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Clonakilty and Castlehaven will battle for West Cork Division 1 title

August 5th, 2022 11:22 AM

By Matthew Hurley

The Castlehaven team that defeated Bantry Blues in the West Cork Division 1 Championship semi-final. (Photo: Andrew Harris)

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BY GER McCARTHY

CASTLEHAVEN and Clonakilty will contest the 2022 Drinagh Co-Op West Cork LGFA Division 1 senior final following a string of impressive results.

Four senior West Cork LGFA adult competitions have made a welcome return following a 24-month Covid-enforced absence.

Over the past number of weeks, the best footballers in the West Cork region have been competing for a chance at divisional LGFA glory, culminating in a series of upcoming regional finals.

This year’s Division 1 decider sees two of West Cork’s in-form teams go head-to-head in Leap this Saturday (5pm throw-in). Senior club Clonakilty and intermediate club Castlehaven will battle it out for the trophy.

The Haven have been on a magnificent run in recent years, claiming multiple junior county honours and will be one of the favourites for this season’s intermediate championship. Clonakilty won the intermediate crown back in 2020 and have held their own at senior level since then.

This year’s West Cork Division 1 competition has offered both clubs an opportunity to sharpen their skills ahead of their respective upcoming county campaigns.

Clonakilty have been drawn with Aghada, St Val’s, Inch Rovers and Bride Rovers in Group 2 of the 2022 Cork LGFA senior county championship.

As for Castlehaven, they face fellow West Cork rivals Rosscarbery and Bantry Blues as well as Glanmire, Araglen Desmonds Buí and Donoughmore in the intermediate county championship.

Clonakilty were drawn away to Kinsale in the West Cork Division 1 quarter-finals and registered an impressive 1-9 to 0-4 victory to cement their place in the last four. A point ahead at half-time, Kate O’Donovan’s second-half goal proved crucial on an evening where Ciara Ryan, Millie Condon, Aisling Moloney, Katie O’Driscoll and Sinead O’Donovan also featured on the winner’s scoresheet.

Local rivals Rosscarbery were Clon’s opponents in the semi-finals where the latter led 1-4 to 0-6 at the end of a tight first half. Fielding three debutantes (Máire Murphy, Aoife O’Flynn Meade and Niamh Kennedy), Clonakilty dominated the second half and built on Kiya O’Mahony’s hat-trick plus O’Flynn Meade and Ella O’Donoghue goals to run out convincing winners. Cork inter-county goalkeeper Martina O’Brien, Ellen Hall and Ellen Lawlor also impressed.

Castlehaven’s route to this year’s Division 1 decider was equally impressive. A comprehensive quarter-final defeat of Valley Rovers included standout displays from Aideen Santry, Shelly Daly, Grainne O’Sullivan and Siobhan Courtney.

A home semi-final saw Castlehaven continue their excellent run with another convincing win, this time over Bantry Blues. Two goals up at the interval, the Haven kicked for home in a one-sided second half to book their place in the Division 1 final.

Niamh O’Sullivan netted a hat-trick with Katie Cronin, Grainne O’Sullivan, Rachel Whelton and Mairead Courtney also finding the net. Mairead O’Driscoll, Niamh O’Sullivan, Katie Cronin and Áine Daly were the pick of Castlehaven’s best players in their semi-final win over the Blues.

So, a cracking final is anticipated this Saturday between two teams packed with emerging talent and top inter-county players.

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