GER McCARTHY REPORTS
CASTLEHAVEN’S wait for a first-ever West Cork LGFA adult trophy is over.
Intermediate outfit Haven got the better of senior side Clonakilty to get their hands on the 2022 Drinagh Co-op West Cork LGFA Division 1 title following a memorable clash in Leap.
‘We had never won West Cork, in any of the grades, so it is a big thing for Castlehaven and especially as it is the Division 1 title,’ delighted Castlehaven manager Dinny Cahalane said.
‘We have gotten to two finals and been beaten in both so it is unbelievable for the girls. This was a great game of football. We lost a few girls to injuries during the game and our full-back Aideen Santry beforehand. For us to have pulled off this win is outstanding.’
The winners had to overcome the losses of Katie Cronin and Noreen O’Sullivan to injury. Mairead O’Driscoll took over the free-taking responsibilities and she, along with Siobhan Courtney, Emma O’Callaghan and Gráinne O’Sullivan saw the Haven edge a terrific advert for West Cork ladies football.
Clonakilty will rue wasted Millie Condon and Katie O’Driscoll goal-scoring opportunities as well as a missed Sinead O’Donovan penalty. There was much to admire in Clon’s approach with O’Driscoll, Condon, Kate O’Donovan, Ciara Ryan and Sinead O’Donovan getting through a huge amount of work.
‘The girls put in a great shift and unfortunately we missed some important chances,’ Clonakilty selector Iain O’Driscoll admitted.
‘I think we would have been ahead had we taken those chances at important stages of the game.
‘We were delighted when the West Cork championships were going ahead. It allowed us game time in the weeks before our senior championship starts. We got a really good game off of Castlehaven and it will stand to us.’
Clonakilty began with four of their 2022 All-Ireland Cork LGFA minor winners – Siobhan Callanan, Kate O’Donovan, Katie O’Driscoll and Millie Condon – as well as Cork senior goalkeeper Martina O’Brien. Notable absentees included Castlehaven full-back Aideen Santry and Clon captain Jenny Quinn.
The Brewery Town opened the scoring with the final’s first attack as Katie O’Driscoll split the posts.
A pair of Katie Cronin frees edged the Haven in front before Alice O’Driscoll extended her side’s advantage. Castlehaven lost the influential Cronin to a shoulder injury but led 0-4 to 0-2 on the quarter-hour after Mairead O’Driscoll (free) scored.
The Castletownshend-Union Hall club deserved their lead but Clon quickly hit back. Áine O’Leary, Ciara Ryan (two frees) and Katie O’Driscoll efforts saw Clon move a point clear.
An entertaining first half concluded with a blitz of scores at either end. Castlehaven lost Noreen O’Sullivan to another injury but Mairead O’Driscoll (two) and Rachel Whelton strikes ensured the Haven changed ends tied, 0-8 apiece.
Having taken a long time to settle, Clon’s Sinead O’Donovan, Ellen Hall and Ciara Ryan efforts deservedly made it a drawn game at the short whistle.
It was nip and tuck for much of the third quarter which ended with the Haven 0-11 to 0-10 in front thanks to Mairead O’Driscoll (two) and Gráinne O’Sullivan scores.
Superb Sinead O’Donovan and Kyia O’Mahony efforts preceded the final’s most intense period.
O’Mahony was brought down in the Castlehaven square resulting in a Clonakilty penalty after 46 minutes. Sinead O’Donovan’s effort was saved by Emma O’Callaghan and Castlehaven swept forward before Niamh O’Sullivan found the net at the opposite end.
Within a minute, Clonakilty worked the ball to Katie O’Driscoll who sent a thunderbolt into the back of the net. It was 1-11 to 1-10 with ten minutes to go. Anybody’s game.
Somehow the unrelenting pace of a cracking clash failed to slow down as Mairead O’Driscoll (free) and Sinead O’Donovan exchanged scores. Ciara Ryan brought Clon level, 1-12 apiece, with four minutes to go. Extra-time appeared a possibility.
Digging deep, Castlehaven moved into scoring range and won a free which the excellent Mairead O’Driscoll converted to make it 1-13 to 1-12.
Castlehaven survived a couple of late scares deep into injury-time but held out for a famous victory and first-ever adult West Cork LGFA title.
Scorers - Castlehaven: Mairead O’Driscoll 0-8 (5f); Niamh O’Sullivan 1-0; Katie Cronin 0-2 (2f); Alice O’Driscoll, Rachel Whelton, Grainne O’Sullivan 0-1 each. Clonakilty: Katie O’Driscoll 1-2; Ciara Ryan 0-4 (4f); Sinead O’Donovan 0-3; Áine O’Leary, Ellen Hall, Kyia O’Mahony 0-1 each.
Castlehaven: Emma O’Callaghan; Emma Daly, Jessica McCarthy, Áine Daly; Noreen O’Sullivan, Shelly Daly, Ellen Maguire; Siobhán Courtney (joint-captain), Alice O’Driscoll; Eilish Bohane, Gráinne O’Sullivan, Rachel Whelton (joint-captain); Katie Cronin, Máiread O’Driscoll, Niamh O’Sullivan.
Subs: Hannah Sheehy for Katie Cronin (7, inj), Emma McCarthy for Noreen O’Sullivan (19, injured), Ellen Buckley for Emma Daly (43), Noreen O’Sullivan for Eilish Bohane (59).
Clonakilty: Martina O’Brien; Ellen Lawlor, Louise Collins, Ruth Shanley; Siobhán Callanan, Meabh O’Donovan, Kate O’Donovan; Clare O’Leary, Aine O’Leary; Katie O’Driscoll, Ciara Ryan, Millie Condon; Ellen Hall, Sinead O’Donovan, Kiya O’Mahony.
Subs: Orlagh Lowney for Elle Hall (ht), Máire Murphy for Ellen Lawlor (48).
Referee: Chris Cronin (Kinsale).