posted 9 Nov 2014, 08:48 by Matthew Ryan   [ updated 10 Nov 2014, 05:58 ]

GARRYCASTLE 1-11          EMMET ÓG 1-10

Garrycastle advanced to the Leinster Senior Club semi-final with a close fought win over the Longford champions, Emmet Óg, but they had to stage a comeback in both halves and a disallowed goal from Emmet Óg at the very end. Garrycastle will now meet Dublin and All Ireland champions St Vincents in two weeks in a Dublin venue (most likely Parnell Park).


It was Emmet Óg who had the better start but hit a couple of wides from scoring positions in their initial attacks. Some indecision in the Garrycastle defence saw possession surrendered and they were punished as Emmet Óg created and scored a goal in the 2nd minute of play. Dessie Dolan got Garrycastle off the mark with a point from play soon after. The same player was cynically fouled in a promising attack, which resulted in a black card for an Emmet Óg defender, and Dessie pointed from the resulting free. Emmert Óg had a point from a free but Dessie Dolan also pointed for Garrycastle from a free. The sides were level in the 18th minute when Dessie Dolan pointed from a sharp angle. Emmet Óg forged ahead again soon after with a point from play but James Dolan responded with a point for Garrycastle. Another pointed free pushed Emmet Óg ahead as the half time break approached. However, a point from a free by Dessie Dolan, which was followed soon after with one from open play by substitute, Michael Monaghan, pushed Garrycastle ahead for the first time. There was sufficient time left for Emmet Óg to level matters with a point from a close range free in the third minute of added time. The half time score 1-4 to 0-7.

Damian Rushe was introduced for Conor Cosgrove for the second half and was soon in action linking up play. However, it was Emmet Óg who again had the better start and hit over two fine points in the opening ten minutes of the half to lead by the same margin. A pointed free from Michael Monaghan reduced the gap. Emmet Óg responded with a point from play. Garrycastle worked a fine move out of their defence and joint-captain Mark McCallon, was on hand to finish to the Emmet Óg net in the 46th minute and propel Garrycastle into the lead. Another substitute, James Duignan, fired over a point to increase the Garrycastle lead, as the game entered the final 10 minutes. Emmet Óg responded with a point of their own to reduce the gap to just 1 again soon after. Gary McCallon broke forward, just as he had in the Westmeath final, to fire over a fine point but Emmet Óg responded with a point from a free. The sides were level in the 57th minute when Emnmet Óg pointed from open play. However, in the final minute of ordinary time Dessie Dolan made room on the right and fired over a wonderful point at the Dunne’s Store end of Cusack Park to put his side ahead again. There was some late drama as Emmet Óg worked the ball forward and somehow it was finished to the Garrycastle net. However, the Referee following consultation with his umpires and linesman, awarded a free out much to the delight of the Garrycastle followers. The final whistle sounded soon after and Garrycastle had won a close affair by the slimmest of margins.


The game was closely fought throughout, but in the end it was the greater experience of the Garrycastle side that saw them through against a young and skilful Emmet Óg side. Cathal Mullin was solid in goal and was well supported by Jack Donoghue, Mark McCallon, John Gaffey and Gary McCallon in defence. Aidan Browne made a number of fine catches and set up several scores. Dessie Dolan was the main man in attack, again showing his full range of footballing skills and fine finishing. He was well assisted by James Dolan and substitutes Michael Monaghan and Damian Rushe.


Garrycastle will have to be at their very best to have any chance against the reigning All Ireland champions, St Vincents, but they can call upon many experienced players as they seek to reach yet another Leinster Final.


GARRYCASTLE: Cathal Mullin, Mark McCallon (1-0), Jack Donoghue, Alan Fox, Karl Henson, John Gaffey, Gary McCallon (0-1), Justin Barrett, Aidan Browne, Gary Dolan, Dessie Dolan (0-5, 2f), Matthew Guiheen, Conor Cosgrove (0-1), Alex Gardiner and James Dolan (0-1).


SUBs: Michael Monaghan (0-2, 1f) for M Guiheen (18min); Damian Rushe for C Cosgrove (half time); James Duignan (0-1) for A Gardiner (43 min) and Seanie O’Donoghue for D Rushe (53 min).

Report by Matt Ryan