Castletown power home
Castletown had too much power for an understrength Horeswood side, eventually emerging with an eight-point victory in this All-County Football League Division 1 semi-final in Horeswood on Tuesday.
Castletown 1-17 Horeswood 0-12
The home side's chances of springing a victory were undone by the absence of a number of key players, with up to six missing due to a variety of circumstances. As a result experimental Castletown eventually took control, producing some excellent football along the way to an impressive victory.
The visitors opened impressively with a series of promising attacks that produced three points through Ross Bealin (two) and Jody O'Shaughnessy to lead by 0-3 to 0-1 after twelve minutes, with the Horeswood point arriving in between through Dale Flynn.
With David Shannon lofting over a long-range point followed by a Flynn '45, the sides were level on 0-3 apiece at the end of the opening quarter.
After a David Shannon free had pointed the home side in front, Castletown took the initiative in the closing ten minutes of the half, adding points through Bealin (two), Anthony Masterson (two, one free) and Donnacha Holmes to lead by 0-8 to 0-5 at the interval, with Horeswood's final point of the half courtesy of Waterford United soccer player Mikie Rowe.
The seasoned Anthony Masterson pointed the way forward for his side with two early efforts from play, while in the 34th minute he saw his point attempt rebound off the upright, leaving Donnacha Holmes with the simple task of punching to the net from close range and giving his side a comfortable 1-9 to 0-5 lead.
Castletown experienced a spell of total dominance as they moved into a 1-14 to 0-8 lead by the end of the third quarter, with only points from David Shannon and Leigh O'Brien keeping the home side's scoreboard ticking over.
With the game appearing to have slipped away, Horeswood managed a late charge that saw Dale Flynn, Shane O'Hanlon, David Shannon and Flynn once again kick points, reducing the deficit to 1-14 to 0-12.
However, Castletown finished strongly with points from Noel Morris and Pierce Maxwell, while Darren Shannon saw a goal attempt crash back off the crossbar with the 'keeper beaten at the other end.
Castletown: Niall Hempenstall; David Deering (0-1), Danny Gardiner, Joe Ahearne; Pierce Maxwell (0-1), Brendan Halpin (0-1), Danny Dixon; Richard Farrell, Jody O'Shaughnessy (0-1); Donnacha Holmes (1-2), Noel Morris (0-1), James Holmes; Ross Bealin (0-5), Aaron Condren, Anthony Masterson (0-5, 1 free). Subs. - Joe Gardiner for J. Holmes, Liam Condren for D. Holmes, Seán Roche for A. Condren, Robert Brooks for Bealin.
Horeswood: Conor Swaine; Gavin Murphy, Seán Stafford, Lorcan O'Brien; Eddie Shiely, Darren Shannon, Ryan Harris; Shane O'Hanlon (0-1), Dale Flynn (0-4, 1 free, 1 '45); David Shannon (0-5, 3 frees), Leigh O'Brien (0-1), Mikie Rowe (0-1); Kevin Parker, John Bradley, Eric Banville. Subs. - Cian Gleeson for Rowe, Jim Wall for Banville, Eoin Murphy for Parker.
Referee: Kevin Carty (Sarsfields).