BY KIERAN McCARTHY
DOHENYS' long wait for the West Cork U21A football title is over.
The Dunmanway side’s first-half scoring blitz built up enough of a cushion to help them hold off Castlehaven’s second-half comeback in this decider at Aughaville on Sunday evening.
It’s the first time since 2000 that the Dohenys have won this West Cork title.
Goals from Mark Buckley and midfielder Johnny Kelly helped Dohenys lead by 2-5 to 0-1 at the break, with Castlehaven a distant second best in that opening half and with only a Conor Cahalane free just before half-time to show for their efforts.
With man-of-the-match Sean Daly keeping Cork senior Michael Hurley quiet, and both Cathal O’Donovan and Johnny Kelly bossing midfield, Dohenys held all the aces – but Castlehaven were the team on top in the second half.
Seven points in a row brought them to within four, 2-6 to 0-8, after the three-quarter-stage, Conor Cahalane, Cathal Maguire, Michael Hurley, Conor Nolan and Kevin O’Donovan all scoring during this spell.
But Dohenys, despite being under pressure, always kept their noses in front and scored important points to puncture Haven’s comeback, as Fionn Herlihy and sub Ray Jennings kicked huge scores down the final stretch.
Dohenys: Mark Buckley 1-1, Johnny Kelly 1-1, Keith White 0-2, Bill Murphy, Cathal O’Donovan, Fionn Herlihy, Ray Jennings 0-1 each.
Castlehaven: Conor Cahalane 0-4 (3f), Cathal Maguire 0-2, Michael Hurley, Conor Nolan, Kevin O’Donovan 0-1 each.
Don’t miss Thursday’s Southern Star for a two-page special on the West Cork U21A football final.