Shay Murtagh Precast Westmeath Senior Football Championship: Mullingar Shamrocks 0-13 Moate All Whites 0-10
In the end, it was not to be. Our lads delivered the essential victory but it was Athlone, within seconds of elimination a few weeks ago in Kinnegad, who also did what they had to do against Garrycastle and were rewarded with a place in the knock-out stages of the championship. We wish them and our first round conquerors Tang the best of luck next weekend in their respective games.
We can draw many positives from this campaign and we thank Enda and his management team and the players for their efforts over the past 10 months or so.
Our first half dominance was not reflected on the scoreboard which read 0-6 to 0-4 at the interval, the low return a product of six wides and a number of shots that dropped short. Denis Corroon opened our scoring with two pointed frees; Dean Moore and Paddy Fagan pointed from play to establish an 0-4 to 0-0 lead after fifteen minutes. Paddy Fagan’s point was the result of a Shane Ormsby mark and a Dean Moore run. Shane made a very impressive senior championship debut and confirmed his readiness for the higher echelons of club football. Robbie Forde pointed a free in the seventeenth minute and then won possession from the restart and kicked an outrageous point from close to the sideline and into the wind. Another Forde pointed free reduced the deficit to the minimum but good work by Lorcan Smyth released Denis Corroon who pointed from play. Another Robbie Forde free again reduced the gap to the minimum before Efe Siode opted to carry the ball the length of the field and create a goal scoring opportunity for Paddy Fagan whose shot was brilliantly deflected over by the Moate keeper, Richard Price (0-6 to 0-4).
David Gavin set down a marker early in the second half as he charged forward and pointed. David and Efe produced wonderful second half performances as they moved forward with menace at every opportunity. Three points in succession by Billy Berry, Robbie Forde and Eoin Bracken levelled matters after ten minutes. A great pointed free, driven into the wind, by Denis Corroon restored the Shamrocks lead, Paddy Fagan pointed from the restart after David Gavin, and Denis combined to create the opportunity. Paddy pointed again after another Efe up-field foray forced a save from the Moate keeper (0-10 to 0-7). Moate were far from finished and were not giving up on the big prize. Two points from Robbie Forde cut the deficit to the minimum and a missed free by Tobby Conteh passed up on a great opportunity to equalize. Dean Moore pointed after Dillon Matthews’s attempt to replicate the famous 2021 goal against Killucan was foiled on the goal line but this was balanced by a great Robbie Forde pointed free (0-11 to 0-10) as injury time beckoned. A victory for Moate would have secured a place in the knockout stages. The restart was vital and a magnificent piece of fielding by Denis Corroon was rewarded with a mark. Shane Ormsby secured possession from Denis’s delivery. Shane released Ollie MacNamara and a Jordan Warde point completed the move. Shamrocks regained possession from the restart and Marc Eivers completed the scoring (0-13 to 0-10).
The joy of victory was quickly smothered by the news seeping in from Tubberclare that Athlone had landed the required victory and thanks to the machinations of the latest version of Rule 6. 21 we were eliminated from the championship.
Mullingar Shamrocks: Eoin Doran; Dillon Matthews, Efe Siode, Marc Eivers (0-1); Killian Daly, David Gavin (0-1), Conn O’Hanlon; Lorcan Smyth (Conor O’Brien), Paddy Fagan (0-4); Alan Cashman [Ollie MacNamara], Dean Moore (0-2), Shane Ormsby; Jordan Warde (0-1), Denis Corroon (0-4) Brendan O’Reilly (John O’Reilly).