Castlehaven in Tipp-top form as Munster semi-final looms

November 26th, 2021 1:45 PM

By Ger McCarthy

The Castlehaven team celebrates after defeating Dohenys in the 2021 Cork JAFC final.

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Castlehaven 4-15

St Anne’s 1-3

CASTLEHAVEN continued their remarkable season by hammering St Anne’s to qualify for the Munster LGFA junior A club semi-finals last Sunday.

The Waterford champions were coming off a 4-8 to 2-7 county final win over Comeragh Rangers but proved no match for their Cork counterparts.

Castlehaven blitzed their opponents and dominated proceedings from the opening minute. The Cork junior A champions built an unassailable 17-point interval lead whilst playing an attractive brand of football. In truth, this one-sided encounter was effectively over after the first quarter.

St Anne’s did their best to make a game of it but the Waterford club was simply overwhelmed and fortunate not to lose by a wider margin. A scrappy second half, in which Castlehaven emptied their substitutes bench, saw the Waterford side add three points to Hannah McGrath’s first-half penalty.

There was no disputing the eventual winners however, and Castlehaven march confidently into this weekend’s Munster semi-final with Tipperary’s Mullinahone. That game will be part of a double-header with host club Valley Rovers’ provincial intermediate semi-final against Monegea from Limerick.

‘We went into unknown territory today so we told the girls before the game to let the shackles off,’ Castlehaven manager Dinny Cahalane explained.

‘There was no pressure as every game from now on is a bonus. In fairness, they went out and won the game in the first 15 to 20 minutes. It is all down to the girls and their attitude.

‘Going back to our county final, there were a lot of nerves before that match. Today, we told the girls to go out and express themselves, let the ball off, let the ball do the work and they did just that. It is a panel game now and not about (just) 15 players anymore. In fairness to St Anne’s, they agreed to let all the subs on give everyone a run. It is Munster championship so that’s great experience for our girls.’

Rachel Whelton, Grainne O’Sullivan, Katie Cronin and Shelly Daly points were followed by a Shelly Daly goal inside the first five minutes. An overwhelmed St Anne’s were 2-9 to 0-0 down at the first water break following a Grainne O’Sullivan goal.

The Haven continued to pile forward with O’Sullivan raising her second green flag before Hannah McGrath converted a penalty for the Waterford side. 3-11 to 1-0 up at the break, Castlehaven used the second half to try out as many substitutes as possible. Eilis Bohane added 1-1 before three late Jane Kirwin points from St. Anne’s added some respectability to the final score, 4-15 to 1-3.

‘We felt very comfortable out there for most of the game,’ Castlehaven captain Siobhan Courtney added.

‘Today was an opportunity to get a lot of our panel on to the pitch and they got a good run out. We felt comfortable but that was no harm after such a tough game with Dohenys in the junior A county final last week. We are delighted with the win and to be in to a Munster semi-final.’


Scorers - Castlehaven: Grainne O’Sullivan 2-3; Shelly Daly, Eilis Bohane 1-1 each; Rachel Whelton 0-4; Katie Cronin 0-3 (1f); Alice O’Driscoll, Ellie McCarthy, Sarah O’Donovan 0-1 each. St Anne’s: Hannah McGrath 1-0 (1-0 pen); Jane Kirwin 0-3 (1f).

Castlehaven: Emma O’Callaghan; Aine Daly, Aideen Santry, Jessica McCarthy; Emma Daly, Noreen O’Sullivan, Rachel O’Driscoll; Siobhan Courtney (captain), Alice O’Driscoll; Eilis Bohane, Shelly Daly, Sarah O’Donovan; Grainne O’Sullivan, Katie Cronin, Rachel Whelton. Subs: Orla O’Sullivan for R O’Driscoll (15), Ria Wilson for A O’Driscoll (34), Margaret O’Regan for A Daly (34), Emma Buckley for E Bohane (38), Hannah Sheehy for J McCarthy (38), Lisa O’Mahony for K Cronin (43), Ellie McCarthy for G O’Sullivan (43), Rebecca Sheehy for E Daly (51), Kellie Pearce for R Whelton (51), Jessica Kearney for N O’Sullivan (51), Emma McCarthy for S Courtney (57), Ellen O’Regan for A Santry (57), Niamh Connolly for S Daly (61), Alina O’Leary for S O’Donovan (61).

St Anne’s: Louise Murphy (captain); Shannon Morrissey, Jade Shanahan, Saoirse Lonergan; Leah McGrath, Melanie Buck, Zoe Spinks; Rachel Walsh, Bevin Bowdren; Hannah McGrath, Orla Kirwin, Niamh Halley; Jane Kirwin, Rebecca Kavanagh, Eimear Power. Subs: Roisin Murphy for O Kirwin (38), Rachel McDonald for H McGrath (41), Aoife Lynch for S Morrissey (41).

Referee: James Brosnan (Kerry).

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