Gentex FC - a club with a proud sporting history

Gentex are one of the oldest clubs in the Midlands with a proud history stretching back to their formation in 1943.

There have been several ups and downs for the famous club since the 1940s with the team currently seeing action in the Combined Counties Football League.

The club has been part of a number of different leagues over the years and even had a spell in the League of Ireland B division during the 1990s. Their participation at national level saw them face such giants as Shamrock Rovers, Dundalk and local rivals Athlone Town. Since then, Gentex have settled at a more competitive level for the club with last season proving to be their most successful in years. The Division Two league title was lifted without losing a game and the double was almost achieved only for a narrow loss in the cup final.

The General Textiles factory that provided huge employment for the Midlands during its heyday may be long gone but the football team keeps the name alive. The pitch is in the same location by the banks of the River Shannon and has seen many epic battles over the years. The Beaumont name is synonymous with the club as Patsy, Chris and Joe among others have contributed handsomely on and off the pitch. The mantle was then handed over to Derek and Kevin with Robbie the latest of the Beaumont’s to keep the club alive.

Since joining the CCFL shortly after its formation, the Red and Blacks have had mixed fortunes. In 2006, the team finished as runners up in the Division 3 subsidiary cup with a second place finish behind Moate Celtic in Division 3B gained five years later. It was a frustrating period for all concerned with the club but the 2018/19 season was to be the highlight as a first league title was finally lifted.

Over a fourteen game series, Gentex went unbeaten as they won the league with seven points to spare over Stradbally. There were huge scenes of jubilation when the title was won at home in early March. St Carthages were the visitors and were well beaten in an eight goal thriller. A draw in Stradbally in the last game of the league season was only the second time Gentex had dropped points as a memorable campaign drew to a close. The Division Two cup final afforded Gentex the chance to claim the double but Stradbally gained some revenge for finishing as League runners up with victory. The Laois outfit won by two goals to one as the long layoff after winning the League seemed to effect Gentex more.

Promotion to Division One followed as Gentex made it to the second tier in the CCFL. The step up was bound to be a big one as experienced teams such as Mountmellick and Mullingar Town awaited them. Hopes were high that further success would follow but the first game was a real test of character with a visit to Dalton Park to face their Westmeath rivals. A four nil defeat showed Gentex the magnitude of the task facing them on gaining promotion.

There was little relief in the first home outing as fancied Mountmellick were the opposition. Jordan Hegarty was on target but it was not enough to avoid a second defeat. Next up was a visit to Clonaslee as Gentex returned home with their first point following a two all draw. Highfield were next and a first win was celebrated as Conor Rushe and Andrew Roper netted in a two one win. It left Gentex in midtable of what was proving to be a very competitive division.

There was a gap until the next game but the unbeaten run continued with an odd goal in five victory over Mountmellick. A run of three straight defeats however slowed the momentum leaving Gentex with a lot to do when play hopefully resumes.

 

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