Carbery Rangers 2-4
TOM LYONS REPORTS
IN a game of swaying fortunes, Castlehaven finished stronger to carry the day in this 2020 Clona Milk U21A football semi-final in summer-like conditions in Rosscarbery on Sunday afternoon.
Both sides had to field without their county U20 stars but Jack Cahalane did play for the Haven and his leadership and battling qualities were vital to their victory. They also had reason to be grateful to midfielder Andrew Hodnett, whose general play and vital free-taking proved crucial to the result.
Darragh Hayes was Rangers’ top forward on the day but, for once, his shooting from play was wayward and he often found himself marked by two players. He still managed to pounce for a late goal that almost saved the day for his side.
A competitive start to the game produced only three scores, two from placed balls. Kevin O’Donovan and Darragh Hayes swapped points and in the ninth minute impressive wing forward Jack O’Regan cut through for a Rangers’ goal.
Scores were even scarcer in the second quarter as Rangers failed to add to their score despite winning a lot of possession through midfielders John O’Brien and Stephen O’Donoghue. The Haven defenders worked very well as a unit, well directed by Tomás O’Mahony, Sean Walsh and Daniel O’Mahony. At the other end, Andrew Whelton and Liam O’Mahony kicked two points for the Haven and the lead was down to a single point by half time, 1-1 to 0-3. Jack Cahalane was the Haven’s driving force in the first half and his surging runs drew frees from the Rangers’ defence.
It was a ding-dong battle in the third quarter. Ciarán Santry increased the lead to two and then points from Kevin O’Donovan and Tomás O’Mahony had the sides level. When Darragh Hayes (free), and Jack O’Mahony pushed Rangers two in front again, the battle seemed to be swaying in their direction but back came the Haven and pointed frees from Andrew Whelton and Kevin O’Donovan tied the game at the second water break, 1-4 to 0-7.
It was all up for grabs in the final quarter and it was the Haven who grabbed the initiative, with Andrew Whelton particularly prominent at midfield. Cahalane began the surge with a point from play and when Whelton pointed three fine frees in a row, the Haven looked safe with a four-point lead.
To Rangers’ credit, they refused to accept defeat and a superb move endd with Darragh Hayes finishing to the Haven net in the 60th minute. In injury time, they had one great chance to level the scores but a close-in free was kicked wide.
Scorers – Castlehaven: Andrew Whelton 0-5 (4f); Kevin O’Donovan 0-3 (3f); Tomás O’Mahony, Jack Cahalane, Liam O’Mahony 0-1 each. Carbery Rangers: Darragh Hayes 1-2 (2f); Jack O’Regan 1-1; Ciarán Santry 0-1.
Castlehaven: Rory Courtney; Daniel O’Mahony, Sean Walsh, Liam Browne; Oran Collins, Tomás O’Mahony, Adam O’Donoghue; Andrew Whelton, Matthew Limrick; Fiachra Collins, Jack Cahalane, Sean Browne; Liam O’Mahony, Kevin O’Donovan, Alex Minihane. Subs: Gavin Foley for M Limrick (ht), Sean Bohane for L Browne (37), Donncha Maguire for O Collins (60).
Carbery Rangers: Aaron Browne; Peter Óg Hill, Dermot Kerr, James O’Riordan; Alan O’Rourke, Cathal Hennessy, Barry Kerr; John O’Brien, Stephen O’Donoghue; Ciarán Calnan, Paul Hodnett, Jack O’Regan; Ciarán Santry, Darragh Hayes, Evan Browne. Subs: Sam Linehan for E Browne (ht), Cathal Keane for S O’Donoghue (50), E. Hayes for C Calnan (51).
Referee: Seamus Walsh (Barryroe).