IT was a case of roles reversed as Urhan claimed a one-point win over Castletownbere in the Beara junior B football final played in Cahermore last Saturday.
The teams met in last year’s final with Castletownbere emerging as one-point winners but this time it was the Urhan men that took the spoils by the narrowest of margins to seal a Beara junior A and B championship double.
It took an injury-time point from Urhan midfielder and captain James Healy to win this thriller that entertained all through and then exploded into life in the second half.
The game started off with a James Healy point in the opening minute for Urhan but their lead didn’t last long as the experienced Sean O’Regan
found the back of the net for Castletownbere in the third minute.
Sean Bawn O’Sullivan, who was based at the edge of the square, scored a point in the fifth minute and O’Regan added a free, as Castletownbere led 1-2 to 0-1 early on.
Urhan replied with three points in a row – two from Sean O’Sullivan and one from Martin O’Neill – to bring Urhan to within one point after 15 minutes.
Castletownbere centre forward Jason Walsh started to exert his influence on the game and kicked three points in the space of ten minutes with Urhan replying with scores from Martin O’Neill and James Healy.
Sean O’Regan and Sean O’Sullivan swapped points before Urhan were awarded a penalty just before half time. James Healy stepped up and converted the kick to send Urhan into the break leading by one point, 1-7 to 1-6.
The second half began in dramatic fashion when a Mikey Sheehy-like quick-thinking goal from Sean O’Sullivan in the 33rd minute pushed Urhan four points ahead. Further points from Martin O’Neill and Sean O’Sullivan extended Urhan’s lead to 2-9 to 1-6 after 40 minutes.
Castletownbere struck back with a goal from David O’Sullivan-Greene, only for a quick reply from Urhan when Sean O’Dwyer pointed.
Castletownbere midfielder Dean Murphy powered into the game with points in the 45th and 49th minutes either side of a goal in the 46th minute, and a point from substitute James Murphy in the 51st minute gave Castletownbere a 3-9 to 2-10 lead as the game headed down the back stretch.
Ryan Quirke and Jason Walsh exchanged points as the match headed into injury time. Two points down Urhan needed a goal and this arrived courtesy of Turlough Connolly. Again, Dean Murphy came to the fore with two points for Castletownbere either side of a point from Paudie O’Leary to leave the score level deep into injury time.
With everyone in the Cahermore venue looking at their watches, it was Urhan midfielder James Healy who slotted the ball between the posts with the last kick of the game to claim victory for Urhan.
After the game Urhan midfielder James Healy was presented with man-of-the-match award from Finbarr O’Shea (Glenview Heating) and Beara GAA Chairman Jim Hanley along with Patrick Jim O’Sullivan presented the Donal Jim O’Sullivan Cup to Urhan captain Kieran Darb O’Sullivan.
Urhan: Sean O’Sullivan 1-4 (1-2f); James Healy 1-3 (1-0 pen); Turlough Connolly 1-0; Martin O’Neill 0-3; Sean O’ Dwyer, Paudie O’Leary, Ryan Quirke 0-1 each.
Castletownbere: Dean Murphy 1-4 (1f), Sean O’Regan 1-2 (1f) Jason Walsh 0-4 (1f), David O’Sullivan-Green 1-0; Sean Bawn O’Sullivan, James Murphy 0-1 each.
Urhan: DJ Sheehan; Niall O’Dwyer, Cormac O’Shea, Joe Sheehan; Ryan Quirke, Kieran O’Sullivan (Darb), Alan Dunne; James Healy, Seamus Lyons; Kevin O’Dwyer, Turlough Connolly, Sean O’Dwyer; Martin O’Neill, Cian Crowley, Sean O’Sullivan (Shandon).
Castlewtownbere: David Kelly; Sean Walsh, Geard Healy, Dion Kelly; James Musgrove, Aed O’Shea, Conor Power; Robert Murphy, Dean Murphy; Cormac Whelan, Jason Walsh, David O’Sullivan-Greene; Adam Hurley, Sean Bawn O’Sullivan, Sean O’Regan.
Referee: Brian O’Regan (Muintir Bhaire).