posted 13 Jun 2014, 13:24 by Matthew Ryan   [ updated 14 Jun 2014, 02:12 ]

GARRYCASTLE 1-11          ATHLONE 0-10


Garrycastle and Athlone faced off in this first round fixture in the 2014 Westmeath senior football championship in Tubberclair on Friday evening, and it was the green and red that came out on top.

Athlone made the better start and a pointed free from Ray Connellan in the first minute put his side ahead. The same player doubled Athlone’s lead soon after. It took until the 7th minute for Garrycastle to register their first score, when Dessie Dolan slotted over a free. From the resultant kick-out Garrycastle attacked again and Dessie pointed to level matters. Doron Harte then added a point to put Garrycastle into the lead for the first time in the 9th minute. At this stage Garrycastle were beginning to get on top and another pointed free for Dessie pushed them further ahead. A good attack, in which James Dolan and Dessie Dolan combined saw James brought down, however, the ball broke free to Sean Brennan who hit the crossbar with his shot. Referee, Damian Maher, brought back play for the foul and as it was in the large square awarded Garrycastle a penalty. Eoin Monaghan slotted the ball past Jason Merrigan for the game’s first green flag in the 20th minute. Athlone responded to this setback with a point but Dessie Dolan pointed in return for Garrycastle. The final score of the first period, a point, came to Athlone in injury time to leave it 1-5 to 0-4 at the break in Garrycastle’s favour.


As in the first period, Athlone registered the first score of the second half, a point from play. Eoin Monaghan responded with a point for his side. Athlone had another point from play but Dessie Dolan pointed in response for Garrycastle. Athlone added yet another point and could have had a goal soon after as a good attacking move opened up the Garrycastle defence but Cathal Mullin brought off a fine save to deny them. Garrycastle counter attacked and following a foul on Eoin Monaghan, Dessie Dolan pointed. Athlone never gave up and closed the gap when Charlie McMicken pointed from a 45 and a free in the space of a couple of minutes.  It was down to the minimum by the 49th minute as Michael Green pointed. Garrycastle responded well to the challenge and a point from James Dolan was added to by substitute Michael Monaghan to leave 3 points between the sides with under 5 minutes remaining. In added time Dessie Dolan was fouled, resulting in a red card for an Athlone player. Cathal Mullin took the free, as Dessie continued to receive treatment, and pointed. This was followed quickly by the final whistle on a score-line of 1-11 to 0-10 to Garrycastle.


This was a mixed bag from Garrycastle, who were guilty of some poor passing, particularly in the first half. Both side made a lot of mistakes and the slippery surface contributed to the error count. Best for Garrycastle were Cathal Mullin, John Gaffey, Mark McCallon and Karl Henson in defence. Dessie Dolan proved difficult to handle for the Athlone defenders and he was well supported by James Dolan in attack.

GARRYCASTLE: Cathal Mullin (0-1, 1f), Mark McCallon (Capt), John Gaffey, Gary McCallon, Doron Harte (0-1),  Karl Henson, Sean O’Donoghue, Aidan Browne, Neil Rattigan, Matthew Guiheen, Sean Brennan, James Duignan, Eoin Monaghan (1-1, 1-0 pen), Dessie Dolan (0-6, 3f) and James Dolan (0-1)


SUBs: Damian Rushe for S Brennan (half time); Michael Monaghan (0-1) for J Duignan (50 min); Ciaran O’Neill for N Rattigan (57 min).

Report by Matt Ryan