Senior Football Championship Play-off, Part 2

posted 25 Sep 2016, 13:37 by Garrycastle GAA   [ updated 26 Sep 2016, 02:26 by Matthew Ryan ]

Garrycastle 4-11  The Downs 0-9


For the 16th time in 17 years, Garrycastle seniors have qualified for the quarter-final stages of the Westmeath championship after this well merited win over The Downs in Cusack Park last Sunday. Playing with a strong wind, Garrycastle dominated possession in the first half but resolute defending by The Downs allowed few clear scoring opportunities. They started well with two Alex Gardiner points, one from a 45, and a pointed free by Conor Cosgrove followed by Alex Gardiner’s second point from play gave them a 0-4 to 0-2 lead after 20 minutes. Conor added another pointed free before Dessie Dolan entered the fray late in the half and quickly won a free which was pointed by Alex. This left Garrycastle 0-6 to 0-2 ahead at half time – by no means a secure lead with the wind to face after the break.


A brilliant point from Michael Monaghan from an acute angle gave Garrycastle a good start to the second half. The Downs replied with a pointed free but then a defence-splitting move between James and Dessie Dolan ended with a great goal by James to put Garrycastle seven points clear. The Downs got their first score from play after 38 minutes but an Alex Gardiner point followed by James Dolan’s second goal effectively decided the outcome. The Downs managed a few more points from placed balls but Garrycastle responded with two points from play by James Dolan and Conor Cosgrove. In the closing minutes Garrycastle put the seal on their victory with goals from Michael Monaghan and Matthew Guiheen, both expertly set up by John Gaffey.


After a somewhat sluggish first half performance, Garrycastle will draw encouragement from their splendid second half, in which they scored 4-5, with all but one point coming from open play. Their steady improvement in recent weeks is evidenced by the fact that they had lost by nine points to The Downs six weeks previously, so Sunday’s win represents a 23- point swing in their favour. Their next match is against championship favourites St. Loman’s, which is fixed from next Saturday in Cusack Park at 2.30pm.


Team: Sean Brennan, Karl Henson, Jack Donohue, Anthony Larkin, Mark McCallon, John Gaffey, Gary McCallon, James Dolan (2-1), Justin Barrett, Johnny McGuire, Rory McGowan, Doron Harte, Conor Cosgrove (0-4, 3 frees), Alex Gardiner (0-5, 2 frees, 1 45), Michael Monaghan (1-1).

Subs: Dessie Dolan for McGuire, Frank Farrell for Henson, Seanie O’Donoghue for D. Dolan, Matthew Guiheen (1-0)  for McGowan, Damien Rushe for Gardiner and Neill Rattigan for G. McCallon.