Argideen Rangers 2-15
Noel Horgan Reports
HAVING endured a heavy defeat at Castlemartyr’s hands in the first round of the county intermediate hurling championship last year, Argideen Rangers were on a mission of atonement when rivalry was renewed with the East-Cork side at Páirc Uí Rinn.
They accomplished their task in fairly convincing style, much to the satisfaction of selector Barry Harte, who described it as a tremendous confidence-booster going forward.
‘It was a good night’s work from our point of view, and we’re delighted with the win, because it was very important for us to compete tonight after the hammering we took last year.
‘Regardless of the result, what we wanted from the lads was to work hard and to put in an honest effort. I thought their commitment left nothing to be desired on this occasion, which was very encouraging,’ he said.
Aided by a strong wind, Argideen took a while to stamp their authority on proceedings in the first half, with former Cork senior Brian Lawton quick to make his presence felt up front for Castlemartyr.
Lawton posted three points from wing forward, allowing the losers to lead by 0-3 to 0-2, before Argideen detailed centre-back Paudie Butler to police him inside ten minutes.
Butler’s switch did the trick, as Argideen, with corner forward Cathal O’Donovan operating as a sweeper to good effect, performed with greater assurance at the back as the first half progressed
Meanwhile, John Michael O’Callaghan and Eoin Lawton were particularly prominent at the other end for the Timoleague men, who made a major breakthrough in the 21st minute when John Sheehan did well to control Lawton’s speculative delivery and set Darragh O’Donovan up for a goal.
Leading by 1-8 to 0-5 at that juncture, Argideen remained six points to the good at the interval after the sides shared four scores towards the end of the opening period.
Argideen introduced Finbarr Butler at midfield for the second half, and he made an immediate impact, completing a strong run with a high ball into full forward Michael O’Callaghan, who deftly touched it home.
O’Callaghan’s goal left Argideen leading by 2-10 to 0-7, and they remained in the driving seat until Castlemartyr centre-back Daragh Moran converted three long-range frees on the trot entering the last quarter.
After Finbarr Butler, fed by a precision cross from John Michael O’Callaghan, broke the sequence, Moran pointed another free from distance before Castlemartyr lost corner back Cathal Martin to a second yellow-card offence in the 53rd minute.
Michael O’Callaghan popped over the resultant free to push Argideen 2-14 to 0-13 ahead, but gutsy Castlemartyr refused to give up the ghost, even after they were reduced to 13 players when Brian Lawton was red-carded in the final minute of regulation time.
A point from John McGann brought them back within striking range before Paudie Butler replied to seal an Argideen victory that was fully merited overall.
Argideen Rangers: M O’Callaghan 1-4 (4f), JM O’Callaghan 0-7 (3f), D O’Donovan 1-0, M Lawton 0-2, F Butler, P Butler 0-1 each.
Castlemartyr: D Moran 0-4 (f), B Lawton 0-3, B Smiddy, J McGann 0-2 each, M Kelly 0-2 (1f), J Stack, J Lawton, E Martin, B O’Tuama 0-1 each.
Argideen Rangers: D Harrington; G Crowley, J Murphy, C Lehane; C Smith, P Butler, B Fleming; M Lawton, S Maxwell; E Lawton, JM O’Callaghan, D O’Donovan; J Sheehan, M O’Callaghan, C O’Donovan.
Subs: F Butler for Maxwell (ht), Maxwell for D O’Donovan (60).
Castlemartyr: J Smiddy; O Smiddy, R O’Donovan, C Martin; A Bowes, D Moran, M Cosgrave; M Kelly, J Lawton; B Lawton, B Smiddy, S Hennessy; B O’Tuama, J Stack, J McGann.
Subs: C Whyte for O’Donovan (38), E Martin for Hennessy (41), N O’Donovan for O’Tuama (50).
Referee: A Larkin (Shamrocks).