Harrington rescues Castletown in thriller

ONE hundred miles west of Cork city in beautiful Cahermore, two of Beara’s great rivals fought themselves to a standstill for the right to meet Kildorrery in the IFC semi-final.

Many of the players were together on the 2006 Beara County U21 winning side, but, on Saturday, the parish boundaries were tightly drawn in a first meeting between the sides in championship since 1974.

Close to 2,000 spectators crammed into the venue to see Lorcan Harrington tap over an injury-time free to bring the tie to a replay.

A draw was arguably a fair result, though Adrigole looked marginally more threatening in attack and, only for moments of profligate shooting, the 2006 county junior champions might have been preparing for a county semi-final this week. But, their coach, John Crowley had no complaints afterwards: “This was Beara football down to a tee and a great advert for the game in the division — hard fought and honest but we have no complaints. We live to fight another day.”

His counterpart Jimmy Murphy, meanwhile, was looking forward to the replay. “This was real local stuff, but a fair sporting contest between two teams that know each other inside out. A draw was a fair result and, while I thought we got on top in the second half, Adrigole showed great resilience.”

No-one led more than man-of-the-match Kieran Greene O’Sullivan and their captain Darragh Carey, while Brendan Ger O’Sullivan was the conduit to a majority of their attacks. The former Cork senior worked tirelessly but struck five wides. Inside him, his brother Kevin Ger was unerring from frees, while Aidan Cremin showed a cool head in directing home a 17th minute goal.

Castletownbere had top performers too in Ciarán Murphy, Donagh B O’Sullivan and Donagh Wiseman, while Cork senior panellist Andrew O’Sullivan gave a strong first-half performance.

Adrigole settled quicker, when Kevin Ger O’Sullivan angled over a point and a free inside six minutes, but their early dominance was soon undone by some slack defending. CTB’s Alan Harrington was allowed pick out his namesake Seamus, standing in isolation on the edge of the square, and the full-forward goaled from close range.

This score kick-started CTB’s challenge, and the ‘Town increased their lead when Andrew O’Sullivan pointed a long range free and Donagh Wiseman, though unbalanced, then managed to curl over a left-footed point.

Adrigole were living dangerously in defence, but in the 17th minute found themselves back in contention when Aidan Cremin latched onto a breaking ball 20 metres from goal and dispatched soccer-style to the bottom corner.

Inspired by Brendan Ger, Carey and Kieran Greene O’Sullivan, Adrigole increased their lead to two when Gerard Greene and Cremin tacked on scores and almost registered another goal when Brendan Ger palmed a ball towards the net, but Donal Kelly was alert to clear the danger. Lorcan Harrington got one back for CTB to leave it stand 1-4 to 1-2 at half time.

The standard of football may have dropped after the break but the intensity levels never dipped. Dean Murphy (CTB) and Kevin Ger swapped points before Lorcan Harrington curled over an audacious effort from the sideline to level matters for a third time. When Kevin Ger and Trevor Collins added points in the 45th and 49th minutes to restore parity once again, a draw looked very much on the cards.

The game remained scoreless during the next exciting 10 minutes until Kevin Ger landed a 59th minute free. But, in the ensuing attack, Seamus Harrington won a free which his namesake, Lorcan, tapped over to bring a wonderful spectacle to a close.

Scorers for Adrigole: K Ger O’Sullivan 0-5 (0-4 frees), A Cremin 1-1, G Greene 0-1.

Scorers for Castletownbere: L Harrington 0-3 (0-2 frees, 0-1 s/line), S Harrington 1-0; A O’Sullivan (free), D Wiseman, D Murphy and T Collins 0-1 each.

ADRIGOLE: M Phil O’Sullivan; J Goggin, Sean Joe O’Sullivan, Shane Greene O’Sullivan; Pat Batt O’Sullivan, D Carey (capt), B Goggin; T O’Shea, Paul O’Sullivan; K Greene O’Sullivan, B Ger O’Sullivan, G Greene; A Cremin, E Ger O’Sullivan, K Ger O’Sullivan. Subs: P Goggin for O’Shea (50 mins), F Carey for E Ger O’Sullivan (54), L Harrington for Cremin (56).

CASTLETOWNBERE: A ‘Darb’ O’Sullivan; D Kelly, E Wisemen, B Harrington; D Wiseman, D B O’Sullivan, C Murphy; A O’Sullivan (capt), T Collins; B O’Regan, P Harrington, D Murphy; A Harrington, S Harrington, L Harrington.

Subs: D Kelly for D Murphy (49), J P Sheehan for A Harrington (54).

Referee: C Lane (Banteer).

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