SUNDAY’S county SFC quarter-final against Nemo Rangers in Dunmanway (4pm) will be a third weekend of action in a row for Castlehaven, with manager Liam Collins hoping they can benefit from the return to competitive football.
Having had 148 days between the round 1 win over Dohenys and the round three clash with CIT, the Haven now face a third outing in 14 days, having needed a replay last Sunday night to get over the College.
‘It would have been a nice luxury to have had a week off between that game and Nemo,’ Collins says, ‘but we don’t have that and we must deal with things as best we can.
‘The two matches are bound to have tired the lads and taken a lot out of them, but if we were to go on and beat Nemo, then you’d say that the CIT matches would have stood to them.’
There were certainly plenty of positives to take from how the Haven dealt with strong opponents.
‘It had been a long time since April,’ Collins says, ‘and it takes a while to get back to playing competitive football.
‘CIT were very fit, they have good footballers and they play a nice style. It took us two days to come to terms with them, maybe we were a bit lucky at times but there were a lot if individual performances that improved and that led to a bit more structure.
‘We competed more around the middle third, which was key and it will definitely be key against Nemo again.’
Brian Hurley scored three points in the replay, having played his first senior county championship game in two years in the drawn match, while Conor Cahalane was substituted early on Sunday and is a doubt with a virus thought the Haven hope his brother Damien will overcome a knock.
Nemo beat O’Donovan Rossa by 12 points and Collins knows that it’s vital to have as close as possible to a full complement.
‘Nemo are the best team in the county,’ he says. ‘If you want to beat them, you have to be at your best yourself, anything else won’t do. After two good games against CIT, we’d be hopeful that we can put in another good performance and then see where that takes us in terms of reaching the semi-finals.’