Mullingar Shamrocks

Founded 1953

Co. Westmeath

Mullingar Shamrocks qualify for ACL Div.3 final

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ACL Div. 3: Mullingar Shamrocks 1-8 Maryland 0-6

It was mission accomplished in top class grounds of Maryland on Friday evening when Mullingar Shamrocks collected the necessary points and qualified for the ACL Div.3 final and promotion to the ACL Div. 2 for next season. This is an achievement to be proud of and reflects most positively on the club and its work. Promotion was achieved with just one loss and lots of players were introduced to adult football and many of last year’s minor team transitioned to the world of adult football. And Darren Keena was back after a long career related absence. We play St Malachy’s in the final on Monday week (12 June) who will present a massive challenge.

The first half was well contested. David Culkin scored the vital goal on the stroke of half-time when he was the first to react after Niall Hannigan’s shot for goal was brilliantly saved by the Maryland goalkeeper. Culkin collected the rebound and crashed the ball to the net. The Maryland defence were unable to cope with the power and strong running of David Culkin who was Shamrocks’ key man on the night. Three times he gained possession and three times he was fouled and Conor O’ Brien converted the frees, none of which were of the easy variety. Conor’s frees were sandwiched between a pair of John O’Reilly points from play to leave the halftime score reading 1-5 to 0-2.

A Maryland point on the restart was followed by two more Conor O’Brien points from play and Shamrocks failed to score again until the last minute when Luke McCabe pointed. We went close twice: the Maryland goalkeeper saved superbly from Conor O’Brien and Nathan Smyth smashed a shot off the crossbar. And David Culkin’s shot for a point from an outrageous angle missed the target by inches (and it was wide!) Although outscored 0-4 to 0-3 in the second half Shamrocks were in control and always seemed likely to make it to the final.

Mullingar Shamrocks: Eoin Doran; Niall Hardiman, Davy Coyne, Eamonn Breslin; Dylan Franzoni, Dónal O’Donoghue (Aaron Purcell), Brendan O’Reilly; Zach Aherne James Larkin; Emmet Walsh, Darren Keena (Luke McCabe, 0-1), Niall Hannigan (Brian Melody); Conor O’Brien (0-5), David Culkin (1-0), John O’Reilly (0-2) [Nathan Smyth]. Other panelists: Nathan Cornally, Dylan Carey.

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