Castlemartyr GAA Notes

19 June, 2010



ST ITAS.......................................3-6

The final whistle was a welcome sound indeed, for defending champions Castlemartyr, as they had to dig deep to overcome the gutsy challenge of St. Ita's ,in the preliminary round of the East Cork Hurling championship in Copperalley on Friday evening last the 18th of June. With the last act of the game Padraig O Brien, the impressive net minder from Gortroe, and his sides top scorer over the hour, stood over a 30 yard free with the intention of blasting the ball to the net like he had done a couple of minutes previously. Unfortunately for Ita’s his low shot was cleared and the ref blew the final whistle. Castlemartyr had got of jail, and were safely into the third round.

Castlemartyr playing with the aid of a strong breeze were quick off the mark, and raced into a 3 point lead within the first three minutes through Barry Lawton and a brace from Jimmy Smiddy. However this only spurred on the Ita’s men and showing great commitment and passion that was not being matched by the men in Red, equalised through a long range free from goalkeeper Padraig O Brien which found the net from all of 80 yards. Castlemartyr were very sluggish and were guilty of some wayward shooting, and finished with a tally of 7 wides in the first half. A point from the Gortroe men gave them the lead on the 9th minute but a fine Brian O Tuama point, followed by another Jimmy free, restored Castlemartyrs advantage, by the end of the first quarter.

The wide tally continued to creep up during the second quarter and it took until the 24th minute before the Reds scored again, with Eddie Clifford scoring a fine point to make it 6 points to 1-1.But Ita’s almost took the lead a couple of minutes later when the impressive Luke O Brien bore down on goal and looked certain to bellow the net. Out of nowhere Adrian Bowens appeared and got in a vital block to deny the Gortroe man, and the ball trickled out for a 65.This was slotted over, along with a well taken sideline by Gerry McCarthy, but Jimmy Smiddy cancelled these out with a couple of frees to leave it 8 points to 1-3 at the short whistle. A two point lead with the stiff breeze that was blowing didn’t feel like enough at this stage, and it was a worried Castlemartyr outfit that entered the dressing rooms at half time.

The Reds needed to start well in the second half to steady their nerves, and this is exactly what they did when Jimmy Smiddy buried the ball to the net from close range immediately on the restart. If this was a cue for the Gortroe men to fold their tent and wait for the backdoor, they certainly didn’t heed it. They replied quickly with a point, and on the 35th minute got a wonder goal of their own, through their dangerous full forward Seamus Harnedy, when he ran through a wall of Castlemartyr defenders and buried the ball into the far right hand corner. It was now a one point game and Ita’s were hunting in packs. Three of their men were surrounding Castlemartyr men at every opportunity and it looked like it could be their day.

But things started to improve for Castlemartyr on the introduction of Seanie Hennessey on the 38th minute. He began showing for the ball straight away and making things happen around him. Jimmy Smiddy pointed two frees to stretch the lead to 3 again by the 43rd minute, and a fine Evan point made it 1-11 to 2-4.But never say die Ita’s pegged back another couple and as the game entered the final 10 minutes it was only a 2 point game. Castlemartyr’s first touch was poor and some poor options throughout the field were being punished by the Gortroe boys. Finally the Reds put a bit of daylight between the sides when they rattled off 4 unanswered points .Jimmy Smiddy bagged three of these, with one coming from play, and Seanie Hennessey adding another.

Entering the final couple of minutes the Reds now had a 2 goal advantage, and their supporters were starting to relax. But this all changed when Padraig O Brien nearly broke the net following his pile driver from about 25 yards. It was now all to play for again and Ita's went at it hammer and tongs. In fairness to the Castlemartyr rearguard, they were equal to the challenge and they repelled wave after wave of Ita’s attack. But there was to be one last chance for the Gortroe men at the death, when Padraig O Brien addressed another 30 yard free. This time his connection wasn’t as sweet and the relieved Reds rearguard were able to clear their lines. With that the game was over, and it is now on to the third round.


Subs used S HENNESSEY (0-1)