Full marks for Castletown
Published 27/08/2016 | 00:00
Winning the second-half by nine points to one against Starlights in Monamolin on Sunday ensured Castletown finished Group A of the Tom Doyle Supplies Senior football championship with a perfect record.
Castletown 1-12 Starlights 1-6
With nothing on the line, and massive games around the corner for both sides, you might think this dead rubber was akin to a nice little jog in the park. You'd be wrong.
Well, actually, you'd be half right, as the football was pedestrian enough for the most part, although Castletown did put a couple of good moves together in the second-half.
Yet the game was unnecessarily tetchy; Ricky Fox lasted 26 minutes before seeing the line and he was probably a little unfortunate to be the only one.
If his straight red card for striking an opponent holds up, he will miss Starlights' biggest game of the year, their relegation final against Adamstown, the weekend after next. That's not good news for the Bellefield boys, when that game looks finely balanced on paper.
Starlights actually looked better than their four losses would suggest in the opening half. They had a breeze at their backs but it wasn't a substantial one.
Already 0-3 to 0-2 ahead, Darragh Pepper found Eamonn Furlong all alone close to goal and the experienced forward punched past Niall Hempenstall.
When Pepper and Alan Tobin added a couple of nice scores, Starlights led by 1-5 to 0-2.
Indeed, they might have had another one a minute later but Tomás Mahon's attempt was questionably waved wide.
For a team which scores a lot of 'pretty' goals from ruthless passing moves, their only major of this game was a little different.
A long Conor Carty free pinged around and eventually broke to Ross Bealin close to the '13, and he flashed a sweet shot past Lee Murphy.
Fox was gone by the time Brendan Halpin hit the target to cut the gap to two at the interval (1-5 to 1-3).
The Holmes boys were both on target at the start of the second-half but Mossy Mahon scored Starlights' last point in the 38th minute to give his side their final lead.
Only a bit of ping-pong in the Castletown goalmouth with seven minutes to go worried the Gorey District side thereafter. Otherwise it was one-way traffic.
Halpin and James Holmes scored late braces as their side eased past Starlights, with seven minors in a row, to book a quarter-final date with Fethard.
Castletown: Niall Hempenstall; David Deering, Danny Gardiner (capt.), Joe Gardiner; Conor Carty (0-1), Noel Morris, Joe Ahearne; Richard Farrell, Stephen Maloney; Andy Merrigan, Brendan Halpin (0-4, 1 free), Donnacha Holmes (0-3); James Holmes (0-3), Jody O'Shaughnessy, Ross Bealin (1-1). Subs. - Pierce Maxwell for D. Holmes, inj. (43), Risteárd Kinsella for Farrell (45).
Starlights: Lee Murphy; Mel Doyle, Tom Wall, Rory O'Connor; Ricky Fox, Jack Kelly, Anthony Roche; Liam Ryan, Jason Russell (capt., 0-1); Alan Tobin (0-1), Eamonn Furlong (1-0), Ryan Mahon; Darragh Pepper (0-1), Tomás Mahon (0-2), Tommy Foley (0-1 free). Sub. - Kevin Foley for T. Mahon (46).
Referee: Kevin Carty (Sarsfields).