Castletown’s third string and Colt Shanahoe’s second string contested this year’s Division 5 decider in Clough-Ballacolla GAA grounds, with not much separating them for most of the contest. However, Castletown’s Jamie Conroy scored a fortuitous goal from a free with five minutes left, and that helped them pull away to glory.
Colt Shanahoe 0-13
Castletown struck for the opening score, with doggish pressure from the Castletown forwards on the Colt Shanahoe back line resulting in them turning it over and Jamie Conroy splitting the posts. That lead didn’t last long though, as Colt Shanahoe came roaring back with the next four points.
They all came from the hurl of wing-forward Mossy O’Connor. He knocked over three points from placed balls before landing a sublime score from play after Colt Shanahoe’s physicality around the centre of the field paid dividends.
Castletown replied well before the water break, with Jamie Conroy converting another free, and then Loughlin Hegarty grabbed the first of his three scores after Colt Shanahoe failed to clear their lines. Colt Shanahoe held a narrow lead of 0-4 to 0-3.
After the break in play, Castletown had the opening goal opportunity of the game. Loughlin Hegarty’s shot from distance dropped short and Colt Shanahoe keeper Michae Dooley flicked it out. Castletown full-forward Ger Cuddy was first to react, but his swipe at the sliotar went to the left and wide.
Cuddy did get his goal though minutes later. He judged the flight of the long ball in better than his marker, Colt Shanahoe’s Paul Kerwin, and finished it into the bottom right corner of the net. Patrick Mullaney then pointed a beauty from out near the sideline, and Castletown were ahead again.
Colt Shanahoe responded strongly to the setback though, and levelled proceedings before referee George Boyhan blew the whistle for half-time. Mossy O’Connor was proving unerring from frees, as he pointed twice in quick succession. Then midfielder Daniel Butler found space to fire over Colt Shanahoe’s equaliser before the interval.
The second half started with Castletown on top once more. Jamie Conroy continued his scoring prowess by scoring his second point from play, before sending over three more points on the trot from placed ball situations. Two long-range frees and one 65’ were converted by Conroy, with Castletown now leading by four points.
Credit must go to Colt Shanahoe, as they again showed they were made of stern stuff by getting back into the thick of it. O’Connor only missed a single free throughout the afternoon, as he punished Castletown’s indiscipline by knocking four more placed balls over the bar to level the sides once more before the second water break.
Colt Shanahoe actually took the lead after the water break finished as well, with midfielder Nathan Dunne raising a white flag. However, that was as good as it got for them, as Castletown finished the final strongly to assure themselves of glory.
Loughlin Hegarty swung over the equaliser after great work from substitute Michael O’Connor to win the ball back. Then the pivotal moment in the match occurred. Jamie Conroy didn’t getting enough height on his free from distance, but it caught out Michael Dooley in the Colt Shanahoe goals and went into the top right corner.
Mick Butler blasted another point over for Castletown, and while Anthony Dunne replied with a long-range free for Colt Shanahoe, Castletown scored the last three points. Cathal Moore, substitute Paul Harding, and Jamie Conroy (free) raised white flags to see Castletown to a seven point victory.
Scorers: Jamie Conroy 1-7 (1-4 frees), Ger Cuddy 1-0, Loughlin Hegarty 0-3, Patrick Mullaney, Cathal Moore, Mick Butler and Paul Harding 0-1 each
Team: Barry McKelvey; Killian Cuddy, Adrian Dollard, Brian Ferns; Abbott Trevor, Tadgh Dooley, Matthew Peters; Oisin Phelan, Mick Butler; Loughlin Hegarty, Kevin Conroy, Cathal Moore; Patrick Mullaney, Ger Cuddy, Jamie Conroy. Subs: James Mullaney, Michael O’Connor, Gearoid Kirwan, Paul Harding
Scorers: Mossy O’Connor 0-10 (0-9 frees), Nathan Dunne, Daniel Butler and Anthony Dunne (free) 0-1 each
Team: Michael Dooley; Joe Stackpool (C), Paul Kerwin, Michael Grant; James Kirwin, Anthony Dunne, David Madden; Nathan Dunne, Daniel Butler; Mossy O’Connor, Anthony Ryan, Darren Phelan; Bryan Scully, Thomas Kerwin, Franky McEvoy. Subs: Padraig Dunne, Anthony Kirwan, Karl O’Keeffe,
REFEREE: George Boyhan (Clough-Ballacolla)
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