Castlemartyr win ‘B’ Football Title
Castlemartyr 2-5 White’s Cross 1-5
The red jersey of Castlemartyr has been a garment of grandeur inEast Cork hurling for the better part of a half a century, howeverit has never been worn with greater distinction than at Cobh onSunday last where “the Reds” against the expectations of themajority, captured the ‘B’ football title at the gallant Whites Crossexpense.
This was a magnificent match, quite the best club football gamethat I have seen this year, as two sides gave everything to winthis final game of the season. It was a sternly contested affair allthe way, and while no quarter was asked for or given it was verysportingly contested. It may not have produced football in theclassic mould, but it was packed with interest and excitingincident piled on incident in a see-saw struggle that is the verystuff of championship fare. In the heel of the hunt Castlemartyr,fitter and more constructive, got the match-winning score sevenminutes from normal time as they strained every muscle andevery nerve in a bid to get an equalising point. The move turnedup trumps for the ‘Reds’ as the ball ended up in the net and try asWhites Cross did, they could not get close enough to theCastlemartyr goal to save the game.
So the late goal gave Castlemartyr their first ever football title atadult level, but what a big part the referee played in the score,Brian O’Meara who had just come on as a substitute gainedpossession some forty yards from Whites Cross goal, he wasfouled and stood for his free however the referee waved play inand O’Meara soloed on to pass to Finbarr Murphy who made nomistake from close range to give Castlemartyr the lead backwhich they held until the final whistle.
Castlemartyr opened as though they would toy with Whites Crosschallenge. They made all the early running thanks to OllieMoloney dominating mid field and when they raced into a sixpoint lead looked all set to score the most comprehensive of wins.Seanie Bowes, Finbarr Murphy and Ollie Moloney , the outstandingtrio in this campaign, got the early points while in a hecticonslaught on the Whites Cross goal, Joe Morgan was cut off as hedrove into score, as was F. Murphy, before Seanie Bowes pickedup, to slip inside two tackles and crash the ball to the net. In thesecond quarter Whites Cross with Ricky Burke inspiring themgradually got back into the game, points from Tom Hickey andfine fisted effort by Mick Murphy and Pat Collins cut the deficit toa goal as they displayed a refreshing and confident approach infact they were unlucky not to be on level terms when Liam Bowenfisted an Andrew Hickey cross off the cross bar just before thebreak. Whites Cross, however restarted in tremendous fashion,they had to get to grips with the game as playing with the windthey failed to push home the advantage. Andrew Hickey bootingfirst time on a Joe Murphy clearance put the ball over the bar, apoor kick our followed, Tom Hickey collected to slip inside the fullback and goal to give Whites Cross the lead for the first time after36 minutes of play.
Ollie Moloney levelled the game as the see-saw struggle began,Whites Cross got their noses in front when Pat Collins collecting aside line kick scored a smashing point, and they kept in front untilseven minutes from the end when Murphy goaled and SeanieBowens finished the scoring with a point and victory going toCastlemartyr.
Essentially a team effort, Castlemartyr must nevertheless hold aspecial place of honour for Ollie Moloney whose inspirationalrunning was a decisive factor, not far behind him was SeanieBowens, he was always in the thick of things, as was FinbarrMurphy, Liam McLellan, Tom O’Shea, Liam Collins, Joe Murphyand Willie Moran, despite a shaky start.
One could not but have had sympathy for Whites Cross, but thetruth of the matter was that a lot of their players were not suitedto the heavy going, as they looked a very good side during theSummer months. The absence of John Sullivan and Ger McEvoywas a loss, yet they can have few excuses as they lead sevenminutes from time. It must feel terrible to be on the losing side ofboth ‘B’ finals, certainly the pain must have been greater for RickyBurke, John Cooke, Pat Collins, Andrew Hickey and A. Crowley.
Castlemartyr: L. Guilfoyle, W. Moran, J. Murphy, D. Guilfoyle, L.McLellan, K. Curtain, T. O’Shea, S. Bowens, 1-2; L. Collins, F.Murphy, 1-1; O. Moloney, 0-2; J. Morgan, J. Whyte, D. McGovern,B. Hennessy. Subs: L. Wade, B. O’Meara.
Whites Cross: G. Brady, J. Fitzgerald, J. Cooke, A. Crowley, V.Ring, R. Burke, A. Moylan, P. Collins, 0-2; G. O’Leary, A. Hickey,J. Crowley, D. McEvoy, T. Hickey, M. Murphy, Subs: J. Callaghan.