CASTLETOWN CELTIC 0
GER McCARTHY REPORTS
CUP specialists Dunmanway Town are through to their fourth Beamish Cup final appearance in five years.
Goals from the Buckleys, Mark and Eoin, fired Town into the 2023 Beamish Cup decider at Turner’s Cross on May 21st, having edged Castletown Celtic in a scrappy semi-final at the Baltimore Road.
Chances were at a premium throughout so it came as little surprise that a penalty and counter-attack decided this last-four encounter.
A spot-kick conceded shortly after the hour presented Mark Buckley with an opportunity the Dunmanway striker expertly converted. Substitute Eoin Buckley made sure of Town’s victory with a late strike.
Keith White, Stephen O’Donovan, Ray Jennings and Mark Buckley were the pick of Dunmanway’s best performers. Despite the loss, Jack O’Callaghan, Oisin O’Leary, Kevin Dullea and Finbarr Dromey played well for Castletown.
‘We are absolutely delighted,’ Dunmanway Town manager Conor White said.
‘After last year we were going for three-in-a-row only to fall at the semi-final hurdle. Winning the Beamish Cup was a big aim at the start of the year when we first met up as a group. The fact the final is taking place at Turner’s Cross gives it an extra-special meaning and motivation for the lads.
‘Castletown are a very strong side and we knew that coming into the game. I thought we were a bit sluggish in the first half. We were probably the better side in the second half but it was very tough to break Castletown down. We just had to be patient and got a bit of luck with the penalty.’
Dunmanway set a high tempo early on but their opponents, sitting deep and employing a five-man defence, comfortably saw out the opening quarter.
Mark Buckley fired wide prior to Castletown creating two excellent opportunities. Fergal Kelleher headed over and Conor O’Neill scraped the crossbar as Celtic warmed to their task. Another Castletown chance went a-begging as an unmarked Finbarr Dromey failed to connect with a Jack O’Callaghan centre.
That lucky escape forced Town on the offensive resulting in Castletown goalkeeper Oisin O’Leary saving with his feet after 16 minutes. The loss of midfielder Conor O’Neill to injury was a setback but Celtic’s defensive discipline continued to frustrate their opponents. Jack O’Callaghan curled a free-kick wide and Keith White went close at the opposite end as a scrappy half remained scoreless heading towards the break.
White and O’Callaghan looked their respective teams most likely scorers but it was Mark Buckley who went closest, Oisin O’Leary tipping away the Town striker’s free-kick at the end of the half.
Dunmanway had penalty appeals waved away and a Keith White effort that deflected inches wide at the start of the second period. The chances kept coming as Town’s Cian Collins headed over from a corner. Oisin O’Leary denied Mark Buckley from another free-kick before the award of a penalty presented Dunmanway with their best scoring opportunity after 65 minutes. Buckley took responsibility and found the bottom corner to make it 1-0.
Castletown enjoyed a positive spell, forcing their opponents into a succession of hurried clearances. An inability to release striker Finbarr Dromey allowed Dunmanway to bide their time and secure victory following a late breakaway.
Sub Eoin Buckley chased a lofted clearance and held off a defender before racing clear. Buckley fired past Oisin O’Leary to put the seal on a 2-0 victory and Beamish Cup final berth against Bunratty United.
‘Our U19s have been massive additions to our squad this year,’ Conor White added. ‘Sometimes, even if they don’t get a run out, they are still there the following week. Their commitment has been brilliant. You saw what it meant to Eoin (Buckley) to get that second goal today. His celebration was classic Eoin and I’m delighted for him. It is important for a club like Dunmanway Town to play at Turner’s Cross once again.’
DUNMANWAY TOWN: Stephen Daly, Nathan O’Donovan, Cian Collins, Steven O’Donovan (captain), Ray Jennings, Shane Spillane, Oran McCarthy, Mark Buckley, Rhys Coakley, Keith White, Will Hennigan. Subs: Eoin Buckley, Shane Barry, Gavin Dullea, Killian Vassallo, Alan Crowley, Ian Bryan.
CASTLETOWN CELTIC: Oisin O’Leary, Cian Buttimer, Kevin Dullea, Fergal Kelleher (captain), Matthew Draper, Jeremiah Hurley, Conor O’Neill, Gearoid O’Donovan, Jack O’Callaghan, Niall O’Halloran, Finbarr Dromey. Subs: Declan O’Halloran, Padraigh Delaney, Shane Corcoran, Stephen Moore, Tim Hayes.
Referee: Sean Doyle.