Mullingar Shamrocks 1-8
Greater experience and self belief were key factors as Garrycastle collected their fifth ever county senior title last weekend at the expense of a disappointing Mullingar Shamrocks side. In doing so they have now secured back-to-back titles, as have their ladies. It will inevitably lead to speculation about them completing the three-in-a-row next year but that, as they say, is another day’s work.
That this game never lived up to its potential as a spectacle will matter little to Anthony Cunningham’s men who now have their sights set firmly on a protracted run in the Leinster club championship. The disappointment of their poor showing in last year’s provincial decider will be a great motivating factor as they embark on another campaign as Westmeath representatives.
Mullingar will be disappointed that aside from the opening quarter they never really looked likely to trouble the reigning champions. Lorcan Smyth scored a wonderful individual goal for the Mullingar men in the early stages. Indeed his side led 1-2 to 0-2 after 10 minutes. Yet once Garrycastle got their noses in front thanks to a goal from man of the match James Dolan, on a typical raid forward from corner back, the outcome never looked in doubt. The green and reds went into the break leading 1-6 to 1-2.
Shamrocks missed a goal opportunity they so badly needed to convert in the early stages of the second half and had to settle for a point. Had they goaled at that stage it would have undoubtedly made for a more entertaining conclusion. However it was Garrycastle who raised a green flag for the second time, this time from the boot of Paul Dillon. At that stage the only thing in doubt was the margin of victory.
While Shamrocks did manage three late points it was too little too late. Alan ‘Dollar’ Daly had the final say with his second point from play to leave the final score 2-9 to 1-8 in favour of the Athlone-based outfit.
Doran Harte accepted the Flanagan Cup from county chairman Tom Farrell and already at that stage thoughts were turning to their opening provincial club game against Longford Slashers on October 24.