ACL (Div 1) Final

posted 3 Jul 2017, 01:41 by Matthew Ryan

Garrycastle  2-8 St Lomans Mullingar 1-14

The final of Division 1 of the ACFL was played on Sunday last in Cusack Park when Garrycastle lost out by 3 points to St Lomans in a well contested game. Both teams were missing their players on the county team (James Dolan and Mark McCallon  for Garrycastle  and John Heslin and Paul Sharry for St Lomans). In addition Garrycastle  were also missing Sean Brennan, Anthony Larkin, Conor Cosgrove.  With a strong wind favouring St Lomans in the first half Garrycastle  found themselves playing catch up during the half. St Lomans’ attack were finding it easy to pick off scores on a loose Garrycastle  defence. To add to Garrycastle ‘s difficulties their centre forward Dessie Dolan had to go off injured after 20 minutes.  With the scores at eight points to three Garrycastle  created two good goal opportunities, the first from Tom O’Halloran just missed the target and the second was punched to the net by the same player after a pass from James Sheeran. After 25 minutes a good shot on the Garrycastle  goal was saved on the double by Mark Keenan. St Lomans added 2 points to Garrycastle ‘s one before halftime to leave the score at 0-10 to 1-4.  

The early stages of the second half were dominated by cards and penalties. A quick St Lomans kickout was intercepted by Tom O’Halloran who was pulled down resulting in a black card for the defender. The resultant free was missed. At the other end Alan Fox got a black card for a foul on a Lomans forward which resulted in a penalty which was converted. Within a minute Garrycastle  had the ball in the Lomans net when Tom O’Halloran converted a penalty which he had won himself. This left the score at 1-12 to 2-5 in favour of Lomans.  During the remaining twenty five minutes there were only five points scored, three to Garrycastle  and two to Lomans.  Garrycastle ‘s last four points were scored by Alex Gardiner which were frees or 45s  struck expertly off the ground. With two minutes remaining and two points between the sides James Sheeran won a good high ball and laid it off to Owen Monaghan,  whose shot just missed the top corner of the net.  A late Lomans point left 3 points between the sides at the final whistle.

There was a lot of rustiness in this performance by Garrycastle  and improvement will be needed before the championship. All in all it was a useful game and an opportunity for the younger players to experience playing in Cusack Park.


GARRYCASTLE: Mark Keenan, Jack Donoghue,  John Gaffey, Alan Fox, Mathew Guiheen,  Doron Harte, Gary McCallon, Justin Barrett,  Neil Rhattigan,  Jonathan Maguire 0-1),  Dessie Dolan (0-2),  Tom O’Halloran (2-0), Michael Monaghan,  James Sheeran, Alex Gardiner (0-5). Subs:- Cathal Mannion  for Dessie Dolan; Owen Monaghan for Alan Fox;  Damien Rushe for Michael Monaghan.