All County League (Div. 1) Final

posted 30 Jun 2018, 15:24 by Garrycastle GAA   [ updated 1 Jul 2018, 23:48 by Matthew Ryan ]

On a blistering evening in Cusack Park on Saturday evening last Garrycastle defeated St Lomans in a game that had everything fought out over a tough 90 minutes. Doran Hart in his acceptance speech of the cup, presented by Seamus Nugent, gave great credit to his team and also to St Lomans for producing a fine game of football. This game started very tamely for Garrycastle  who were 1-2 behind after five minutes and looked completely out of sorts. However, they came alive then and points from Alex Gardiner (2, frees), Eoin Monaghan (1) and Cathal Mannion (1)  to 1 for Lomans left the score 1-3 to 0-4 after 20 minutes. At this stage of the game Eoin Monaghan and Doran Harte were dominating the midfield possession but the attack were unable to breach the tight Lomans defence. Two goal chances for Doran Harte and Alex Gardiner were blocked during this period. Garrycastle had the ball in the Lomans net after a quick free but was called back for not kicking the free the required 13 metres. Tom O’Halloran had another goal chance that was just wide of the post. Lomans’ scores at this stage were coming from counter attacks when they were breaking very fast from defence. Garrycastle ‘s last point of the half came from another Alex Gardiner free to leave the score at halftime 1-5 to 0-5. 

In the early stages of the second half a Lomans player got a straight red card and soon after another one got a black card. Alex Gardiner was unlucky to have two shots come off the post. The first score of the second half was a Lomans point replied to by a Gary McCallon point. A clumsy foul by Eoin Monaghan resulted in a black card. A foul on Cathal Mannion resulted in a free which was scored by Alex Gardiner. Michael Monaghan and Jason Nugent(2) reduced the lead to 2 in the 24th minute. Garrycastle were in control of possession at this stage but finding it hard to score. However, St Lomans lifted the siege and broke up the field to score two points to leave 4 points between the sides going into injury time. A long ball into Tom O’Halloran saw him judge it perfectly and find the net. With only a point between the sides Garrycastle pressed for an equaliser. A John Gaffey surge forward ended with a wide, a long range free by Alex Gardiner tailed wide but finally Gary McCallon kicked a smashing point from near the sideline to bring the game to extra time, the score 1-11 each. 

In the first period of extra time Alex Gardiner caught a long ball and smashed a goalbound shot off the outside of the post. At the other end Shane Moran brought off a great save when a goal seemed certain. Soon after a Lomans midfielder was off target when shooting for goal. Points from frees by Tom O’Halloran and Alex Gardiner to 3 for Lomans gave Lomans a point lead at the break. 

In the early stages of the 2nd period Jason Nugent found the net after a sweeping move but Lomans fought back with 2 points to level again. A late James Sheeran point seemed to be the winner for Garrycastle, but Lomans fought back gamely to level again. Another two periods of extra time was announced. The tired players continued to produce football and battled on bravely. Lomans took the lead again with a point. However, the last 3 scores went Garrycastle ‘s way with Cathal Mannion  and the re-introduced Sean Brennan getting 2, one from a 45 and one from play. 

This was a game that had everything – that provided great entertainment for the small crowd present. It was a game that Garrycastle spent a long time chasing and were finding it hard  to take the lead but determination and perseverance eventually broke the resistance and gave them the victory.  There was exceptional  courage and heart shown by all the players but special mention must be given to the most senior members, John Gaffey and Doran Harte; and the youngest player, Jason Nugent, who showed great skill and most importantly leadership. 

GARRYCASTLE: Shane Moran, Anthony Larkin, Mathew Guiheen, Gary McCallon (0-2), Neil Rhattigan, John Gaffey, Sean Brennan (0-2), Eoin Monaghan (0-1), Doran Harte, Damien Rushe, Tom O’Halloran (1-1), Michael Monaghan (0-1), Cathal Mannion (0-2), James Sheeran (0-1), Alex Gardiner (0-5 frees). 

Subs: Jason Nugent (1-2) for Sean Brennan; Mark Curley for Eoin Monaghan; Bill Kelly for Damien Rushe, Sean Brennan for Alex Gardiner; Enda Keena, for Anthony Larkin.