Senior Football Championship - Group 1

posted 12 Aug 2017, 14:20 by Garrycastle GAA   [ updated 12 Aug 2017, 14:23 ]


Garrycastle suffered their second defeat in the league part of this years Senior Championship at the hands of St. Lomans in Rosemount on Saturday evening. St. Lomans started the brighter, and had a point on the board after just one minute. The Mullingar side dominated the opening exchanges, and nearly had an opening goal when John Heslin drove straight in on goal, but pulled his shot wide. It took Garrycastle until the seventh minute to open their account with a well worked move finished off for a point by Doron Harte. Garrycastle were struggling with the pace and movement of the St. Lomans forwards and St. Lomans regained the lead with points from a close-in free, and a second from open play. From the second of those points, the Garrycastle kickout was turned over, and a quick pass found John Heslin in space and he duly found the net. 

In response, Garrycastle upped their game, and a surging run by James Dolan resulted in a free, converted by Alex Gardiner to narrow the deficit. A further pointed free by Conor Cosgrove further reduced the gap, but in an omen of what was to come, St. Lomans scored a point when a goal looked the more likely outcome. As the game entered the last 10 minutes of the first half, Garrycastle had their best spell of the game, with points from Conor (a free), and two from Michael Monahan, to bring the deficit back to two points. A free just on half-time to bring the deficit down to one point was unfortunately missed. 

At half-time, Garrycastle were still well in the game, trailing by two points, on a scoreline of 0-6 to 1-5.  

The second half started well, with a pointed free by Conor reducing the deficit to a single score. Both teams then traded points, the Garrycastle score coming from Justin Barrett after a nice flowing move. However, St. Lomans were now dominating the play, and dragging the Garrycastle defence all around the field. Their approach almost resulted in a goal, but the final shot was forced wide, although they did widen the gap with a point from the resulting 45-meter free. 

Then, with almost 10 minutes of the second half gone, St. Loman's were awarded a penalty, which was converted by Heslin, to put six points between the teams. Garrycastle responded immediately, and a surging run from Mattie Guiheen resulted in a ’45, which was converted by Alex. However directly from the kickout, John Heslin took the mark in the centre of the field, quickly hand-passed to onrushing county colleague Paul Sharry, who ran unhindered towards the Garrycastle goal and finished to the net giving the Garrycastle ‘keeper no chance. A minute later St. Lomans added to their tally with a fine point when a goal was most certainly on. 

Garrycastle were struggling now, and St. Lomans piled on the pressure when a perfect pass from one of their substitutes was finished to the net by Heslin. A point immediately afterwards opened the gap between the teams to 13 points. Garrycastle showed glimpses of what they are capable of, and a lovely flowing move, started by the Eoin Monahan, with nice interplay to Tom O’Halloran and Cathal Mannion, was expertly finished to the net by Alex. A further point from play by John Gaffey in a foray upfield from his full-back berth was bookended by two pointed frees from St. Lomans, The second half ended as had the first half with a Garrycastle free kicked wide. 

The final score was Garrycastle 1-10, St. Lomans 4-12. 

This was a disappointing display and result from a Garrycastle viewpoint. The team worked hard, but struggled with the speed, strength and movement of the Mullingar side. Further progress for Garrycastle in this years Senior Championship will now depend on results in the final two games, while on this showing, St. Lomans will be the team to beat in Westmeath this year. 

Sean Brennan, Mark McCallon, John Gaffey (0-1), Gary McCallon, Neal Rhattigan, Doron Harte (0-1), James Dolan, Matthew Guiheen, Johnathan McGuire, Justin Barrett (0-1), Michael Monahan (0-2, 1f), Conor Cosgrove (0-4, 4f), Cathal Mannion, Alex Gardiner (1-1, 1f), Paul Gunning. 

Tom O’Halloran for Paul Gunning (39 mins), Damien Rushe for Conor Cosgrove (50 mins), Eoin Monahan for Neal Rhattigan (53 mins), Anthony Larkin for Michael Monahan (56 mins).