Glory for Castlemagner

Castlemagner 0-14 Rathpeacon 1-7
Underdogs Castlemagner blitzed Rathpeacon to claim the Junior B hurling title, a first county title at adult level in 48 years.

It had been a long wait for the Duhallow club, but as club secretary Stephanie O’Leary said, it was ultimately worth it.

“We won the county junior A in 1954,” she said, “so it had been a while, alright. We got to his final in 2007 and drew with St Ita’s before they beat us in a replay by four points.

“That was a bitter pill, but to win one after losing one makes it all the sweeter.”

Now, they hope to build on the success at junior A level in Duhallow.

“We definitely will,” Stephanie said.

“It’s a very young side and we’re putting in huge work at underage, so hopefully it will all pay off.”

Both sides have had their fair share of heartache in this competition but the youthful north-east side settled fastest on this occasion.

Full-forward Brian Barry ended the game with 11 points, 10 from placed balls, which did much to help Castlemagner’s cause.

Castlemagner could have been much further ahead were it not for the brilliance of Rathpeacon goalkeeper Denis Murphy, who brought off two vital saves.

Former Cork City soccer player George O’Callaghan did find the net for Rathpeacon in the closing stages, but the goal had come five minutes too late, as the game was beyond them by then.

Rathpeacon had taken the opening point through midfielder Brian Quinlan but a flurry of frees provided Castlemagner with a chance to kick clear.

Two points from Barry and a point from play from Conor Murphy edged them 0-3 to 0-1 clear by the 14th minute.

Rathpeacon’s Cian Clifford was attempting to stem the tide at centre-back but Rathpeacon’s attack were struggling to maintain possession.

Barry added a brace, Jack Cott raised a white flag from 65 yards and Castlemagner were five points to the good heading for the half-time whistle.

Barry embellished the 0-8 to 0-2 half-time scoreline immediately after the restart and pointed a 65’ to put Castlemagner 0-9 to 0-3 clear.

O’Callaghan, moved to full-forward, broke the Castlemagner defence in the next exchange but his effort went the wrong side of the crossbar.

O’Callaghan persevered for his and Rathpeacon’s first goal, with eight minutes remaining, but Castlemagner held their nerve to win by four.

Scorers for Castlemagner: B Barry 0-11(0-6f, 0-4’65), C Murphy, J Cott, S Falvey 0-1 each.

Rathpeacon: A O’Brien 0-5f, G O’Callaghan 1-1, B Quinlan 0-1.

CASTLEMAGNER: S Kerrigan; K O’Mahony, A Lucey, D Meade; P Gayer, D O’Mahoney, C O’Sullivan; D Gayer, Dl Gayer, C Murphy, S Falvey, A Morrissey; J Cott, B Barry, A Gould.

Sub: G Punch for A Gould (50)

RATHPEACON: D Murphy; T Furey, S Ahern, R McGinn; P O’Neill, C Clifford, B Hallissey; B Ahern, B Quinlan; G O’Callaghan, A O’Brien, D O’Sullivan; S Teehan, R O’Riordan, B McGinn.

Subs: E Leahy for S Teehan (ht)

Referee: M Sheehy (Shanballymore).

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