Two-in-a-Row for Castlemartyr

04 September, 2010

East Cork Oil Junior A Hurling Championship Final

Castlemartyr 1-11

Dungourney 1-09

By Derek Kiely

In Killeagh

CASTLEMARTYR completed an historic double, winning the East Cork Oil sponsored Junior A hurling championship last Saturday evening and retained the Jamsey Kelleher Cup by defeating Dungourney by two points in a fiercely contested East Cork final.

As the huge crowds descended on Páirc Uí Chinnéide in Killeagh, they were treated to a game played with passion between these two clubs from the Parish of Imogeela.

Castlemartyr in search of their ninth title started very brightly when Eddie Clifford sent one over almost directly from the throw in and the red and white flags were flying around the ground after just fifteen seconds.

From the resulting puck out Dungourney conceded a free 70 meters out from their goal. Up stepped man of the match Adrian Bowens who struck a monster ball over the bar giving the defending champions a two point lead.

Dungourney got on the scoreboard on the fifth minute when Captain Shane Casey pointed from 30 meters, but there was to be a lull in the scoring for the next seven minutes as both teams battled hard in the middle of the park, but on the twelfth minute Kevin Kelleher levelled the match with a supper score from play on the left wing from a tight angle into the stiff breeze.

This inspired Dungourney and seconds later they had the lead for the first time when the very impressive Martin Wall shot the ball over the bar. Suddenly Dungourney were in control and a long driven ball from Casey was broken down by Frank Hegarty to John Hickey who weaved left and shot the ball hard into the ground. The bounce deceived Dave Fleming in the Castlemartyr goal and the ball flew into the net for a goal sending the Dungourney supporters wild.

Shane Casey was like an orchestra conductor at this stage controlling all the Dungourney attacks and when he sent a huge shot over on the seventeenth minute, suddenly Dungourney had a five point lead.

Castlemartyr needed to get something quick to stay in touch and Adrian Bowens provided the score of the match on the 21st minute, when he picked up the ball on his own ‘40’ avoided a tackle and from about 70 meters out he sent a fabulous ball over the bar, much to the relief of the Castlemartyr supporters.

Casey restored the five point margin just two minutes later with a pointed free, but Castlemartyr finished the second half with two late scores. Jimmy Smiddy from play and Barry Lawton on the stroke of half time leaving a goal between the sides.

The second half was a nervy affair, with both sides exchanging two points each before the real turning point in the game happened on the 42nd minute when a long ball was fielded by Evan O’Keefe and the Castlemartyr full forward showed great strength and skill breaking off the defensive tackles he made no mistake in driving the ball into the Dungourney net, giving Kevin Hegarty no chance.

The sides exchanged two further points each to leave the teams level, but in the last two minutes of this final, Castlemartyr showed why they are so good at closing out games with a super cool Jimmy Smiddy point and then a rasper from Barry Lawton to seal the deal and earn a place in the County Championships as the Imokilly Division representatives.

CASTLEMARTYR Manager Seamus Lawton was thrilled with the victory at the end of a very tough and testing game, he told Evening Echo Sport “The commitment was brilliant. We started back in January and fella’s changed shift work, they did everything they could to be at training and the commitment was fantastic, I couldn’t believe that they could be so hungry again and I suppose all year we only barely got through matches but it was worth it because these are the days you look forward to”.

Dungourney had Lawton worried at the small whistle after a good first half performance and the Castlemartyr dressing room was a nervy place to be at the break but Lawton had tremendous belief in his men as he explained “At half time we were very worried after shooting seven wides and you cannot have that many wides on the wind, but we talked about our performance scores and we knew we had to tear into it in the second half. We knew that it was going to be very tough, Dungourney are a very good team and this was a tough battle and a physical game and fitness came into it as well, but we have an excellent physical trainer in Martin McSweeny from Midleton and he has been doing our physical training for the past two years and I think that came into it in the end”.

Lawton agreed that the key moment was the Evan O’Keefe goal “That was the key moment in the final. Evan’s goal was a brilliant goal and Evan is the type of player that can come up trumps on the big day”.

In regards to Castlemartyr’s County Championship ambitions Lawton is as modest as ever “I don’t know what way it is for this year, but I can tell you we will definitely have a go at it”.

STORY OF THE GAME

MAN OF THE MATCH: ADRIAN Bowens was superb throughout. He defended and attacked brilliantly and scored two long range points that any Inter County player would be proud of.

SCORE OF THE MATCH: ADRIAN Bowens put over a crucial point for Castlemartyr on the 21st minute at a time when his team needed something special to keep in touch with Dungourney.

TURNING POINT: EVAN O’Keefe’s goal was the crucial moment in this match. There was at least a one goal margin was between the sides for the best part of 25 minutes and it gave Castlemartyr belief.

TALKING POINT: SEAMUS Lawton’s tactical changes in the second half were inspired. Smiddy roaming into the corner gave Brian Lawton room to manoeuvre some key passes and Castlemartyr had a better balance.

Scorers for Castlemartyr: J Smiddy and Barry Lawton 0-4 each, E O’Keefe 1-0, A Bowens 0-2 (1f) E Clifford 0-1

Dungourney: S Casey 0-5 (3f) J Hickey 1-0, M Wall and Kevin Kelleher 0-2 each

CASTLEMARTYR: D Fleming; O Smiddy, R O’Donovan, Barra O’Tuama; D O’Keefe, B Smiddy, A Bowens; P Horgan(Cpt) Brian Lawton; J Smiddy, S Hennessy, Brian O’Tuama; Barry Lawton, E O’Keefe, E Clifford.

Sub: M Bowens for P Horgan (38)

DUNGOURNEY: K Hegarty; A Kelleher, M Hegarty, E Ahern; J Ronayne, J Leahy, D Ahern; M Wall, B Rodgers; Kenneth Kelleher, Kevin Kelleher, S Casey; K Rohan, F Hegarty, J Hickey.

Subs: M Hickey for John Hickey (Half time) P Kelleher for K Rohan (48) M Hennessy for B Rodgers (57)

Referee: Cathal McAlister (Aghada)