astletown (MH) 2-19
Going into the AIB Leinster Junior Football Championship quarter-final break at Echelon Park Aughrim with six points apiece, you wondered how Laragh would manage to hold off a very decent looking Castletown side from Meath who would have the wind at his back in the second. mid-afternoon last Saturday.
The fact that the Royal County side won the second half 2-13 to 0-1 will tell you all you need to know about how difficult Paddy Molloy’s charges found the challenge in those 30 seconds as the visitors punished the Wicklow champions over and over again. again.
Going 2-19 (2-13 in the game) in a football game in the first week of November after weeks of incessant rain takes some effort, and this Castletown team made it look a breeze with their classy footballers like Rian McConnell in midfield, Adam Matthews, Kevin Ross and Declan Cribbin gave Laragh huge headaches over the course of the hour.
Laragh was unable to take advantage of the strong wind in the first half, scoring just three points of the game as Castletown closed them out with excellent performances from full-back Evan Hoey and Shane Hoey in the centre. The Garden County side also posted four widths in the first half.
The game was 13 minutes into the game when Laragh grabbed his first goal, which came from a John Nolan free kick, at which point Castletown were up 0-3 to 0-1 through points from McConnell (free), Kevin Ross and Darren Finney. from a narrow angle.
A Kevin Ross free kick for Castletown, which was well supported at Echelon Park Aughrim it must be said, was followed by a remarkable David Miley point with the outside of his left boot from distance with 16 remaining.
Two points from Castletown sandwiched a fine score from Mark Miley after good work from John Nolan and Mark Cullen, but Darren Finney responded with the last score of the half for Meath’s men with 23 lost.
Laragh produced strong last seven minutes of the half with a super touchdown from Marck Cullen and two free kicks from John Nolan, but Castletown nearly scored a goal in the death only for Kevin Ross’ shot to be blocked at the top corner.
Laragh’s deployment of Peter Merrigan in his usual sweeper role freed up Castletown’s Adam Matthews at the other end and he would go on to have an excellent game, especially in the second half as he dictated matters from deep after pushing the Laragh’s man for most of the first half.
Meath’s men attacked from the start of the second half, but Laragh’s goalkeeper Shane Duffy cleverly stopped dangerous Kevin Ross with 30 seconds on the clock.
The game was almost over late in the third quarter when Castletown led 0-13 to 0-6, with Rian McConnell hitting three excellent free throws while holding game points from Killian Price, Declan Cribbin and two from Kevin Ross. (one 45).
Laragh’s only second-half score came in the 24th minute via a John Nolan free kick with Paddy Molloy taking Mark Miley further off the pitch as he looked to his side for more possession and threatened Castletown’s goal against the wind. .
Standout Declan Cribbin as a corner forward for Castletown tormented Laragh’s defense in the fourth quarter, scoring some magnificent points and grabbing the first of his two late goals, Kevin Ross added the second after pulling off a Shane Duffy restart earlier. to throw at Laragh’s goalkeeper. with a wonderfully bold effort that summed up Laragh’s day.
A fully deserved win for Castletown, but Laragh can look back on 2022 as a fantastic season and can keep their heads up as they enjoy some well deserved rest before getting back on the horse for a shot at the Intermediate Championship next year. .
Laragh: Shane Duffy; Craig McCoy, Andrew Brancato, Luke Kearney; Alex Olohan, David McDonald, Stephen Conway; Steve Olohan, Damien Hanlon; John Nolan (0-4, 4f), Eric Olohan, David Miley (0-1); Peter Merrigan, Mark Miley (0-1), Mark Cullen (0-1. Substitutes: Gary Cullen for S Olohan (49), Dan Power for S Conway (49), Stephen Curley for L Kearney (58).
Castle Town: Jonathan Ginnitty; Noel Smyth, Evan Hoey, Adam Matthews (0-1); Killian Price (0-1), Shane Hoey, Eoin Reid; Rian McConnell (0-5, 3f), Killian Smyth; Darren Finney (0-3), Gerard Farrelly, Damien Ginnitty; Mark Kelly, Kevin Ross (1-5, 2f, 145), Declan Cribbin (1-4). Substitutes: Seamus Doherty for D Ginnitty (44), Robert Hoey for M Kelly (54), Killian Markey for G Farrelly (54), Cormac Farrelly for S Hoey (56).
Referee: Kieran Harris (Kildare)