Oldcastle through to Intermediate Semi-Final

Oldcastle 2-12 Dunderry 2-7

There wasn’t a sound to be heard as the huge crowd observed a minute’s silence today (29 Sept.2019), in memory of team-mate, friend, son and brother Darren Connell.

The pitch at Ballinlough looked pristine as always, with the sun shining and a nice breeze with the team for the first half. Oldcastle were hyped up from the off, with the first play of the match finishing with a converted free by Jason Scully. The resulting kick-out was taken down by Darren Hawdon, on to Paddy Gilsenan and Robbie Farrelly who was fouled, and converted.

A sideline ball from Paddy Rahill then found Colin Hawdon, on to C.J. Healy and back to Colin who was moving towards the goals at speed, he blasted it in the right direction, it hit the goalie, came back to Colin and this time was safely lodged in the back of the net – all within two minutes of the start!

Cian McPartland and Eoin Gilsenan were solid in defence, forcing wide after wide on Dunderry. They did make a few chances with goalie Packie Kevin pulling off two great saves mid-way through the half, but with the Oldcastle forwards scoring at will it was all going one way. Just as ref Colm McManus was looking at this watch, a lovely Eoin GIlsenan catch was moved upfield by way of Colin Hawdon, back to Eoin, and on to brother Paddy who fed it to Rory McHugh who smashed it to the back of the net, leaving the half-time score Oldcastle 2-08, Dunderry 0-02.

The second-half saw Oldcastle play into the stiff breeze, and Dunderry came out fighting, with a point within 20 seconds of the start. They followed that with a free and then the hammer blow of a penalty, which they blasted to the net.

There were ten minutes gone before Oldcastle’s first score of the half, with Robbie Farrelly converting a free. Dunderry were tipping over points regularly though, and with only ten minutes to go they grabbed another goal, to leave only three between the sides! Tempers on both sides were fraying, with the referee having to consult his umpires on multiple occasions, but Oldcastle steadied the ship.

A well caught ball from Ger Reidy was brought upfield by Jason Scully who was turned upside down by his man, the free went on via Eoin Gilsenan, to Oran O’Reilly, Dylan Garrigan, back to Jason, on to Colin Hawdon, Garrigan, Oran Mulvanny and finally to Ronan Maguire who slotted it between the posts for a lovely point.

The game wasn’t over yet however, with Dunderry charging upfield and looking dangerous, their efforts in front of goal were rewarded with a penalty! Disaster loomed, as the Dunderry player stepped up, and plenty of prayers were muttered – and answered – as the ball hit the upright, and safety! Colin Hawdon was away up the field in the right direction with the rebound, on to Ronan Maguire, Darren Hawdon, back to Colin and Ronan, to Jason Scully, Stephen Lawless, back to Colin and finally to Lee Healy who sailed it between the posts for the last score of the match: the final whistle blowing on a score of Oldcastle 2-12, Dunderry 2-07, bringing about great celebrations and seeing Oldcastle safely through to the Intermediate Semi-Final against Trim!

Oldcastle: Packie Kevin, Eoin Gilsenan, Cian McPartland, Oran O’Reilly, Darren Hawdon, Steven Lawless, Dylan Garrigan, Paddy Rahill, Jason Scully (0-02), Ronan Maguire (0-02), Paddy Gilsenan (0-02), Colin Hawdon (1-00), C.J. Healy (0-01), Rory McHugh (1-00), Robbie Farrelly (0-04).

Subs: Oran Mulvanny, Lee Healy (0-01), Ger Reidy, Sean Maxwell, Niall Mangan, Conor Hetherton.