TOM LYONS REPORTS
ONCE they got to grips with the game, Castlehaven were always the likelier winners in this Clóna Milk Carbery U21AFC first-round game at Ardfield.
When these sides met in last year’s U21 championship, it took extra time in a replay before the Haven scraped through but they didn’t need any such drama before registering a clear-cut victory here.
Despite the sides being level at 0-2 each after 26 minutes, the Haven then clicked into top gear and three unanswered points saw them leading by 0-5 to 0-2 at the break. They continued their dominance well into the second half to build up a lead of seven points.
‘We expected this tough challenge today,’ said Haven manager Finbarr Santry.
‘We seemed to stand back and admire them for the opening quarter even though we had drilled into our players not to give them a good start as they could easily get on top of you. When we settled, we came more and more into the game.
‘The younger lads played very well and worked very hard. Our only worry now is that we didn’t score any goals. We created chances but didn’t take them and that’s something for us to work on.’
It was all of ten minute before Shane Scannell eventually raised the first white flag for Kilmeen and Cathal Maguire levelled for the Haven following a fine move. Ronan Walsh, very effective at midfield, shoved the Haven in front on 18 before Kilmeen goalkeeper Thomas Tyner saved well from Maguire.
The sides were level again when Jamie Santry pointed a Kilmeen free in the 27th minute but they had missed several good chances from play before that. Suddenly, the Haven hit top gear in the minutes before the break with three superb points in a row from Ryan Foley, Pa Bohane – having a stormer at wing back – and Maguire.
It was 0-5 to 0-2 at the interval, with Kilmeen only kicking a single point from play in the first half.
The Haven continued their improved form into the second half even though Jonathan Deasy cut through from centre back for a fine Kilmeen point in the 32nd minute. David Whelton responded with
a Haven point.
It was all Castlehaven now as they dominated possession and Rory Maguire, Cathal Maguire, play and free, Pa Bohane and Kevin O’Donovan all pointed. Kilmeen’s only response was a Joseph O’Donovan point as the Haven led by seven points, 0-11 to 0-4, by the 54th minute.
Kilmeen rallied in the closing stages and came very close to goaling twice when Joseph O’Donovan blazed just over the bar and Kevin Keohane had his shot well saved by Daniel O’Mahony, with Jamie Santry blazing the rebound just wide.
Castlehaven: Cathal Maguire 0-4 (1f), Pa Bohane 0-2, Ronan Walsh, Conor Cahalane, David Whelton, Ryan Foley, Rory Maguire 0-1 each.
Kilmeen: Joseph O’Donovan 0-3, Jonathan Deasy, Shane Scannell, Jamie Santry (f) 0-1 each.
Castlehaven: Daniel O’Mahony; Colin O’Driscoll, David Whelton, Liam Browne; Shane Kearney, Ciarán O’Sullivan, Pa Bohane; Ronan Walsh, Rory Maguire; Kevin O’Donovan, Cathal Maguire, Shane O’Driscoll; Darragh O’Neill, Conor Cahalane, Ryan Foley.
Subs: Sean Walsh for O’Neill (40), Andrew Whelton for Shane O’Driscoll (45).
Kilmeen: Thomas Tyner; Conor Hurley, Kevin Keohane, Fionán McCarthy; Brian Keohane, Jonathan Deasy, Daniel O’Sullivan; Gearóid McCarthy, Joseph O’Donovan; Cathal McCarthy, Oige Scannell, Colum O’Donovan; Shane Scannell, Darren Santry, Jamie Santry.
Sub: Killian O’Driscoll for McCarthy.