Castlerea win to keep hopes alive

Hodson Bay Hotel SFC Round 3 (Group A): Castlerea St. Kevin’s 1-8 Clann na nGael 1-6

While it is not panic stations yet, defending champions Clann na nGael will have to win at least one more game in the championship to ensure a place in the play-offs after this surprise defeat at the hands of Castlerea in Ballyleague last Sunday.

  Four late scores from a very determined and resilient Castlerea side saw then edge past the champions to a deserved win in a tight encounter played in poor weather conditions. Fintan Kelly (who was very impressive) scored an early goal after five minutes to help his side into an early four-point lead. Clann hit back with points from Cathal Callinan and a Donie Shine free. But Castlerea were clearly up for the battle, and three further points from Ger Heneghan and Christy Dineen (both frees) saw Nigel Dineen’s men back in charge. But Clann points from Cathal Callinan, Donie Shine (free) and Cathal Shine before half-time saw the score at the break” Castlerea 1-4 Clann 0-5.

   Clann went ahead in the third quarter. Jack Connaughton’s point was followed by a superbly taken goal from sub Ruadhri McManus in the 44th minute and the champions were in control at that stage. But it was Castlerea who dominated the final ten minutes. Ronan Raftery and Christy Dineen points saw the scores level and then Christy Dineen pointed two frees in the final five minutes to give Castlerea a shock win. 

  Clann will now have to ensure that they reach the play-offs as they face St. Brigid’s and Boyle in their final two games. Meanwhile this win puts Castlerea back in with a chance of a play-off place and it will give them great confidence to have beaten the defending champions.

Castlerea St. Kevin’s: G Claffey; D Flahive, N Collins, E Creighton; J Kenny, J Henry, H Rooney; F Kelly (1-0), R Raftery (0-1); S Ryan, O O’Connell, R Curran; C Dineen (0-5), D McDermott, G Heneghan (0-2). Subs: Cathal Dineen for Kenny, S Quinn for Heneghan, D Creighton for Ryan.

Clann na nGael: R O’Reilly; S Pettit, S Flynn, R Gavin; J Connaughton (0-1), D Flynn, D Pettit; G Pettit, C Shine (0-1); C Callinan (0-2), D Shine (0-2), D Connaughton; C McManus, U Harney, J Dunning. Subs: F Lennon for S Pettit, M Scally for D Connaughton, R McManus (1-0) for D Shine, J Fahy for Dunning, R Naughton for Scally.

Referee: Vivian Hardiman.