Westmeath hold off Wicklow’s second half fightback in Shield final

Gerry Reilly U-16 FT 2013 Shield Final

Westmeath 4-8 Wicklow 3-5
Westmeath completely dominated the opening half of the Gerry Reilly U-16 FT 2013 Shield Final played early on Sunday evening in Oldcastle. Wicklow seemed to have no answer to all the pressure from Westmeath and never got out of the stating blocks. Nobody present could have then predicted what was to unfold in the second half.
Ronan O’Toole opened the scoring for Westmeath with a point. Niall Gavin and Ciaran Doyle followed up with further points. The Wicklow ‘keeper blocked a shot on goal, but Niall Gavin pointed from the rebound. A Bill Berry goal had Westmeath in the driving seat. Wicklow had a shot on goal blocked for a 45 but failed to convert the resultant kick. Cathal Daly got Westmeath’s second goal after a pass from Ciaran Doyle before Wicklow’s first score in the 18th minute, a Martin Shannon point. But then Ronan O’Toole got a point and 2 goals to give Westmeath a seemingly unassailable lead at the break.

H/T: Westmeath 4-6 Wicklow 0-1
You hear about a game of 2 halves especially if there is a gale blowing. No wind worth talking about, but what we got in the second half was dominance this time by Wicklow. Whatever was said in the dressing room at half time transformed Wicklow. On the restart the post and crossbar came to the rescue of Westmeath from a Wicklow goal attempt. Wicklow got 3 unanswered points from Alan Dillon, Liam Kinsella and Conor Ryan before Westmeath’s only scores of the second half. (a Ciaran Doyle pointed free and a Ronan O’Toole point).
The saviour of Westmeath, especially in the second half, was their Minor ‘keeper, Joseph Hyland, who made no less than 5 terrific saves on Wicklow’s attempts on goal. The pressure was all coming from Wicklow and they got their first real break when Conor Ryan converted a penalty. Joseph Hyland then had to make one of his great saves before Conor Kenny got Wicklow’s second goal. Martin Shannon added to Wicklow’s score with a point before Roan Lynch got their third goal.
While the scoreline indicates a comfortable win for Westmeath, nothing could be further from the truth. Nobody could have anticipated their collapse in the second half and credit has to go to Wicklow from making a great game of it then.
No doubt Wicklow will remember the name of Joseph Hyland (who was presented with the ‘Man of the match’ award) and who thwarted their comeback efforts.

After the match, Westmeath’s Captain, Darragh Healy, was presented with the Gerry Reilly U-16 FT Shied Trophy by Clare Reilly (mother of Gerry Reilly)

Scorers for Westmeath: Ronan O’Toole (2-3), Ciaran Doyle (0-4, 1f), Billy Berry & Cathal Daly (1-0 each) and Niall Gavin (0-1)
Scorers for Wicklow: Conor Ryan (1-1), Roan Lynch & Conor Kenny (1-0 each), Martin Shannon (0-2), Liam Kinsella & Alan Dillon (0-1 each)

Westmeath: Joseph Hyland (Millmore Gaels), Eoin Ryan (Millmore Gaels), Jack Coyle (Ballycomoyle), Siyabanga Nxumala (Rochfordbridge), Killian Doyle (Killucan), Darragh Healy (Capt) (Rosemount), Eoghan O’ Keeffe (St. Lomans), Sam Duncan (Miltownpass), Sam Omorkouro (Athlone), Niall Gavin (The Downs), Cathal Daly (Rosemount), Conor Kane ((St Malachys/Ballinagore), Ronan O’ Toole(St. Lomans), Ciaran Doyle (Killucan), Billy Berry (Moate)

Wicklow: Daragh Byrne (Michael Dwyers); Bobby Grennan (Newtown); Eoin Murtagh (St Nicholas); Jamie Cullen (Tinahely); Liam Kinsella (Avondale); Darren Walsh ((Newtown); Darren Beevor (Avondale); Dylan Terry (Bray); Eoin Baker (Avondale); Alan Dillon (Tinahely); Gavin Dowling (Bray); Martin Shannon (Capt)(Blessington); Conor Ryan (Blessington); Roan Lynch (Derry Gaels); Conor Kenny (Blessington)
Subs: Kyle Flynn (An Tochar) for Daragh Byrne; Stephen Connor (An Tochar) for Kenny; Conor Kenny (Blessington) for Grennan and Daragh Byrne (Michael Dwyers) for Cormac Byrne
Ref: Ciaran Flynn (Meath)
Results of the Group Stages 2013:
Group A
Rd.1 Sunday, 21 July Cavan 2-12 Meath 1-14
Rd.2 Sunday, 28 July Meath 2-15 Wicklow 3-8
Rd.3 Monday, 5 August Cavan 2-15 Wicklow 1-11

Group B
Rd.1 Saturday, 20 July Dublin 5-16 Louth 0-3
Rd.2 Saturday, 27 July Louth 4-6 Westmeath 2-8
Rd.3 Saturday, 3 August Dublin 3-13 Westmeath 2-8