Sport

Carbery's four U21A FC semi-finalists ready for battle

March 31st, 2018 4:10 PM

By Southern Star Team

Heads up: Ahán Gaels' Gearóid O'Donovan and Billy Foley of Bantry Blues in a race for the ball.

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BOTH Castlehaven and Ilen Rovers camps are predicting a close encounter when they clash in the first of Sunday’s two Carbery U21A FC semi-finals.

Leap is the venue at 2.30pm for this meeting, with Castlehaven reporting a clean bill of health.

‘We’re thankfully clear of injuries but have found it difficult to get any proper preparation in,’ said Haven manager Finbarr Santry. ‘There was nothing between these two teams at underage so we’re expecting a very close game.’

Castlehaven beat Kilmeen in the quarter final by 0-12 to 0-6 with Pa Bohane as man-of-the-match at wing back and Ronan Walsh and Cathal Maguire also starring. 

Ilen Rovers look dead and almost buried against Clonakilty in their quarter-final but came back from four points down to draw at full time. In extra time they trailed by two points with time up but Stephen Leonard struck a superb solo gun to snatch a win, 1-10 to 0-12. 

‘We’ll be picking from a full squad although there is still a question over Sean Minihane, with a couple of others carrying knocks since the last day,’ said Ilen mentor Sean Casey. 

‘We haven’t actually met this Haven team since U16 level, with the Haven winning a replay by a point but the teams didn’t meet at minor. There should be very little between the sides.’

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The second semi-final sees Ahán Gaels and Carbery Rangers clash in Dunmanway at 5pm.

Ahán Gaels have been the surprise packets of the championship to date, especially as they were unable to get in much preparation this season due to doubts about amalgamation. In the first round they accounted for Ibane Gaels and then beat a strong Bantry side by 0-14 to 1-8 in the quarter-final.  

In Stephen Moore, Matthew Draper, Brian Everard and Darren O’Donovan they posses great scoring power while midfielder Gearóid O’Donovan and defenders Sean Buttimer, Alan O’Sullivan, and Dylan Scanell are all accomplished footballers.

Carbery Rangers have put a lot of preparation into the U21 grade this season, reaching the final of the Glenville tournament. 

‘Our team is very young and were beaten in West Cork minor three years ago but are learning with every game,’ said Rangers’ manager Stephen Murray. 

‘It was hard to judge that performance as Dohenys were missing a few but they were the champions, nonetheless. We won that by 1-15 to 1-7. 

‘We know Ahán are a very good side. They are fine footballers and are physically stronger than us. As well, they were campaigning in a higher grade than us at minor level. 

‘We will be looking to Darragh Hayes, who scored 1-5 the last day, Mark Hodnett, Cathal O’Rourke, Davy O’Donovan, Paul Hodnett, Cian Daly and Rob Hegarty to drive on the team. We’ll have to be at our very best to win this one.’

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