Terrific display by Oldcastle to hold off Rathkenny in the IFC Semi-Final
Pairc Tailteann is turning into a happy hunting ground for Oldcastle this year. The last minute smash and grab tactics of our last outing there thankfully weren’t needed today (25/10/2021), with a more leisurely win secured in the IFC Semi-Final.The first half was a hugely defensive affair, Oran O’Reilly busy out, and very low scoring. Oldcastle took the first score thanks to Paddy Gilsenan three minutes in. Rathkenny threatened a few times, but the Oldcastle defence put in a major effort and kept them scoreless. Another attack saw Rathkenny get awarded a penalty, but a super save from Oldcastle’s Packie Kevin kept them still scoreless. Packie’s kickout found Jason Scully who made a great run downfield and scored for Oldcastle’s second point.
It was a full eleven minutes in before Rathkenny got one of their own. They were awarded a ’45 soon after, but converted it into a very wide wide. Keith Curtis took the next for Rathkenny, leaving it at two points apiece, but that was to be their last of the first half.
A nice Robbie Farrelly intercept found CJ Healy, back to Robbie, on to Conor McHugh, back to Jason Scully, back to Conor again, on via Conor Delaney, and back to Conor McHugh who got her in to the waiting Garrett O’Reilly who sailed her between the posts for a lovely point. That was followed in the next play by a super curling point from the boot of Colin Hawdon. A mistake by the Rathkenny goalie was penalised with Oldcastle getting a free which CJ converted.
Paddy Rahill was next on the ball, getting it forward to Conor McHugh, back to Paddy then on to Colin Hawdon, who sent it forward to CJ, he found Garrett again who fired it from an awful tight angle, off the post and over for a point! Stephen Lawless was having a great game, and he got the next ball on to Paddy Gilsenan, to James Cooke, Robbie Farrelly and Garrett, back to James, on via Robbie Farrelly and Ronan Maguire to the waiting Colin Hawdon who took another lovely low curling shot to add another point for Oldcastle. The half-time whistle blew on a score of Oldcastle 0-07, Rathkenny 0-02.
The second half began with two Rathkenny wides, before they converted a free. Robbie Farrelly was dragged to the ground: CJ converted. Rathkenny converted another free to keep the scoreboard ticking. Robbie Farrelly was again fouled in scoring distance: CJ converted. With that, Rathkenny shot three wides after other, an advantage after the third one also sent wide. The waterbreak interrupted proceedings, but straight after it Cian McPartland was given a black card, and Rathkenny awarded a free. Once again it went wide. Finally, after all that, they sent one over the bar to bring it back to a three point game, and then another, reducing Oldcastle’s lead to two. Oldcastle hadn’t scored in thirteen minutes at this stage, when Jason Scully took matters into his hands, a great intercept and run only coming to an end when he was upended, the free on the 45 yard line sailing over the bar. Robbie Farrelly converted a Garrett free soon after to stretch it to four.
A super run from Garrett then resulted in another point, the lead now back to five points, Cian McPartland back on the pitch, and only four minutes left to play! The excitement was building with the Oldcastle supporters as Rathkenny fired another wide. Oldcastle defence went into overdrive for the final minutes: a couple of black cards the result but what harm, another point from Rathkenny wasn’t enough to save them and the crowd erupted as the referee blew the final whistle on a score of Oldcastle 0-12, Rathkenny 0-08.
Well done to all the lads on a great win, and a ticket to the Meade Farm Intermediate Football Championship Final! The last major win for the club was the Intermediate Final of 2009, and there are still five of the winners from that day playing – Paddy Gilsenan, Paddy Rahill, Cian McPartland, Darren Hawdon and Barry Curran. It would be great to see them add another medal to the collection! Get the flags out folks!
Oldcastle: Packie Kevin, Oran O’Reilly, Cian McPartland, Stephen Lawless, James Cooke, Paddy Rahill, Ronan Maguire, Conor McHugh, Conor Delaney, Garrett O’Reilly (0-03), CJ Healy (0-03), Jason Scully (0-02), Colin Hawdon (0-01), Robbie Farrelly (0-02), Paddy Gilsenan (0-01). Subs: Oran Mulvanny, Barry Curran, Keith Connell.