Castlebar made it through to the second round of the junior Cup by virtue of their win played under lights at Castlebar on Friday night. But it was anything but easy. Dunmore’s ability to spoil caused many headaches for the home following and Castlebar only pulled ahead late in the game.
The opening twenty minutes saw no score and very few moments of note as Dunmore belied their status of underdogs with a strong start, using a strong pack to cause problems on several occasions. Castlebar tried to make the running but could not come up with the necessary opening. The opening itself came as half time approached. An attempt by Dunmore to play the ball was intercepted by Mike Power who out ran the defence to score Castlebar’s first try. Jason Keane, in for the injured Olsen, scored the conversion to give his side a little bit of breathing space. It was the only moment of note in the first half and as the referee blew for half time, it was Dunmore that looked the happier, knowing that they played out of their skins.
The second half however dashed any chance of a shock result when the Castlebar pack en bloc drove to the line. The ball ended with Christy Cusack who touched down after just 90 seconds. Dunmore needed a score to get back into the game, and did so after eight minutes when Castlebar were penalised for offside. Full Back Fergal Corcoran kicked the points to reduce the lead. But it was only momentarily as Keane added a penalty of his own after 16. Nine minutes later the game was as good as over, Castlebar drove Dunmore back and in a move that featured McInnes, Keane and Cusack was passed out to Marty McNicholas who used his pace to score his third try in three weeks. Keane added the points and castlebar were now flying. Four minutes from time Gordon McInnes, for many times the architect of Castlebar moves added one of his own and sealed Dunmore’s season. Keane added the points once more to put a gloss on the result.
Dunmore may feel disappointed but they gave as good as they got, only falling to Castlebar’s class in the end. Castlebar on the other hand will not be happy for the way that they failed to come into the game until quite late. But they will get a chance to recharge the batteries ahead of their quarter final clash in a couple of weeks.
Castlebar: R Cusack, S O’Malley, M McNicholas, M Power, P Coady, J Keane, C Cusack. B Kelly, P Durcan, A Goor, G Barry, P Heverin, G Prendegast, M Campbell, G McInnes. Replacements used: K Cox for Kelly, S Devaney for Power.
Dunmore: F Corcoran, G McWalter, P Glennon, E Ford, J Ronayne, B Forde, J Fleming. G McKermitt, P Coyne, P Keaveney, P Reddington, A Glennon, B Byrne, G Kelly, B Egan. Replacement: N Silke for Fleming.
Referee: Brian McGrath (CBIRFU)