Second chance for Garrycastle to make it three-in-a-row

Westmeath SFC replay

Garrycastle v Mullingar Shamrocks (Cusack Park, Sunday, 3.30pm )

After a pulsating drawn game in which Garrycastle can count themselves lucky to have snatched a draw the replay is down for decision this Sunday. Have the younger, hungrier Mullingar side blown a glorious opportunity of lifting the Flanagan Cup or will they grow in confidence following their exploits three weeks ago?

Are Garrycastle finally in demise after a decade at or near the top of the ladder or was their below par performance in the drawn game just a minor blip? These questions will only be answered when the ball is thrown in at 3.30pm.

Speculation costs nothing however and for that reason I am going to stick my neck out and suggest that the men in green and red have every chance of capturing their third title on the trot but it will be a tight affair.

Anthony Cunningham’s side are well aware that a number of their experienced side were well below par last time out and with the incentive of a three-in-a-row and the possibility of a crack at the Leinster club championship they are most likely to grab this second chance with both hands.

I’m a firm believer in the old dog for the hard road and Garrycastle have a definite edge in terms of experience and in knowing how to win these sort of matches. No doubt Shamrocks were the better team the last day but they still didn’t win. Garrycastle despite conceding a soft goal and underperforming still managed to scrape a draw.

This time around it’s unlikely that they will leak another soft goal and if Dessie Dolan can get a little more help up front I can’t see Shamrocks beating them.

The midfield battle alone is going to be worth the entry fee with David O’Shaughnessy and Seanie O’Donoghoe paired against Darragh Daly and Donie O’Donoghue. The Mullingar pair edged matters here in the drawn game but they will have their work cut out to repeat that performance.

Garrycastle will be hoping that Paddy Mulvihill, who was quiet by his own standards three weeks ago can reproduce the form he had shown in the championship up to then. If he does then there is every chance that the Flanagan Cup will be wintering in the south of the county for the third year running.

 

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