County football final on Sunday should be interesting

Sunday’s Cusack Park Westmeath Senior Football decider between Garrycastle and Mullingar Shamrocks promises to be a fascinating affair.

Garrycastle’s recent history is sprinkled with excellent victories in the later stages of the local championship, but Mullingar Shamrocks have improved dramatically throughout this year. The semi-final replay success over holders St Loman’s confirmed the progress that Bernard Flynn’s charges have made.

Darragh Daly was a key figure in that derby triumph and his ability to win possession close to goal is a crucial part of Mullingar Shamrocks’ approach. Denis Corroon and Donal O’Donoghue are a formidable midfield partnership too, while Eoin O’Neill, Killian Daly, Lorcan Smyth, and Ciaran Curley have the ability to make a significant impact also.

Mullingar have won 10 senior titles in total with the last one occurring in 2000 following a productive spell in the early nineties. While Mullingar Shamrocks have struggled in the intervening period, Garrycastle’s development has seen a new force emerge. Garrycastle were most unfortunate not to claim an All Ireland Championship in 2012, but Crossmaglen Rangers had too much guile in the replay.

At the semi-final stage in Westmeath Garrycastle cruised to an emphatic triumph over Coralstown/Kinnegad. This will be Garrycastle's 10th final appearance since 2001 as the perennial challengers seek to reclaim the county crown. Cathal Mullin, Mark McCallon, Karl Henson, John Gaffey, Dessie Dolan, Conor Cosgrove, and James Dolan will be hoping to guide Garrycastle to a seventh title at this level in 14 years.

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