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1997 Intermediate Football Championship Final

Garrycastle 2-07  Ballinagore 0-05

(This report was published in the Westmeath Independent on Friday, 31st October, 1997 and was reproduced by kind permission of the Westmeath Independent).

At Castletown-Geoghegan on Sunday last (26th October) Garrycastle emerged Dawn Dairies Intermediate Football Championship winners, when they had a decisive win in this replayed final against Ballinagore. Like many replays the game did not measure up to their drawn encounter and on this occasion Ballinagore just could not step up their game. It was a disappointing day for Ballinagore, who were also runners-up last year. On Sunday they were below their best, as it was one of those days when nothing goes right. Short a few players through injury problems, they were having problems in this regular and then in the first-half their accuracy, especially from frees just would not come right on the day. That said however, Garrycastle were worthy winners and they fulfilled the general opinion before the start of the championship, that they were the team likely to come out on top at the end of the campaign. Their displays in the league where they played in Division 1 were promising and they surprised some senior teams last year and as well reached the final of the '96 Feis Cup, when it was still composed of Intermediate and Senior teams. They should do well in Senior ranks and their good standard of a fast open game both entertaining and effective.

If Garrycastle want to analyse Sunday's game the one factor that may cause them concern was their failure in the second half to put good outfield play on the score-board until twenty minutes had elapsed. In the last ten minutes of play they added four points but those twenty minutes of a scoreless period caused them to be concerned at that stage of the game. They were cushioned by those two goals scored in the first-half and these goals were influential in enabling them to alter dominance of the play. In the first half positional switches that Garrycastle made worked out well for them. Enda Nugent came out from full forward to make the centre half berth and Colm Holohan moved in to take his place, David O'Shaughnessy moved from centre field to centre-half forward, and this proved a decisive move indeed as David caused problems for the Ballinagore defence.

Ciaran Ryan moved to centre field and Marry Talbot to half back. Stephen O'Reilly had much to contribute at centre field to this game and his display had a bearing on the teams better movement. Garrycastle got the upper hand when those moves worked out well and in the last ten minutes of the first-half they added 2-1 to their score, and this breakthrough proved to be the foundation of their success.


To the end Ballinagore battled bravely, but their short passing game was too often contained that pass too far and they lost possession or were bottled up as a result. Michael Ennis just could not get his scoring touch right with frees and he was off target with a number of efforts, which on a better day he would have put on the scoreboard. Under a deal of pressure the defence battled hard to try and keep the opposing attack to a limited scope and Louis Ennis and Peter Heraty in the pivotal positions both played
their hearts out in their efforts to hold the defence together. At centre field Norman Maxwell and Peter Robinson lined up well in their passing movements were far too often carried that step too far and more direct methods were needed when the goal post were in sight. To the credit of the team they played with spirit, until the end and when they had to lose they did so in admirable sporting manner. At the conclusion of the game, the championship trophy was presented to the Garrycastle captain, Enda Nugent by Denis Coyne the Football Board Chairman.


There was hardly any wind factor and Norman Maxwell set up the first scoring move when he sent to Jarlath Mahon who was fouled 45 mts out, and Michael Ennis sent the free, out of his hand over the bar for the opening score of the game in the 3 rd minute. A Garrycastle free also 45 mts out, was sent wide by Rowan Mulvihill. In the 7th minute Garrycasile drew level when the centre field pair combined and a well directed ball from Stephen O'Reilly found David O'Shaughnessy and his part­ing drive skimmed off the crossbar and over for a point, as a spell of Ballinagore attack brought no score, Michael Ennis from play and form a fee was off target. Ciaran Ryan stopped further pressure and Garrycastle broke out of defence to launch an attacking move and from a Rowan Mulvihill pass David O'Shaughnessy hit the woodwork and the ball was cleared. David was impeded and from the resultant free Rowan Mulvihill sent over the bar to take the lead in the 17th minute a long range free was sent wide by Michael Ennis, but then Ballinagore came back and a move involving Cathal Ennis, Norman Maxwell and finally Michael Ennis was finished over the bar by Peter Robinson to level the score in ihe 19th minute. The last ten minutes of this first half was a decisive spell that laid the foundation for Garrycastle to go on and win. David O'Shaughnessy now at No. 11 played a shot into the net for a great goal. A Ballinagore counterattack involving Jarlath Mahon, Peter Robinson and Michael Ennis resulted in a free, but Michael's scoring form just would not come right for him and the free went wide, as did another free by him immediately afterwards Garrycastle added a point to their lead when Meredith Talbot intercepted a pass and soloed forward to finish over the bar. In the 28th minute Garrycastle had their second goal when Eamonn Cunnane crossed the ball from the left into the path of Alan Daly who despatched it to the net. In an effort to respond Louis Ennis and Peter Heraty broke from defence to set up a move which was finished wide by Jarleth Mahon. The score at half time Garrycastle 2-3, Ballinagore 0-2.


