driscoll got her name on the scoresheet.
Dohenys were struggling to break through a well-marshalled Castlehaven rearguard although the latter should have extended their advantage when Rachel O’Driscoll burst through only to arrow a shot inches past an upright.
Goalkeeper Nora McCarthy denied the Haven’s Emma Daly shortly after and Castlehaven would rue those missed opportunities as their opponents finally gained a foothold.
Just when the final appeared to be slipping away from the defending champions, Mairead Crowley popped up with a terrific goal after 17 minutes. Encouraged by that strike, Dohenys tore into their opponents and Catriona Coakley reeled off four points (two frees) in a row to edge her side 1-4 to 0-4 ahead.
Another twist in a hugely entertaining half saw Emma O’Callaghan hauled down in the square and Katie Cronin made no mistake from the resulting penalty to tie the score. There was still time for Catriona Maloney to convert a free and send Dohenys in a point ahead, 1-5 to 1-4, at the break.
The second half proved a much closer affair with defences tightening up. Dohenys continued to dominate and two Catriona Maloney frees plus a Michelle Love effort made it 1-8 to 1-4 after 36 minutes.
Castlehaven dug deep with Katie Cronin landing a free before her team wasted two decent scoring chances. The atmosphere was electric as Siobhan Courtney reduced the deficit to two before a pair of Katie Cronin frees levelled matters.
Ten minutes from the end, Dohenys worked the ball to Catriona Maloney out and the corner-forward edged her side in front with a fine point. Amazingly, that would be a tense finale’s last score as Dohenys
withstood a series of Castlehaven attacks to win the Division 2 title for the third year in a row.
Dohenys: Catriona Maloney 0-8 (5f); Mairead Crowley 1-0; Michelle Love 0-1.
Castlehaven: Katie Cronin 1-5 (1-0 pen, 3f); Rachel O’Driscoll, Alice O’Driscoll, Siobhan Courtney 0-1 each.
Dohenys: Nora McCarthy; Áine Crowley, Clare Hurley, Donna Hayes; Caroline O’Mahony, Aileen Murphy, Aprille Duggan; Shauna Healy, Ruth Collins; Noelle O’Mahony, Mairead Crowley, Fiona Crowley; Catriona Maloney, Michelle Love, Martina Collins (captain).
Sub: Michelle Murphy for M Collins (ht).
Castlehaven: Rachel Deasy; Aidin Santry, Lisa Keohane, Jessica McCarthy; Orla O’Sullivan, Áine Daly, Shelley Dineen; Siobhan Courtney (captain), Shelly Daly; Emma Daly, Sarah O’Donovan, Rachel O’Driscoll; Emma O’Callaghan, Katie Cronin, Mairead O’Driscoll.
Subs: Mags O’Regan for L Keohane (ht), Grainne O’Sullivan for E O’Callaghan (35), Fiona O’Sullivan for S Dineen (48).
Referee: Anthony McDermott (Clonakilty).