Having lost last year’s final to Kinsale, the Town were struggling as they lost their opening two games of this year’s campaign to Kanturk and Adrigole, but a resurgence now sees them in the decider, with Éire Óg their opponents next Sunday week.
Superb displays in midfield from man of the match Dave Fenton and former Cork panellist Andrew O’Sullivan provided the platform for the win, while in full-forward Alan O’Regan, another who wore a Cork shirt once upon a time, they had a valuable target man.
With a slender 0-5 to 0-4 lead at half time — albeit after a first half into the wind — Castletownbere were hardly certainties for the win, especially as Adrigole’s Kevin Goggin tied the scores in the 32nd minute.
The next time Adrigole would score, however, was in the 58th minute (from Brendan Jer O’Sullivan), by which time Castletownbere had stretched their lead to 0-10 to 0-6.
A pair of wonderful points from Fenton, who finished with four, sealed the win for Castletownbere, providing a nice symmetry as the second-round game in June had gone to Adrigole by the same margin.
Here, they were frustrated though, especially after half time, as the Castletownbere full-back line of the Wiseman brothers, Donagh and Enda, and Lorcan Harrington was exceptionally tidy. Scoring chances were hard to come by and when they did, Adrigole were wasteful, no player scoring more than once from play.
Such discipline was pleasing for CTB manager Morgan O’Sullivan.
“Our boys applied very good pressure on Adrigole when they had the wind,” he said. “We made it hard for them to get shots at goal, any shot they made was under pressure. We were lucky, we had a few long-range ones in the second half which went over.”
Castletownbere’s lead had been extended to three points, 0-8 to 0-5, by the time Adrigole defender Liam Harrington was unlucky to be sent off for a second yellow card in the 48th minute, and Fenton piled on the agony when he produced an amazing kick to convert the resultant free.
When sub Sean Bán O’Sullivan made it a five-point game in the closing stages, Castletownbere were more or less assured of another final appearance, Fenton putting the icing on the cake with his brace.
The sending-off of Dean Murphy, who had scored two points, for a pair of bookings did little to dampen the mood.
Scorers for Castletownbere: D Fenton 0-4 (2f), A O’Regan, D Murphy 0-2 each, S O’Regan, G Healy, T Collins, S Bán O’Sullivan 0-1 each.
Scorers for Adrigole: K Goggin (2f), B Jer O’Sullivan (1f) 0-2 each, D Harrington, L Harrington 0-1 each.
CASTLETOWNBERE: J Power; E Wiseman, D Wiseman, L Harrington; D Bán O’Sullivan, T Collins, S McCarthy; A O’Sullivan, D Fenton; D Murphy, S O’Regan, L Hanley; J Walsh, A O’Regan, G Healy.
Subs: S Bán O’Sullivan for Walsh (45), C Murphy for McCarthy (53), D Nolan for S O’Regan (58).
ADRIGOLE: W O’Sullivan; C O’Shea, T O’Shea, M O’Neill; L Harrington, S O’Shea, K O’Sullivan Greene; B Goggin, B Jer O’Sullivan; J Goggin, K Jer O’Sullivan, G Green; D Harrington, K Goggin, T Joe O’Sullivan.
Subs: S Joe O’Sullivan for B Goggin (h-t), S O’Sullivan for K Goggin (54).
Referee: P O’Leary (Kilmurry).