It is no big surprise that Garrycastle find themselves back in yet another county decider following their 4-10 to 0-12 win over Maryland. The final scoreline however is somewhat flattering to the winners and doesn’t do justice to the challenge which Finbar Egan’s side put up for much of the game.
The decisive moment in the game came midway through the second half. With the Drumraney men trailing by three points Sean Brennan pulled off a super save for the green and red outfit to prevent Maryland drawing level. Almost immediately Eoin Monaghan found the net at the other end to change the complexion of the game. Late goals from Monaghan and James Dolan left 10 points between the sides at the end as Paul Clancy’s side showed yet again their ability to put teams to the sword.
Maryland can look back on what has been a great championship campaign. Ultimately though their over-reliance on Callum McCormack for scores cost them dearly. If they can unearth one or two more scoring forwards they will be a test for any team again next year.
Garrycastle will be relieved to be back in the final despite missing a number of regulars last weekend and indeed throughout the championship. They will be glad of the five week break until the decider as they have plenty to work on if they are to reach the level of performance which we became accustomed to from them last year in their run to the All-Ireland final.
Dessie Dolan was replaced early in the game last weekend while James Dolan, David O’Shaughnessy, and Alan Fox were all introduced. Garry Dolan didn’t feature at all. All of these are sure to be primed for October 21 when either Shamrocks or St Loman’s will attempt to dethrone the reigning champs.
The two Mullingar sides finished all square at 2-12 apiece at the end of a dramatic contest. Shamrocks came from five points down at the break to lead by four with four minutes remaining. Ray Smyth’s men then missed an open goal opportunity before Ciaran Kilmurray found the net at the other end to ensure his side lived to fight another day. The replay is fixed for September 30 and is sure to be another cracker.