Castlegar took on Kinvara on Friday evening (June 8th) in a must win Group B encounter at Kenny Park.

Both teams lost their opening group games, so a win was vital to their chances of making the quarter finals. Castlegar were in the better position though having gotten group favourites Portumna out of the way first. The last time these teams met in the championship was a relegation playoff at the end of last season, with Castlegar winning after a replay. But such is the convoluted world of GAA administration that nobody will have been very surprised to see the square up again the very next season.

Cashel supporters were confident before this fixture, after all recent results indicated Kinvara would struggle to put up a match winning points tally and Castlegar were unlikely to leak goals. But so much for the script! Kinvara started the game strongly, but despite a nervy start Cashel kept with them to begin with. Then Kinvara got in for an early goal. Kinvara leading 1:03 to 0:03 midway through the first half against the wind must have been well pleased with things. But Cashel shook off their early nerves and took over for the rest of the half. Using the breeze to full advantage they put over some excellant scores from play and from frees. Ten unanswered points left the half time score at 1:03 to 0:13. Cashel were well worth the lead and the supporters felt they would push on from here to win comfortably.

However just as in the first half Kinvara got an early goal. An excellant goal from Enda Concannon seemed to have put Cashel back in the driving seat, but then Kinvara went on a goal spree putting away two more to leave the score at 1:16 to 4:05 after twenty minutes of the half. It was edge of the seat stuff from there to the finish with Kinvara chipping away at Castlegar's lead and Cashel just about keeping them at arms length. 1:18 to Castlegar 4:08 to Kinvara.

The bare minimum in the end, but despite the defensive jitters a deserved win, which gives us a chance to progress. It all depends on which Castlegar show up next time. The Castlegar of the second quarter who moved the ball around and scored at will have every chance against Craughwell. But the Castlegar who leaked goals like a sieve will struggle to keep the score respectable. Its been a good season so far though. Way back when the new format was announced if you asked any Castlegar supporter where they would like to be in early June they would have been happy to have made the group stages and still be in control of their own destiny going into the last game. So onwards on upwards one seventy minute performance away from a quarter final is a good place to be.