Castlemartyr GAA Notes

16 May, 2010

CASTLEMARTYR REACH LAST FOUR

CASTLEMARTYR.......................2-6

COBH.......................................0-11

The line on the graph for Castlemartyr football continues to climb steadily upwards, when they overcame a dogged Cobh side in the quarter final stage of the JAFC, in Ballinacurra last Saturday night the 15th of May. In doing so they became the first Castlemartyr side to reach the semi final stage in over 15 years, and while the second half performance was far from convincing, at least there is now something worthwhile to aim for, when the hurleys will be put away after the summer.

In the proverbial game of two halves, the first was dominated by the Reds and they looked to be in a comfortable position a t half time. Leading by 5 points which should have at least been 10, and with Cobh reduced to fourteen men, the stage was set for Castlemartyr to run out easy winners, but as is often is the case, the fourteen men rose to the challenge, while the fifteen men sat back. Adrian Bowens however, stopped the rot, and drove his side on when their need was greatest, and it was the Reds in the end who were in the semi final and not the gallant Cobh men.

Castlemartyr started like a whirlwind, and scored a fine point after a strong run through the middle by Eddie Clifford after three minutes. The Reds owned midfield, with Ollie Smiddy especially dominating, but were wasteful in front of goals and had three wides registered by the 8th minute. Cobh equalised a minute later, but following the kick out Barry Lawton had the net bulging with a fine goal, when he was put through by Jimmy Smiddy. Mce Hodnett added a fine point on the 12thminute to make it 1-2 to 0-1 and the Reds were full value for their four point lead.

Cobh hit back with two unanswered points, but Castlemartyr were guilty of some appalling misses which were starting to mount up. Damien McAuliffe put Brain Lawton clean through on the 19th minute, and as we all waited for the net to dance, the ball went across the face of the goal and agonisingly wide. Still this did not seem to matter when on the 24TH minute Mce Hodnett blasted home from close range following a fine pass from Ollie Smiddy to put the Reds in front 2-2 to 0-3.

A minute later came a key moment in the game. As a Cobh midfielder burst out with the ball, he struck back with the elbow in trying to shrug off the challenge of Damien McAuliffe. James Bermingham, the excellent whistle blower, deemed it a red card offence, and now the Cobh men were down to fourteen men. There were no further scores prior to half time and it was a happy Castlemartyr team that trotted off, five points to the good, and with the crossfield breeze to slightly favour them in the second half.

The second half was a complete turnaround. Cobh roared into life immediately on the restart playing with a passion and purpose that seemed to shake Castlemartyr. In wave after wave of attacks, Cobh kicked over 6 unanswered points in a row during the first quarter of an hour, and it looked very bleak for the shell shocked Reds. Cobh were now a point in front and the finishing line was coming into sight. But it was a case of “cometh the hour, cometh the man” when inspirational centre back Adrian Bowens stormed down the field with nine minutes to go and rifled over a fine equaliser. The Cobh boys responded immediately to surge in front again, but a fine point by Brian Lawton a minute later tied the game up again- 2-4 to 0-10. The game was now throbbing with excitement as we entered the final five minutes, and it was that man again Adrian Bowens that put the Reds noses in front with only a minute left on the clock. Surely the Castlemartyr men would hold out now, but no, the Cobh men replied straight away to tie the game up on the 60th minute.

It looked like we were going into extra time but there was time for one more final act of drama. A foul on Eddie Clifford resulted in a free being awarded to the Castlemartyr men. It was about 35 yards out from goal and 10 yards in from the touchline on the right hand side of the field and it was the left footed Maurice Hodnett that stood up to be counted. From the hand he arrowed the ball over the crossbar, that had the umpire reaching for his flag the second it left his boot. Castlemartyr were in front again, and there was time for no more. The Reds were through to a football semi- final, and it was a moment to savour. It may have been a stuttering performance, but in the end the victory was ground out, even when the momentum of the game had swung completely against them.

So it’s back to the hurling again for the next few months, and hopefully by the time the footballers enter the fray again they will have welcomed back a couple more “hurlers” to the fold. Lads, we are a small club, we need everyone who is able to lend a hand.

TEAM. MJ CREMIN, S O DONAVAN, R O DONAVAN, B SMIDDY, BRIAN O TUAMA, A BOWENS(0-2), BARRA O TUAMA, D MCAULLIFFE, O SMIDDY, E CLIFFORD(0-1) J SMIDDY, E O KEEFFE, BARRY LAWTON(1-0), BRIAN LAWTON (0-1) MCE HODNETT(1-2)

Subs used K O LEARY.

NEXT FIXTURE Lisgoold v Castlemartyr in Lisgoold Sunday 23rd May 6.30pm