St Loman’s 0-6
Garrycastle eased their way to their fourth ever senior title with a facile win over a disappointing St Loman’s side in Cusack Park on Sunday last. The general consensus amongst the large attendance as they drifted towards the exit was that this was as one-sided and lacklustre a county final as has been seen in years. Garrycastle never left second gear and won pulling up.
Loman’s had improved steadily through the year and deservedly earned the right to contest this year’s county final. That they picked the biggest day in the clubs history over the past 41 years to fall flat on their feet will be a major disappointment for them. Many expected the Saints to make things difficult for Garrycastle, even if, ultimately it would have been a shock if they had pulled off a win. No doubt they will have learned valuable lessons from Sunday’s defeat and there’s no reason for them not to come back stronger next year.
All of the talk about the poor entertainment value of this year’s decider will matter little to Garrycastle players or management, who have now captured their fourth senior title in eight years.
With their sights now firmly set on making a bold bid in the Leinster club championship, a tougher final might have been of more benefit. Yet Anthony Cunningham knows a thing or two about guiding a club team to provincial glory, having done so with St Brigid’s in 2006. He will relish the prospect of taking Garrycastle as far as possible in the Leinster club championship.
Unlike last year’s champions Castledaly, for whom lifting the Flanagan Cup was the be all and end all, Garrycastle have the profile, talent and hunger to make a protracted run in Leinster. First up will be a tricky away fixture against the winner of Clonguish (Longford ) and Horeswood (Wexford ) on November 8.
Paddy Mulvihill is reportedly back in training and could prove a timely asset to an already potent attack. David O’Shaughnessy saw action in the county final and will be hoping to make his mark before the year is out. Dessie Dolan again showed his class in the county final, pulling the strings up front in a man of the match display. He along with the more experienced heads in the Garrycastle camp are sure to leave no stone unturned in the quest for provincial honours.
Westmeath Intermediate and Junior football deciders
With the Flanagan Cup safely nestled in Garrycastle for the forthcoming winter, neighbouring clubs Tubberclair and Caulry will attempt to bring further silverware to the south of the county, as they contest the intermediate and junior deciders respectively this weekend.
In the first game of the double header in Cusack Park on Sunday, Caulry take on St Paul’s in the Junior decider at 1.30pm. Caulry are bidding to make a quick return to Intermediate ranks, having been relegated last year. Their good work at under-age level in recent years could well pay off on Sunday. In addition to the more experienced campaigners such as team captain Pat Buckley, Gary Flanagan Nicky Killane, and Anselm Fitzgerald, manager Shane Curran can also call on talented youngsters Joe McMahon, Declan Donoghoe, Alan Fitzpatrick, Ben Moran, Robbie Kenny, and Ciaran Allen. All of the above were key players in Athlone Community College’s historic Leinster Colleges success in 2008 and their combined talents could prove the difference between the sides on Sunday.
It’s ten years since St Paul’s were last crowned Junior champions so hunger won’t be a problem for them. In what promises to be a close contest, given that these sides have already played out a draw in this year’s championship, Caulry look the most likely winners.
Tubberclair and Ballynacargy lock horns in what promises to be an intriguing Intermediate decider. Bal would dearly love to go one better than last year when they lost out narrowly to Maryland, after a replay, in the decider. Aidan Lyons, Dwayne Maher, and Willie Murtagh can be counted on to provide leadership to Frank Mescall’s men. Yet Tubberclair can call on the likes of Gary Connaughton, Fergal Wilson, Beano Cassels, Francis Spollen, and the talented Ian Coffey amongst others to lead by example.
Ballynacargy have a knack of scoring goals and that is always a valuable asset going into battle but in Wilson, Coffey, Spollen, Farrell and Elliot, Tom Lennon’s men are not short of fire power either. The men from The Village of The Roses look likely to be celebrating a return to senior football come Sunday evening, but not without a battle.
Garrycastle ladies contest Leinster intermediate club semi-final
While most of the attention last Sunday was focused firmly on their male counterparts, Garrycastle’s lady footballers showed their metal when coming from behind to edge out a strong Crettyard (Laois ) side in the Leinster quarter final. Four points down with five minutes to go they dug deep on their home patch to emerge one point winners on a score-line of 2-9 to 2-8.
They again enjoy home advantage this Sunday when they entertain the Louth champions in the Leinster semi-final. A repeat performance should be enough to see them through to a place in the provincial decider.