Brilliant Haven throw county race wide open

September 29th, 2018 3:00 PM

By Tom Lyons

Castlehaven's Mark Collins rises above Nemo Rangers' Alan O'Donovan during the Cork SFC quarter-final at Dunmanway on Sunday last. (Photo: Paddy Feen)

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Champs held scoreless for 43 minutes

Castlehaven 1-11   

Nemo Rangers 0-4

LIAM Collins is urging caution after watching his side hound reigning county champions and hot favourites Nemo Rangers into complete submission on Sunday last. 

Castlehaven stunned the entire county when they dumped Nemo out of the championship.

It was a remarkable game that saw Castlehaven hold the city slickers scoreless for the first 43 minutes. By then, the West Cork men had 1-7 on the board and were well on their way to a county semi-final against Duhallow.

But as impressive as this result is, manager Liam Collins is not getting carried away.

‘We have won absolutely nothing yet. We’re only in a semi-final and we’ll take it one step at a time,’ he said. 

‘Nemo are county and Munster champions and any day you beat Nemo, you’ve done a good day’s work.

‘We haven’t met Duhallow since the county final in 2012 so we’ll start planning for them next.’

Nemo were left shattered by the end. They scored four points in total, just two from play. This wasn’t the quarter-final in Dunmanway that most had envisaged.

While the swirling breeze didn’t help Nemo’s efforts as they kicked nine first-half wides, credit the Haven defence with some marvellous, determined defending. This was the day the West Cork men got all the match-ups perfectly right and with Damian Cahalane absolutely majestic at the heart of the defence, Nemo were made to look like novices up front.

Once again Mark Collins was the conductor at midfield and, in attack, Michael Hurley’s darting runs had the Nemo defence in all kinds of trouble. 

‘Nemo had to come out in the second half and try something different and they did,’ said Liam Collins. 

‘It opened up a bit and that gave us more momentum going forward. 

They were a bit looser at the back and we were able to get scores a bit easier. Michael Hurley’s goal was brilliant but fair dues to their goalkeeper, he saved a few more.’ 

In an amazing contest the Haven, with the breeze, dominated the play in the first half but by half time they had only three points on the board, courtesy of two Mark Collins’ frees and one from play from wing back Chris Hayes. 

Showing great patience and confidence, the Haven soaked up all that Nemo had to offer and even though their lead of only three points at the break looked highly fragile, they were in control all over the pitch.

When Nemo tried to open up the game after the break, they forgot to guard the door, and the Haven struck with a vengeance to literally put this game to bed in the opening minutes of the half. 

Twice goalkeeper Micheál Martin was forced into great saves from Michael Hurley and Mark Collins before Damian Cahalane kicked a great 45 into the wind in the 34th minute. 

One minute later the Haven struck the fatal blow when Cahalance found Michael Hurley with a superb pass and the flying Hurley made no mistake this time, beating Martin with his left boot. Hurley and Collins followed with points and it was an incredible score of 1-6 to nil after 38 minutes.

Enter super-sub David McCarthy then and he drove a rasper over off the crossbar before Nemo finally managed to raise a flag when Luke Connolly pointed in the 43rd minute to a cheer from the Haven supporters. It had become that one-sided by that stage.

Connolly was to kick two more points from frees, with Paul Kerrigan managing one from play and that was their sum total for the day. 

The Haven kept the scoreboard busy with points from Brian Hurley, Damian Cahalane (free) and McCarthy, totally in control against a ragged Nemo outfit who must have been wondering where it all went so wrong for them. 

The theory that you’ll beat Nemo if you stop them scoring goals and that they don’t play well out the country had again been borne out long before the finish of a game that ended on a sour note when a nasty free-for-all developed near the sideline in the 55th minute. 

Later on Luke Connolly saw black and Stephen Cronin red as the champions well and truly crashed spectacularly out of the championship race.

But Castlehaven, last crowned champions in 2013, march on.



Castlehaven: Michael Hurley 1-1, David McCarthy, Mark Collins (2f) 0-3 each, Damian Cahalane (1f, 1 45) 0-2, Chris Hayes, Brian Hurley 0-1 each. 

Nemo Rangers: Luke Connolly 0-3 (2f), Paul Kerrigan 0-1.

Castlehaven: Anthony Seymour; Ronan Walsh, Ciarán O’Sullivan, Damian Cahalane; David Limrick, Jamie Walsh, Chris Hayes; Mark Collins, Seán Dineen; Shane Hurley, Cathal Maguire, Roland Whelton; Michael Hurley, Brian Hurley, Conor O’Driscoll. 

Subs: David McCarthy for R Whelton (36), Darragh Cahalane for S Dineen (43), Conor Cahalane for S Hurley (52), Stephen Collins for C Maguire (59).

Nemo Rangers: Mícheál Aodh Martin; Kevin O’Donovan, Aidan O’Reilly, Alan Cronin; Shane Martin, Stephen Cronin, Kevin Fulinati; Alan O’Donovan, Jack Horgan; Colin O’Brien, Barry O’Driscoll, Conor Horgan; Conor O’Donovan, Paul Kerrigan, Luke Connolly. 

Subs: Michael Dorgan for C O’Brien (44), Mark Cronin for C O’Driscoll (47), Ciarán Dalton for C Horgan (53), Colm Kiely for   Connolly (black card, 62).

Referee: Seamus Bermingham (Bride Rovers).


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