Castlemartyr GAA

16 August, 2009

CASTLEMARTYR BID TO MAKE HISTORIC BREAKTHROUGH

The hurlers of Castlemartyr will be trying to bridge a 34 year gap, when they take on Erin’s Own next Saturday evening in Midleton at 7.p.m in Junior Hurling East Cork semi- final. Kojak was sucking lollipops and the Bay City Rollers ruled the airwaves, when the Reds last managed to reach a final, way back in 1975. Unfortunately that game ended in defeat for the Castlemartyr men, and the Reds have toiled in the hurling wilderness since, reaching numerous semi-finals, but unable to make that final push into the decider.

Castlemartyr will start as rank outsiders against the Glounthane men next Saturday night, following the latter’s impressive form in this year’s championship. They comprehensively defeated Killeagh in the quarter final, albeit following a replay by 2-14 to 4 points. No Castlemartyr man will need reminding that it was the Killeagh men who ended their ’08 dream in Ballymacoda last year, but the Erin’s Own men made no such mistake. A more current barometer of form would be Midleton. Both sides have played the Magpies in this year’s championship and Erin’s Own found it far easier than the Reds to overcome that challenge. Erin’s Own led from start to finish in their clash and looked likely winners from the off, in their 2-11 to 12 points victory while the Reds needed a last gasp winner deep into injury time to finally slay the Magpies in gripping encounter.

Both sided have also clashed in this year’s league with the Caherlag outfit handing out a hurling lesson to the Reds in a 1-15 to 0-11 scoreline. The unanswered question of course is have Castlemartyr improved since , and when all is said and done only Saturday night will tell us that,

Veteran goalkeeper David Fleming will be between the sticks and it will be of vital importance that he keeps a clean sheet if Castlemartyr are to win. The full back line of Oliver Smiddy, Rob O Donavan and James Deehan will have a hard hour ahead of them and will have to be fully focused throughout and be prepared to risk life and limb in order to prevent any breaches of their defence. Brian Smiddy and Adrian Bowens will definitely start in the half back line and will hope to drive their team forward at every opportunity, while Brian Lawton at midfield currently in good form, will have to play out of his skin again to propel the Reds into the final.

Jimmy Smiddy will as usual shoulder the scoring burden as he has done for many summers now, but if the Reds are to win on Saturday night he will need to get far more help. Derek Bowens, Sean Hennessy, Barry Lawton, Mark Bowens and Evan O Keeffe will all have to be stand up and be counted and try and keep the umpires busy, waving flags.

So, best of luck to all concerned. Underdogs we may be, but if everyone plays to the utmost of their ability, and hunt and harass in packs, anything is possible. Make it happen.