THERE was heartbreak for Castlehaven in Sunday’s Cork SFC final replay after the West Cork men lost by two points (1-10 to 0-11) against Nemo Rangers at Pairc Ui Rinn.
Leading by three points during the second half, Castlehaven looked in control but a brilliant save from Nemo goalkeeper Micheál Martin, a Mark Collins’ point attempt that dropped short and a Barry O’Driscoll goal turned this replay on its head – and in Nemo’s favour, as the city side won their 19th Cork SFC title.
After Barry O’Driscoll kicked Nemo into an early lead, back came Castlehaven with three points in a row from Conor Cahalane, Mark Collins and Brian Hurley (free) to move the West Cork men 0-3 to 0-1 in front.
Alan Cronin jinked his way in from the sideline to kick a fine point for Nemo after 13 minutes, and soon after Conor Horgan saw his goal effort rebound off the post and across the goal, much to Haven’s relief. But Horgan turned well in the 20th minute to level the scores, 0-3 apiece.
After Dylan Mehigan nudged Nemo ahead for the second time, back came Haven with scores from Seanie Cahalane and Darragh Cahalane to take the lead, 0-5 to 0-4.
Paul Kerrigan made it 0-5 apiece, before Brian Hurley (free) and a bizarre own point sent Haven into the break with a 0-7 to 0-5 lead.
Kerrigan (free) and Hurley (free) swapped points at the start of the second half, and after Nemo goalkeeper Micheál Aodh Martin made an astounding save from Michael Hurley, the resulting 45 was played short to Mark Collins, who moved Haven 0-9 to 0-6 ahead.
At the three quarter stage Nemo struck for a goal when Conor Horgan fisted the ball across the goal for Barry O’Driscoll to finish from close range. It was now all level, 1-6 to 0-9.
Sub James Masters then sent over an easy free before Kerrigan doubled the lead for the city men, 1-8 to 0-9, with ten minutes left.
Stephen Hurley and Chris Hayes came back with Haven points to tie the game, 0-11 to 1-8.
James Masters then kicked Nemo ahead with four minutes left, and in injury time Kerrigan won a free that he kicked over to seal Nemo’s victory.
Castlehaven: Brian Hurley 0-3f, Mark Collins 0-2, Conor Cahalane, Seanie Cahalane, Darragh Cahalane, Stephen Hurley, Chris Hayes 0-1 each, A O’Reilly (Nemo) 0-1.
Nemo Rangers: Barry O’Driscoll 1-1, Paul Kerrigan (2f) 0-4, James Masters 0-2 (1f), Alan Cronin, Conor Horgan, Dylan Mehigan 0-1 each.
Castlehaven: P Hurley; R Whelton, D Limrick, T O’Leary; Damien Cahalane, J O’Regan, C Hayes; D Hurley, S Dineen; M Collins , S Cahalane, C Cahalane; B Hurley, Darragh Cahalane, M Hurley.
Subs: S Hurley, S Collins, S Nolan
Nemo Rangers: M Martin; A Cronin,C O’Shea, A O’Reilly; K Fulignati, T Ó Sé, A O’Donovan; D Niblock, M Dorgan; D Mehigan, B O’Driscoll, P Kerrigan; C Horgan, L Connolly, C O’Brien
Subs: C Dalton, J Masters, P Morgan.
Referee: James Bermingham (Bride Rovers).