AIB Leinster Club Senior Football Championship, Quarter-Final

posted 10 Nov 2019, 08:23 by Garrycastle GAA   [ updated 11 Nov 2019, 02:27 by Matthew Ryan ]

Garrycastle qualified for the semi final of the Leinster club championship when they defeated Meath champions, Ratoath, in a roller coaster of a game played in TEG Cuasack Park last Sunday. 

Fortunes changed a number of times during a pulsating second half which Garrycastle started with a 7 point lead to find themselves only two ahead after 5 minutes and 9 ahead with 10 minutes to go and finally win by two. The game ended after 5 minutes of injury time with the home team hanging on to a 2 point lead. Ratoath started strongly scoring the first two points when a high ball from Dessie Dolan was knocked down by James Sheerin to Alex Gardiner who netted with a fine shot. Points were shared in the next two minutes, after which Garrycastle scored 7 points without reply. The final minutes of the half saw Ratoath get 2 points to Garrycastle’s 1 to leave the halftime score at 1-9 to 0-5. Sean Brennan saved well from a shot by the Ratoath corner forward in the 28th minute when he got into a one-on-one. 

On the resumption Tom O'Halloran had replaced Andrew Monaghan and Ger Henaghan for Dessie Dolan. Ratoath came out a different team and were pressurising the Garrycastle player in possession and scored 1-2 within 5 minutes to reduce the lead to 2 points, the goal coming after Sean Brennan was dispossessed when trying to clear a ball. But Garrycastle didn’t buckle under pressure and Tom O'Halloran knocked the ball into the Ratoath net after good work by Eoin Monaghan and Ger Henaghan. A Ratoath point followed when a long ball was played into James Sheerin who fed Michael Monaghan who hit the net from a tight angle. Two more Garrycastle points left the score 3-11 to 1-8 for the home side after 48 minutes and looking towards an easy win. However Ratoath had different ideas and typical of a Meath team fought to the end adding another 1-4 to their scoreline but time ran out on them and Garrycastle were in the semi final. The Ratoath goal arrived one minute into injury time and came from a high ball which was fisted to the net. Other high balls caused a lot of problems in the Garrycastle defence but luckily were scrambled away. Garrycastle supporters had their hearts in their mouths in those final minutes came away relieved but a little puzzled at some of the refereeing decisions in those final crucial minutes. 

The team performance was excellent at times but they must remember to play to the end. Individual performances were in general very good with Alex Gardiner, James Dolan, Michael Monoghan, James Sheerin and the McCallon brothers excelling. The next opponents are Dublin champions, Ballyboden St Endas which is also a home venue for Garrycastle.

GARRYCASTLE: Sean Brennan, Mattie Guiheen, Jack Donohoe, Mark McCallon, Doron Harte, John Gaffey, Gary McCallon, Justin Barrett, James Dolan, Andrew Monaghan (0-2), Eoin Monaghan, Michael Monaghan (1-2), James Sheeran (0-2), Alex Gardiner (1-1), Dessie Dolan (0-3).

Subs Tom O’Halloran (1-0) for Andrew Monoghan; Ger Henaghan (0-1) for Dessie Dolan; Eoin Mulvihill for Eoin Monaghan; Jason Nugent, for Michael Monaghan; Conor Cosgrove for Alex Gardiner; Jonathan Maguire for Doron Harte.