Maryland have that bit extra to claim historic intermediate title

Eoin Farrell and Maryland ended a 28 year wait and claimed the Intermediate Championship last Sunday. Photo: John O'Brien.

Eoin Farrell and Maryland ended a 28 year wait and claimed the Intermediate Championship last Sunday. Photo: John O'Brien.

Westmeath IFC final replay

Maryland 1-11

Ballynacarrigy 1-10

They say good things are worth waiting for. Well the Maryland football fraternity are a patient lot. They have been waiting since 1980 to recapture the Westmeath intermediate title. Over the past 28 years they have had to endure the heartache of losing no fewer than four county finals. Yet all that frustration was put to bed last Sunday when Callum McCormack belied his youthful 17 years to kick over a fantastic winner.

Maryland’s poor record in county finals allied to the notion that they couldn’t win replays added to the nervousness of the sizable Drumraney contingent that made the journey to Cusack Park. It’s little wonder then that when Sean Carroll’s final whistle sounded after over 80 minutes of action, relief was as dominant an emotion as the joy which this victory has sparked.

For all of the hype which accompanied their Celebrity Bainisteoir success earlier in the year, there was only one competiton which really counted this season. The Peter Geraghty Cup will be given pride of place as it winters in the south Westmeath parish and the heroics of the team in the drawn game, in the replay, and especially in extra time will be recounted for many a year to come.

Not alone does this win make up for the near misses over the past three decades, more importantly looking forward it means a return to senior football next year.

With a few exceptions, Maryland are a youthful outfit who are open to improvement in the coming years. The experience of David Martin, David and James Reynolds, Eoin Farrell, and Tom Browne added to the youthful but talented Kieran Martin and Callum McCormack mean they have a sound platform to build on, on their return to senior ranks.

Ballynacarrigy too deserve enormous credit for their contribution to this years intermediate final. Frank Mescals men gave as good as they got throughout and although its never nice to lose a final in such dramatic circumstances, they can be proud of their efforts and look forward to next year with confidence.

Finbar Egans men are due to face either the winners of the Laois or Wexford IFC on Sunday week in the quarter final of the Leinster IFC.

Castlerea inflict more final heartbreak on Pearses

Roscommon SFC final replay

Castlerea St Kevins 0-09

Padraig Pearses 0-08

Padraig Pearses hopes of capturing their first ever Roscommon senior football title were cruelly dashed last Sunday by a more composed Castlerea outfit in a windswept Hyde Park.

Having played against the stiff breeze in the opening half Pearses were 0-7 to 0-2 behind at the break. Two early points in the second half indicated that Eamonn Mahon’s men were still in with a chance of clawing back the defecit. However numerous handling errors took the momentum out of their comeback, and crucially, Castlea managed to keep them scoreless for a full fifteen minutes.

Pearses trailed by four points with 10 minutes remaining (plus five minutes injury time ). In that time they managed to hold Castlerea scoreless, while at the same time tagging on three points to leave just a single point separating the sides.

Unfortunately for the Woodmount men, Declan Hunt’s final whistle sounded before they got a chance to kick an equaliser. This is further heartbreak for this group of players who had already tasted defeat in 2005, not to mention the fact that their hurlers also fell short in this years county final.

With that said, Castlerea were worthy winners and in Ger Heneghan and Nigel Dineen, they had the game’s two outstanding performers. Heneghan kicked six points in total while Dineen played a captains part from start to finish. They can now look forward to the Connacht club championship while for Pearses it’s back to the drawing board for next season.

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