Replay disappointment as Garrycastle’s quest for ninth senior title on hold

Garrycastle playing stalwart, John Gaffey, arguably his club’s best performer in the replayed Westmeath senior football championship final, challenges Peter Foy of St Lomans for possession in TEG Cusack Park.  Photograph by AC Sports Images.

Garrycastle playing stalwart, John Gaffey, arguably his club’s best performer in the replayed Westmeath senior football championship final, challenges Peter Foy of St Lomans for possession in TEG Cusack Park. Photograph by AC Sports Images.

The quest for a ninth Westmeath senior football championship to add to the club’s roll of honour is on momentary hold as Garrycastle succumbed to the challenge posed by St Lomans in a tension laden replayed showpiece fixture in TEG Cusack Park Mullingar on Sunday afternoon.

As with the initial final encounter, the game was one which captured the supporters’ imagination from a closely contested perspective as both teams strived in their patterns of play to gain possession and scoreboard momentum and take charge of the Flanagan Cup come the shrill of the final whistle.

A 13th minute goal from Garrycastle forward, Alex Gardiner, afforded his team the initial superiority but following a long range John Gaffey point on 15 minutes (which extended the Garrycastle lead to three points ), Gary Dolan’s charges failed to positively impact the scoreboard for a 20 minute period, allowing St Lomans to to gain momentum.

A 35th minute point from Eoin Monaghan reduced the scoring arrears to the minimum and gave cause for optimism amongst the Garrycastle supporters but the expectancy level was quelled almost immediately when St Lomans wing forward, TJ Cox, pounced on a defensive lapse to slip the ball passed the advancing custodian, Sean Brennan.

St Lomans enjoyed a five point lead with six minutes remaining but the resilience and character of this Garrycastle team came to the fore as a cohesive effort enabled a change of momentum, successive white flags culminating with an injury time ‘45’ from the ice cool custodian, Brennan, ensuring parity as this intriguing contest concluded.

The energy expended retrieving the scoreboard deficit appeared to have a detrimental impact on Garrycastle’s play in extra time, as three points from St Lomans’ talisman, John Heslin, ensured the Mullingar club retained the Flanagan Cup and they will now proceed to represent Westmeath in the Leinster club championship, a date with Portarlington to ensue.

 

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