Castlegar v Craughwell, 15 July 2012. Last group game and a must win tie for both clubs.

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This was effectively the knockout stage of the championship come early, with the winners joining Portumna in the quarterfinals and the losers exiting the championship. Cashel laid the foundation for their victory with a steady and consistent first half performance. The conditions were better than expected with a sunshine for most of the game, but a diagonal breeze favoured Cashel in the first half. There was little between the teams for the first fifteen minutes with Craughwell leading 0:08 to 0:07 at that point, but as the half wore on they struggled to maintain their momentum scoring only once more in the half. Castlegar on the other hand kept the scoreboard ticking over steadily, playing in a composed manner. Cashel didn't go without scoring for more than four minutes at any point in the half and the 0:14 to 0:09 half time score didn't flatter them. Indeed that was the main worry of supporters at the interval, that five points mightn't be enough given the breeze and the scoring talent available to Craughwell.
Castlegar struggled to maintain their consistent scoring rate against the wind and after two early scores they had a ten minute barren spell, but Craughwell failed to take advantage thanks to Cashels determined defending. At the three quarter point Castlegar still led by a five point margin 0:17 to 0:12 and while Craughwell put in a huge effort to overcome that gap they never got closer than three and never really threatened to get the goal they needed in the closing stages. A snap shot at one point had John Conner diving to his left hand post, but the sliotar went wide and John looked to have it covered had it been on target. Other than that Connor's goal was never threatened whereas at the other end Cashel had a couple of opportunities which might have gone in on another day. So there can be no denying the win went to the most deserving team, Cashel were confident and comfortable throughout and seemed to have more in the tank.
An upset of sorts, the papers having tipped Craughwell to take second spot in the group, but Castlegar have played well all season and will have a lash regardless of who they draw in the quarter final. Well done to all concerned.