Senior Football Championship Group 2

posted 9 Sep 2018, 14:48 by Garrycastle GAA   [ updated 10 Sep 2018, 01:15 ]

The Garrycastle team maintained their unbeaten record in this years championship when playing out a draw against Rosemount in Athlone on Sunday evening. Playing conditions were less than perfect, and both teams struggled to cope at times with the strong wind which was blowing lengthways up the pitch from the town end. 

Some early promise from the Garrycastle side yielded no scores on the board, before Rosemount opened the scoring with a free in the seventh minute. The opening stages were very scrappy, with many unforced errors on both sides, and this was typified by Rosemount's second score, which resulted from a dropped ball close to the Garrycastle goal. Garrycastle had a number of wides, before Tom O'Halloran was put clean through, but his shot was well saved at the expense of a 45-meter free, which was duly converted by Ger Heneghan to get Garrycastle off the mark. Rosemount were having the better of the play, however, and tapped over two further points to lead by three at the 20-minute mark. Some excellent Garrycastle pressure on the Rosemount kickout yielded a second point from Ger Heneghan before a Rosemount score from a free after Garrycastle were unable to clear their lines re-opened the gap to three points. Ger Heneghan won and converted a free to narrow the gap again, before Garrycastle had perhaps their best spell of the half, and converted two chances to level the scores as half-time approached. There were also a number of missed opportunities due to rushed decision making and poor passes. James Dolan was introduced for his first start of this years championship just before the break, but it was Rosemount who closed out the scoring with a pointed free, to leave the half-time score as Garrycastle 0-5, Rosemount 0-6.

Garrycastle introduced Damien Rushe at the start of the second half, and started brightly, equalising with a pointed free from Conor Cosgrove after a foul on Doron Harte, who was on the receiving end of some hefty challenges during the game. Rosemount then had a short spell where they added a point from a free followed by a very well-worked goal, when a high ball sent in on the wind was expertly caught close-in and finished to the net, giving Shane McEnery in the Garrycastle goal no chance. To their credit, the Garrycastle team responded almost immediately with a goal of their own from the boot of Conor Cosgrove following some well-worked and patient build-up play, and swapped points with Rosemount, the Garrycastle effort from Ger Heneghan after some good work from Gary McCallon. A surging run from the back by Matthew Guiheen could have resulted in a score, but Garrycastle had a lucky let-off a few moments later when a high ball from a free, resulted in a mix-up in the goal-mouth, which the Garrycastle defenders were glad to see result in a  wide. As the game entered the final quarter-hour, Michael Monaghan was introduced to the fray, but his time on the field was short-lived as he was injured almost immediately, and was in turn replaced by Jason Nugent. 

A foul on James Dolan was punished by a free from Conor Cosgrove to level the game with a little over 10 minutes remaining. At this stage, Dessie Dolan was introduced, but a Garrycastle opportunity was missed, and instead Rosemount struck for a point, with the best score of  the game, a huge kick from the far sideline. A gilt-edged opportunity for Garrycastle, straight in front of the goal was squandered, before James Sheeran scored the equalising point following some very patient build-up play. As the game entered time added-on, a free against Garrycastle at the 45-meter free was moved closer following some arguing with the referee, and it was duly pointed to put Rosemount back in front again. 
Again Garrycastle threatened, and when James Dolan was fouled, Alex Gardiner stepped up to land a huge point against the wind off the ground to level matters again. The same player had one final opportunity to give Garrycastle the win, when a foul on Dessie Dolan was penalised outside the 45 meter line, but his effort drifted agonisingly wide to the left of the posts, and the referee immediately blew to signal an end to the game.

Final score was Garrycastle 1-10, Rosemount 1-10.

Overall, a draw was probably a fair result, as neither team coped particularly well with the windy conditions, and a lot of the play was scrappy, with passes going astray, and a lot of poor decision making on both sides. The result leaves Garrycastle in a strong position at the top of Group 2 with one league round to play.

Shane McEnery, Anthony Larkin, Mark McCallon, Gary McCallon, Matthew Guiheen, John Gaffey, Jonathan McGuire, Doron Harte, Eoin Monaghan (0-1), Cathal Mannion, Conor Cosgrove (1-2, 2f), James Sheeran (0-1), Tom O'Halloran, Alex Gardiner (0-2, 1f), Ger Heneghan (0-4, 2f)
James Dolan for Tom O'Halloran (30 mins), Damien Rushe for John Gaffey (half-time), Michael Monaghan for Jonathan McGuire (44 mins),Jason Nugent for Michael Monaghan (Inj, 46 mins), Dessie Dolan for Ger Henegan (50 mins),Tom O'Halloran for Cathal Mannion (58 mins).