Leinster club SFC: Garrycastle edge out Athy

04 December 2011

Athy's David Hyland fails to stop Dessie Dolan of Garrycastle getting possesion during the Leinster club SFC semi-final ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne
Garrycastle defeated Athy by 1-10 to 1-06 at Newbridge this afternoon.

Anthony Cunningham's charges progressed after a hard fought win over the battling Kildare outfit. The match was far from a classic but Garrycastle thoroughly deserved their victory and they can now look forward to the Leinster final on December 18th.

The Westmeath champions were looking to reach the Leinster club final for the second time in three years and were bidding to become the first Westmeath side to win the provincial decider.

Athy were playing in their first Leinster club championship in 24 years, but they had an impressive start to their campaign beating Edenderry and Old Leighlin on their way to the semi-final.

Garrycastle entered this tie as favourites, but Athy got off the mark first when Liam McGovern pointed in the 12th minute as both sides took time to settle down.

Darach Mulhall exchanged points with Dessie Dolan before Garrycastle drew level at 0-4 each when Dolan (2) and his cousin James Dolan ensured the sides were all square at half time.

Garrycastle got off to a great start in the second half as three points from Tom McHugh, Paddy Mulvihill and Seanie Donoghue gave them a nice cushion, but Athy's James Eaton broke through the visitors defence and fired past golakeepr Cathal Mullins to level the match at 1-4 to 0-7.

James Dolan and Alan Daly hit points for Garrycastle, while Eaton responded for Athy to keep them in touch at 1-6 to 0-10 as the game entered the final minutes.

However Garrycastle kicked on and a Gary Dolan goal finished the scoring and sent the large Westmeath contingent home in happy form.

Garrycastle: C Mullin; M McCallon, J Gaffey, T McHugh (0-1); K Henson, D Harte, E Mulvihill; S O'Donohue (0-1), D O'Shaughnessy; R McGowan, D Dolan (0-4, frees), J Dolan (0-2); G Dolan (1-0), P Mulvihill (0-1), J Duignan. Subs: A Daly (0-1) for P Mulvihill (43 mins); C Cosgrove for Duignan (54 mins); J O'Shaughnessy for McHugh (57 mins); A Browne for McGowan (58 mins); J McAteer for G Dolan (60 mins).

Athy: J Roycroft; D Hyland, J Kinihan, M Foley; R Bell, E Delahunt, E Kennedy; P Dunne (0-1), K Feely; T Gibbons, C Reynolds, L McGovern (0-1); D Mulhall (0-1, free), K Brophy, J Eaton (1-3, 0-2 frees). Subs: D O'Keeffe for Gibbons (40 mins); A Kelly for Mulhall (45 mins); D Holligan for Kennedy (58 mins).

Ref: S Doyle (Wexford)