All County League (Division 1)

posted 5 Jul 2015, 07:57 by Matthew Ryan

Garrycastle 2-11  Athlone 0-8

This second win for the senior team in five days lifts them into the top half of the table and secures their Division 1 status with one game still to play. On a pleasant Friday evening in Garrycastle, a minute’s respectful silence was observed before the game in memory of the late Eileen Molloy of Altown, and of Larry and Martina Hayes of Westlodge. The home team started well with two good points from Matthew Guiheen and a pointed free by Conor Cosgrove. Athlone cut the deficit to two points but then Garrycastle enjoyed a dominant spell, kicking four unanswered points from play and missing several good opportunities into the bargain. Athlone finished the half well with two points and were well in the hunt as they turned over with the stiff wind at their backs. When they converted two frees after the break the margin was down to two points and a tight finish looked likely. However, Garrycastle restored their four point lead with two quick points, the first from centre back Karl Henson, who then set up his half back colleague Gary McCallon for a fisted score. The game’s decisive score followed when Matthew Guiheen got through for a goal, and when Alex Gardiner and Michael Monaghan added points there was no way back for Athlone. They did manage to reduce the margin to six points before the game’s best score arrived in the final minute. Karl Henson fought well to win possession in defence and initiated a swift counter-attack which culminated in Conor Cosgrove blasting the ball to the net to finish the scoring. With both sides short several regulars, Garrycastle’s greater experience in key positions proved crucial, and competition for starting places should be very keen when championship action resumes.

Team: Cathal Mullin, Mark McCallon, John Gaffey (0-1), Tom McHugh, Doran Harte, Karl Henson (0-1), Gary McCallon (0-1), Aidan Browne, Neill Rattigan, Ciaran O’Neill (0-1), James Duignan, Matthew Guiheen (1-2), Conor Cosgrove (1-1, 1 free), Alex Gardiner (0-3), Damien Rushe.

Subs: Michael Monaghan (0-1) for O’Neill (42 mins); Seanie O’Donoghue for McHugh (51 mins) and Gavin Ward for Guiheen (56 mins).