From the restart of play Danny Ward came on for Jimmy Marshall in the Ballinagore attack and for Garrycastle Fergal Nugent came on for Ollie Nicholson. Michael Ennis and Sean Robinson switched position in the attack, Michael now in the square and Sean out on the half line of attack. Both sides were off target in early scoring efforts with Michael Ennis from a free and then at the other end Colm Holohan and Alan Daly, all wide of the posts with their finishing efforts. Six minutes after the restart a free to Ballinagore was sent over the bar by Michael Ennis and now the chance to claw back the lead looked possible. But a revival was not forthcoming as the game proceeded. For the next fourteen minutes no further score came from either side. Ballinagore had another wide and Garrycastle had three in this spell. Gerry Claffey replaced Sean Robinson in the Ballinagore attack. It must have been a relief to Carrycastle mentors that these two goals in the first-hall gave them a lead they were now finding it difficult to add to.


At last in the 50th minute they broke the deadlock and a point from Colm Holohan gave them their first second half score Colm was again in action and he was impeded, with Rowan Mulvihill sending over the bar from the free Garrycastle were now taking command in all sectors and a ball sent to the square was pulled wide by Alan Daly. Stephen O'Reiliy, Alan Daly and Meredith Talbot then sent them forward again for Colm Holohan - to score another point. Dermot Connell came on for Cathal Ennis, but Garrycastle kept passing to add an other point. When David O'Shaughnessy placed Rowan Mulvihill to notch their last score of the game. Garry Sammon came on for Eamonn Cunnane and in the closing minutes Ballinagore buttling bravely to the end forced a free conceded on Cristoir Ennis, which Michael Ennis sent over the bar. Michael Ennis and Peter Robinson combined to set put Cristoir Ennis to score the last point of the game. The final whistle saw the scoreboard read; Garrycastle 2-7, Ballinagore 0-5.

Scores for Garrvcastle: David O'Shaughnessy 1-1, Alan Daly 1-0, RowanMulvthill 0-3 (2pts from frees), Colm Holohan 0-2, Meredith Talbot 0-1.
Scores for Ballingore: Michael Ennis 0-3 (from frees), Peter Robinson 0-l and Criostroir Ennis 0-1.

Teams Garrycastle: Cathal Mullin, Michael Mulvihill, Martin Jameson, Edmund Naughton, Ciaran Ryan, Ollie Nicholson, Karl Henson, David O'Shaughnessy, Stephen O'Reilly, Alan Daly, Meredith Talbot, Colm Holohan, Rowan Mulvihill, Enda Nugent (captain) and Eamon Cunnane. Subs: Fergal Nugent for Ollie Nicholson, Garry Sammon for Eamonn Cunnane.

Ballinagore: Stephen Brundell, Sean Claffey, Louis Ennis (Captain), Enda McCann, Crisotoir Ennis, Peter Heraty, Ger Connell, Norman Maxwell, Peter Robinson, Cathal Ennis, Michael Ennis, Gordon Alexander, Jimmy Marshall, Sean Robinson, Jarlath Mahon. Subs: Danny Ward for Jimmy Marshall, Gerry Claffey for Sean Robinson, Dermot Connell for Cathal Ennis.

Unknown user,
17 Sep 2011, 10:02