Garrycastle, St Patrick's, and Éire Óg earn AIB Leinster Club SFC wins
AIB Leinster Club Football Championship First Round
GARRYCASTLE (WESTMEATH) 0-15 EMMET OG, KILLOE (LONGFORD) 0-6
ST PATRICK'S (WICKLOW) 1-14 FERBANE (OFFALY) 2-9
ÉIRE ÓG (CARLOW) 4-6 CASTLETOWN (WEXFORD) 1-10
Former Leinster club champions Éire Óg of Carlow and Garrycastle of Westmeath easily secured their passage through to the quarter-finals of this year’s competition thanks to wins over Castletown and Emmet Óg Killoe respectively, but 1986 winners Ferbane failed to make it a treble after they were denied by a superb comeback from St. Patrick’s of Wicklow in an excellent encounter at Bord na Móna O’Connor Park in Tullamore.
St. Patrick’s were well-beaten by Offaly opposition a year ago when Rhode came to Aughrim, but on that occasion they had won their county final the previous day. This time they were far better prepared and got out to a good start through points from Dean Healy and Patrick McWalter, but were rocked back when Cathal Flynn showed a lovely touch to control and finish for the game’s first goal after six minutes.
Cian Johnson added a second goal in the 13th minute with a typically confident finish and Ferbane maintained that advantage up to half time, when they took a 2-4 to 0-6 lead into the dressing room.
Johnson and Joe Maher were on target again after half time but the game changed when St. Patrick’s produced an excellent team move up the field and Thomas Kelly added the finish to make it 2-7 to 1-9, and they built on that with a great ten minute spell, adding scores through Bryan Doyle (two), Dean Healy and Kelly again.
Ferbane tried to chase the game in the closing stages with Maher and Kieran McManus on target, but it wasn’t enough as the Wicklow town side held on to win by 1-14 to 2-9 and set up a clash with Portlaoise in a fortnight.
Garrycastle and Emmet Óg Killoe bridged five and four-year gaps respectively to win domestic honours in Westmeath and Longford this year, but only one side looked tuned in this afternoon in Mullingar as Garrycastle picked up the win, 0-15 to 0-6.
It was all about veteran Dessie Dolan in the early stages as he kicked Garrycastle’s first five points, three from frees and two from play. Despite the absence of county man Pádraig McCormack, Emmet Óg were still well in contention at that stage, and even after Alex Gardiner scored twice to make it 0-7 to 0-4 at half time, the game was still there for the taking for both sides.
The third quarter was quite poor however, with Garrycastle adding just three points while Emmet Óg failed to score. A ’45 from Mickey Quinn broke a 27-minute scoring drought to make it 0-10 to 0-5 going into the last ten minutes but it was all about the east Athlone club in the closing minutes, as Conor Cosgrove and substitute James Sheerin tacked on two points each.
There was a time when Éire Óg of Carlow lorded the club football scene in the eastern province, accumulating five senior titles between 1992 and 1998, and they rolled back the years this afternoon in Netwatch Cullen Park against Castletown of Wexford with a 4-6 to 1-10 win.
First half goals from Chris Blake, Cormac Mullins and Jordan Morrissey put the home side well in control of the tie, with Blake (two), Mullins and county man Sean Gannon tacking on points to help build up a 3-4 to 0-4 interval lead.
Jonathan Bealin tried to inspire a fightback from Castletown in the second half as he shot six points for his adopted club, but Blake’s second goal midway through the half meant that Robbie Brooks’ goal for Castletown was little more than a consolation for the Wexford champions.