SIOBHAN Courtney will captain a Castlehaven team searching for a third Cork LGFA county title in a row when they take on Dohenys in the county Junior A decider at CIT on Saturday afternoon.
Castlehaven are on an unprecedented run having claimed county junior C and B titles in the past two years. Now, all that stands between the Haven, the three-in-a-row and the Cork Junior A crown is West Cork rivals Dohenys.
Captain Courtney and her team-mates have been on a phenomenal run and are looking forward to this Saturday’s showdown.
‘We are delighted to be in another county final having been very fortunate to compete in and win the junior C and B finals over the past two years,’ the Castlehaven captain said.
‘We know that the junior A final will be much tougher but are looking forward to that challenge. Dohenys are our opponents and we have played them quite a few times over the last number of years. Our matches are always very close but everyone is relishing the opportunity.’
A West Cork derby should attract a sizeable attendance to CIT on Saturday (12pm throw-in). Castlehaven topped their JAFC championship qualification group in impressive fashion. The Haven defeated Naomh Abán (3-14 to 2-6) and Abhainn Dalla (7-16 to 2-5) in their two opening championship games prior to accounting for Douglas, 0-13 to 0-7. A walkover from Dromtarriffe preceded a 4-16 to 3-6 win over this weekend’s county final opponents although both teams were short a number of regular starters.
A first-place group finish secured a home semi-final in which Douglas were defeated for a second time (2-6 to 0-4) in difficult conditions.
‘We are very aware that there is a tough job ahead of us,’ Courtney said.
‘Throughout the year, we have been looking at ourselves and constantly trying to improve our own game. That (approach) has been working for us so far. There are a few aspects we want to improve on ahead of the county final. We want to go out there on the day and really put it up to Dohenys. We know there will be very little between the teams but everyone is looking forward to the game.’
Dohenys are no strangers to county championship success themselves having previously claimed the Junior B title after three consecutive county final losses. Yet, Castlehaven’s positive experiences of the past 24 months is something the Castlehaven captain intends to lean on.
‘Definitely, our experience of previous finals will be important but we have a few new players with us this year and this will be a new experience for them,’ Courtney said.
‘The last few years, we have been in county finals and know what it is like. It is important to enjoy that build-up as well. Everyone is enjoying seeing all the blue and white colours around the parish. We have been getting ourselves organised and getting our mindset right. The past few years will stand to us in this situation.’