All County League (Div. 1) Final

posted 5 Jul 2019, 15:02 by Garrycastle GAA   [ updated 5 Jul 2019, 15:09 ]
Garrycastle retained their ACFL Division 1 title in some style with an emphatic win over Rosemount on Friday evening in TEG Cusack Park. On a fine evening for football, and in front of a very small attendance, the Garrycastle team controlled this game from the throw-in, while the expected stern test from Rosemount never materialised.
Right from the start Garrycastle showed they meant business, and Dessie Dolan opened the scoring with a point inside the first 30 seconds. Within a minute the lead was doubled when Eoin Monaghan pointed following a delightful touch from Dessie. Two further pointed frees from Dessie, and a well taken point from Alex Gardiner following some good interplay with Tom O’Halloran saw the Garrycastle team 5 points to the good by the end of the first quarter. It could have been better as a goal bound shot was cleared off the line by a Rosemount defender.
It took 16 minutes for Rosemount to open their account with a close-in pointed free. However, almost immediately Garrycastle got the opening goal of the game, when a loose back pass left the Rosemount goalkeeper in trouble, and Eoin Monaghan moved smartly to dispossess him and calmly tapped the ball into an unguarded net. Rosemount responded with a point, but Garrycastle just stepped up a gear, and a pointed free from Dessie, followed by a bullet shot that flashed over the crossbar from Justin Barrett widened their lead. Garrycastle were totally in control of the game now all over the field, and further points from Jason Nugent, following a great sideline kick from Alex, and a pointed free from Dessie showed them pulling away on the scoreboard. As half-time neared, a fantastic point by Alex from out near the far sideline finished the scoring, leaving the half-time score at Garrycastle 1-10, Rosemount 0-03.
As the second half began, Garrycastle continued as they had finished the first half, and immediately won a 45-meter free, which was unfortunately kicked wide, but James Dolan restarted the scoring with a well-taken point following a bustling run upfield. Substitute Andrew Monaghan kicked a fine point to extend the lead further, before Rosemount pulled a point back from play.
However, with less than 10 minutes of the second half gone, Dessie put the game beyond Rosemount, by taking a great pass from Alex, and showing all his years of experience, put an unstoppable shot into the top of the net, giving the Rosemount goalkeeper absolutely no chance. A further point from play from James Dolan widened the lead further at the three-quarter mark. The game then died down with little of note in the last quarter, with two points from Alex and Eoin Monaghan from a free, extending the lead even further.
And then, as the game entered the last two minutes of normal time, a goal bound shot from Rosemount, rebounded off a Garrycastle defender, and forced a fantastic fingertip save from substitute goalkeeper Shane McEnery, out for a 45-meter free. However, the Referee called it back, awarding the Rosemount team a penalty for an earlier infringement, which was dispatched to the net to put a little gloss on the score sheet. Garrycastle, however, had the last word with a final pointed free from Eoin Monaghan in injury time to close out the scoring.
Final score: Garrycastle 2-16, Rosemount 1-05.
Overall this was a game which never lived up to its billing. Rosemount, who had topped the Division 1 table, simply never showed up on the night, and never threatened in the game. Indeed, with more clinical finishing in front of goal by Garrycastle, the winning margin could have been much greater. All over the field, the Garrycastle team were on top, and the workrate at which they closed down Rosemount when not in possession, the speed at which they worked the ball to the forwards, and their use of space around the field, was a joy to behold. Dessie Dolan rolled back the years with a great display, and all over the field the Garrycastle players held the upper hand. The game was unique as well in that three Monaghan brothers, Eoin, Michael and Andrew finished the game on the field for the Garrycastle team.
Garrycastle captain Doron Harte accepted the Division 1 trophy from Garrycastle club stalwart Dermot Ryan, and in his speech identified this as a good start to the summer, but that the search for the senior championship now begins in earnest.
Sean Brennan, Matthew Guiheen, Jack Donoghue, Mark McCallon, James Dolan (0-2), John Gaffey, Gary McCallon, Justin Barrett (0-1), Jonathan McGuire, Tom O’Halloran, Doron Harte, Eoin Monaghan (1-3, 2f), Jason Nugent (0-1), Alex Gardiner (0-3, 1f), Dessie Dolan (1-5, 4f).
Andrew Monaghan (0-1) for Jonathan McGuire (22 mins), Michael Monaghan for Tom O’Halloran (39 mins), James Sheerin for Dessie Dolan (44 mins), Eoin Mulvihill for Doron Harte 48 mins), Shane McEnery for Sean Brennan (50 mins), Anthony Larkin for John Gaffey (56 mins).