Castlehaven lay down marker in Division 1 opener

March 8th, 2023 11:45 AM

By Kieran McCarthy

Castlehaven's Conor Nolan drives the ball past Carbery Rangers' goalkeeper Paul Shanahan and Cillian Keane for a goal for his side during the Cork Credit Unions FL Div 1 at Castlehaven. (Photos: Paddy Feen)

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Castlehaven 3-12 

Carbery Rangers 0-4


WITH the sides to meet again in the championship this summer, this local derby in Moneyvollahane in Division 1 of the Cork Credit Unions Football League was expected to produce a lively contest with a few sparks thrown in. 

What we got on a bitterly cold morning was an exhibition by a make-shift Haven side as they laid down a clear marker against a Rangers’ team that disappointingly failed to show any semblance of the form expected of them. 

‘We had to line out without 16 of the players who could have been in action today – ten seniors and six juniors,’ said a happy Haven manager, James McCarthy, who added his side has only one field session under their belts. 

‘It was a great opportunity to blood some young players and they did extremely well. Corner forward Mícheál Maguire is only 17 but did really well. Shane O’Connell was a Cork minor last season and you’d have to mention Sean Browne at wing forward, a great prospect. 

‘Then you had the experienced guys and you build a team around lads like Mark Collins, Michael Hurley and Ronan Walsh. Mark dictated the game for us and he’s a very special player. Now that he’s back to us full time, we’ll get a lot more time from him. We could get another ten years from him.’

Carbery Rangers' James Fitzpatrick is challenged by Castlehaven's Jamie Walsh during the Cork Credit Unions FL Div 1 tie.


With both sides showing understandable rustiness early on, scores were slow to come, the Haven playing with the biting breeze. Orchestrated by Mark Collins at midfield and Jack Cahalane at centre forward, the home side soon began to purr and the scores arrived, a lead of 0-4 to 0-1 at the end of the first quarter. All four Haven points came from the boot of the majestic Collins, two from play. Mark Hodnett had the Rangers’ only point as they lacked a cutting edge up front, despite the best efforts of Mark Hodnett and Darragh Hayes. 

Jamie O’Driscoll stretched the lead to open the second quarter and when Collins set up wing back Conor Nolan for a goal in the 17th minute, the Haven supporters were singing. Rangers improved as the half aged, with James Fitzpatrick and Alan Jennings leading the way, holding the Haven to three points, two from Collins and one from the promising young Mícheál Maguire. Hodnett, play and free, replied with two for Rangers. It was 1-8 to 0-3 at the break. 

The expected Ross comeback with the breeze never arrived in the second half as the Haven closed ranks in defence, well led by Ronan Walsh, Conor Nolan and Thomas O’Mahony, with Mark Collins acting as a sweeper in front of the half-back line. Amazingly, Rangers managed only a single point from John Hodnett in the 53rd minute as the Haven controlled affairs at their ease. 

Castlehaven’s cause was helped by the scoring of two superb goals in this half. The first arrived in the 45th minute, by which time they had increased their lead to ten points. Seán Browne and Mícheál Maguire were involved in a move that saw Jack Cahalane finishing expertly to the net.

The second goal arrived in the 50th minute when Jamie O’Driscoll played a one-two with Thomas O’Mahony before beautifully side-footing the ball to the net soccer-style, with the outside of his boot. 

Castlehaven's Jack Cahalane is held by Carbery Rangers' Peadar O'Rourke.


A marker laid down by the Haven and a game to be forgotten for Rangers, with new manager Seamus Hayes calling this ‘a wake-up call’.

‘This was a very disappointing performance,’ Hayes admitted. ‘We put in a very good pre-season, concentrating on strength and conditioning, three times a week. We had high expectations coming here today. It’s hard to put a finger on what went wrong. We seemed to be getting it together before half time but never got going in the second half. Castlehaven were awesome today, all we expect of them. I thought we were a bit more advanced than we are, so that’s a good wake-up call for us all.’

Scorers - Castlehaven: Mark Collins 0-8 (3f); Jack Cahalane, Jamie O’Driscoll 1-1 each; Conor Nolan 1-0; Andrew Whelton, Mícheál Maguire 0-1 each. Carbery Rangers: Mark Hodnett 0-3 (1f); John Hodnett 0-1. 

Castlehaven: Anthony Seymour; Seán Walsh, Ronan Walsh, Joe Bohane; Conor Nolan, Thomas O’Mahony, David Whelton; Jamie Walsh, Mark Collins; Seán Browne, Jack Cahalane, Andrew Whelton; Mícheál Maguire, Michael Hurley, Jamie O’Driscoll. Subs: Shane O’Connell for J Walsh (53), Seán Bohane for S Walsh (55), Liam O’Mahony for J Cahalane (58). 

Carbery Rangers: Paul Shanahan; Cian Daly, Tom O’Rourke, Kealan Scannell; Killian Keane, Jack Kevane, Peadar O’Rourke; James Fitzpatrick, Barry Kerr; Alan Jennings, Patrick Hurley, John Hodnett; Jack O’Regan, Mark Hodnett, Darragh Hayes. Subs: Conor Twomey for J O’Regan (42), David O’Dwyer for K Keane (48), Colm O’Mahony for P O’Rourke (53), Chris O’Donovan for K Scannell (56). 

Referee: Michael Collins (Clonakilty).

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