Cahalane goal crucial in Castlehaven victory
Castlehaven had to call on all their survival instincts when faced with next to impossible conditions of driving wind, rain and piercing cold and a brave Stradbally challenge in an intriguing Munster Club semi-final in Clonakilty yesterday.
The Cork champions, the red-hot favourites, trailed by three points, 0-6 to 0-3, with only 11 minutes’ regulation time remaining as 852 spectators looked on. But they got a stroke of luck when Damien Cahalane, who switched to midfield from centre-back during the second half, launched in a high ball which Stradbally goalkeeper Oliver Costello fumbled and Seán Cahalane pounced on the loose ball to stroke home the all-important goal.
Damien Cahalane found the range from 40 metres to give his side the lead for the first time a minute later.
Castlehaven looked to have secured victory with a Mark Collins point in the 59th minute.
But battling Stradbally forced their opponents to endure some anxious moments before the final whistle sounded.
Niall Curran curled over a neat free into the elements on the call of the hour to cut the deficit to the minimum and there was still time for Stradbally to launch one last desperate bid to force extra-time, but the ’Haven’s defence stood firm.
It was tough on Stradbally, particularly as they dominated the first-half establishing a five-point cushion though nine wides didn’t help their cause.
David Gray and Shane Ahearne gave them the lead before Sean Dineen grabbed ’Haven’s only score of the first half as Stradbally added four more without reply through Ger Power, a magnificent Paddy Kiely effort and pointed frees from the Ahearne, Shane and Robert. Shane Nolan and Brian Hurley kicked key scores to reduce the deficit for Crosshaven before Cahalane pounced for the crucial goal.