Carbery will rue some wild shooting late in the game, but Castlehaven’s never-say-die spirit was rewarded with a final berth against Nemo Rangers.
Castlehaven had the strong wind at their backs and Cork senior star Brian Hurley pointed two early frees. Declan Barron responded with a free for Carbery before the game’s first goal chance.
Alan O’Connor stormed up the middle and crashed a shot off the bar and Barron obliged with a point off the rebound. It was a fair warning – on nine minutes Rory Deane soloed through before finishing well to the net, a valuable score against the stiff breeze.
Hurley answered with another pointed free, making it 1-2 to 0-3 on 10 minutes. The ’Haven were ahead on 15 minutes, though, thanks to Sean and Damien Cahalane points, the latter a fine effort from distance, and then an excellent solo effort from Brian Hurley.
Brian O’Driscoll drove a 45 into the wind to tie it up for Carbery, and then Shane Nolan and a Damien Cahalane (45) pushed Castlehaven out to a 0-8 to 1-3 lead on 25 minutes.
The divisional side struck again, however – a long ball into the Castlehaven defence deceived everyone but Alan O’Connor, who passed to sub Michael Cahalane, and the Bandon clubman finished calmly to the net.
With a minute to the break Damien Cahalane curled over the equaliser and another Hurley free put the club side ahead, but in injury time Carbery opened up their opponents’ defence once more and Mark Sugrue tied it up – 2-4 to 0-10.
Carbery restarted with a good Brian O’Driscoll point and Castlehaven struggled to come to terms with the wind until Brian Hurley created a goal out of nothing on 36 minutes. The full-forward lost control of the ball coming in the end line but a clever pull-back was finished to the net with a first-time strike by Shane Nolan – 1-10 to 2-5.
Declan Barron cut the deficit with a free and sub Stephen O’Mahony levelled on 41 minutes, but disaster struck the divisional side then, with Brian O’Driscoll departing on a second yellow.
Barron steepled over a free from the wing to push Carbery one ahead as the game entered the final quarter, and when he added another free it looked dark for Castlehaven. Stephen Hurley cut the deficit to one, though, with 10 minutes left and Brian Hurley levelled the game three minutes after that.
Barron managed to push Carbery one ahead with a fine effort from play, but the divisional side also hit three poor wides in this period when they might have made the game safe.
When the ’Haven won a free with four minutes left quick thinking by Brian Hurley left Eoin Dennehy one-on-one with the ‘keeper Pat Prendergast, but the goalie saved well, and Hurley missed a free awarded in the ensuing passage of play.
There was still time for David Limrick to storm upfield and level, however, and then Hurley was grounded going through, which resulted in a red card for Colm O’Driscoll – and the winning point from the ensuing free from Hurley.
Scorers for Castlehaven: B. Hurley 0-7 (0-4 fs); S. Nolan 1-1; D. Cahalane (0-1 45) 0-3; Stephen Hurley, S. Cahalane, D. Limrick 0-1 each.
Scorers for Carbery: D. Barron 0-6 (0-4 fs); R. Deane and M. Cahalane 1-0 each; B. O’Driscoll 0-2 (0-1 45); S. O’Mahony and M. Sugrue 0-1 each.
CASTLEHAVEN: P Hurley; L. Collins, D. Limrick, T. O’Leary; D. Cahalane, R. Whelton, C. Hayes; S. Dineen, D. Hurley; J. Davis, M. Collins, Stephen Hurley; S Cahalane (c), B. Hurley, S. Nolan.
Subs: S. Collins for Whelton (blood 7-10); M. Hurley for S. Dinneen, HT; Shane Hurley for J. Davis, 37; E. Dennehy for S. Nolan, 47; D. Hegarty for C. Hayes, 58.
CARBERY: P. Prendergast (Bandon); K. Harrington (Bantry Blues), E. Sexton (Kilbrittain), P. Murphy (Bandon); J. Wall (Kilbrittain), J. O’Donovan (Bandon), B. O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaigh); A. O’Connor (St. Colums), G. Canty (Bantry Blues); R. Deane (Bantry Blues), C. O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaigh) (c), M. Sugrue (Bandon); D. Barron (Bantry Blues), G. O’Shea (Bantry Blues), K. O’Sullivan (Kilmacabea).
Subs: M. Cahalane (Bandon) for G. O’Shea, 21, S. O’Mahony (Gabriel Rangers) for K. O’Sullivan HT.
Referee: C. Murphy (Nemo Rangers).