Garrycastle 0-14 Athlone 0-7
Garrycastle powered to a convincing Westmeath SFC quarter finall success over Athlone at Tubberclair on Saturday. Ultimately a campaign which promised so much for Athlone ended in bitter disappointing against their neighbours, who were in charge of the game from the outset.
Alex Gardiner was in excellent shooting form for Garrycastle contributing eight points and Athlone were unable to restrict his influence. A solid start from Garrycastle proved critical with veteran Dessie Dolan and Gardiner nailing early scores. Those efforts were quickly followed by further points from Gardiner and Conor Cosgrove as Garrycastle led by four after only five minutes.
Athlone were struggling to find the answers, eventually registering a score in the 12th minute courtesy of John Connellan. Garrycastle, though, were dictating the agenda with three points on the spin from the in form Gardiner guiding them six in front. By the time the interval rolled around the gap had been reduced slightly, but Garrycastle were still content to be leaving with a 0-8 to 0-3 cushion.
When the action recommenced, Athlone squandered some decent opportunities before Matthew Guiheen and Mickey Greene were both sent off. Scores from Ryan Gaffey and Ray Connellan brought Athlone to within four of Garrycastle, but the victors refused to be perturbed.
Inevitably, Gardiner was instrumental, while James Sheeran also raised a white flag for Gary Dolan's charges. A late point from substitute Michael Monaghan completed the scoring in the closing stages, but more red cards were issued in the dying moments with Athlone's Darren Costello and Garrycastle's James Dolan dismissed for second yellow card offences.
Indeed, Athlone ended the match with 12 men on the field as a full quota of substitutes had been used prior to Jordan Marshment's black card. It was that type of day for Athlone, but it didn't overly concern Garrycastle, who marched confidently into the semi-finals where a defining tussle against holders St Lomans awaits.
Scorers for Garrycastle: Alex Gardiner 0-8, Conor Cosgrove 0-2, James Sheeran, Tom O'Halloran, Dessie Dolan, and Michael Monaghan 0-1 each. Scorers for Athlone: Ray Connellan and Noel Mulligan 0-2 each, Shane Allen, John Connellan, and Ryan Gaffey 0-1 each.
Shamrocks advance with deserved quarter final victory
Mullingar Shamrocks 2-8 The Downs 0-8
Mullingar Shamrocks are beginning to hit form at precisely the right time with Sunday's 2-8 to 0-8 win over The Downs nudging them into the Westmeath SFC semi final.An extremely diligent defence restricted The Downs throughout the match and Shamrocks had enough forward punch to land the scores that truly mattered at the other end of the field.
Jordan Warde and Luke Loughlin traded early scores before Shamrocks seized control by reeling off 1-4 in a splendid seven minute spell. That is when the main Shamrocks damage was done and The Downs never fully recovered.
A Dean Moore point was quickly followed by a brilliant goal from Shamrocks talisman Warde, who ended a sweeping move with a crisp finish. Patrick Fagan and Moore (2 ) added further Shamrocks points as The Downs were enduring plenty of problems. Philip Doherty and Luke Folan did narrow the gap to five, but Shamrocks responded grabbing a second goal before the break courtesy of a Moore penalty.
Suddenly, Shamrocks' interval advantage was 2-5 to 0-3 and The Downs knew that a significant comeback had to be launched. Admirably, The Downs did show plenty of defiance as points from Loughlin and Niall Mitchell (three ) brought them back into contention once more.
Following a 10 minute stint without a score Conor Coughlan pointed for The Downs, who trailed 2-5 to 0-8, but Shamrocks closed out the game effectively. In the 51st minute. Moore converted a free following a foul on substitute Ciaran Curley and Shamrocks finished strongly. Curely was making an impact clipping another point with a late Darragh Daly effort sealing the deal.
Next on the agenda for Shamrocks is an attractive last four encounter against Tyrrellspass in what promises to be a very interesting game in the penultimate round.