Shay Murtagh Senior Championship Semi-Final:
St Loman’s reached their fifth consecutive Senior Final after a hard-fought four point victory over The Downs in TEG Cusack Park last Sunday. On a day where conditions were far from ideal, due to the constant downpour of rain and strong wind. Conradh Reilly got the opening point of the encounter when his effort sneaked inside the post to get the Blues off the mark. Fola Ayorinde was then denied a goal after a smart save from Downs Goalkeeper Trevor Martin. John Heslin got the Saints second point with a well taken score before Luke Loughlin got the Downs on the board.
The ever-present Kelvin Reilly who was phenomenal throughout, restored the two point lead before it was quickly cancelled out by Niall Mitchell’s point for the Black and Amber. Both sides continued to trade scores with David Winsdor and Luke Loughlin on target with two points each. The Downs then kicked two consecutive points to put them into the lead for the first time. However the Blues responded well first Ronan O’Toole pointed to equalise before a superb John Heslin point off his left boot put Loman’s back in front. Pat Fox blew the half-time whistle to leave the scores at seven points to six in favour of St Loman’s.
The Saints started quicker after the restart with Kelvin Reilly getting his second point of the match and TJ Cox opening his account with a well taken-score. However, The Downs then found a purple patch kicking four unanswered points. Jonathan Lynam got the first of these followed by Luke Loughlin. Ian Martin’s impressive double then put the Black and Amber in front with just over ten minutes remaining. Nevertheless, The Blues reaction to going behind was fantastic, showing huge character in the last ten minutes. In this spell Loman’s would go on to score 1-3 without reply.
Firstly Fola Ayorinde blasted over to draw the teams’ level, after a strong run following a great pass from Darragh O’Keefe who suffered an injury in the process. TJ Cox came alive in the closing stages, kicking a beautiful left footed shot from a tight angle over the black spot to give the Saints the most slender of leads. Then came the pivotal moment, Sean Flanagan ghosted in behind the Downs defence after being found expertly by Cox and the substitute made no mistake to place the ball into the Downs net beyond Trevor Martin to give Loman’s a four point cushion. TJ Cox kicked the final score for the blues with a long-range monster point off his right foot, this was arguably the score of the match, and all of a sudden the Saints had a five point lead. The Downs got their final point in injury time but it turned out to be a mere consolation as St Loman’s ran out four point winners.
St Loman’s now have another County final to look forward to on October 13th against Garrycastle in TEG Cusack Park with time to be confirmed. Commiserations to The Downs who showed tremendous heart and gave a great account of themselves. The Blues suffered two injuries on the day with Paddy Dowdall and Darragh O’Keefe both having to leave the field, let’s hope they’re both fit and recovered for final. What an achievement from the players as well as Luke Dempsey and his management team of Johnny Plunkett, Robbie Kenny and Gary Devine to reach their fifth consecutive county final. Hopefully the Blues can go one better than last year!
On the day the Blues performed well from one to fifteen, however some stood out with fantastic individual performances. David Windsor consistently won possession for the Blues and chipped in with two vital points. Conradh Reilly’s experience was vital in the middle of the park and combined well with the energetic Fola Ayorinde. The latter did the graveyard shift in midfield, putting in the hard yards and never stopped going from the first whistle. Sean Kelly held the fort superbly in the full-back line. Kelvin Reilly also stood out, a consistent performer he forced vital turnovers, thwarted The Downs on numerous occasions and got two points of his own. Not to mention his leadership qualities are plain to see for all. All in all it was a great result and no doubt momentum will be building in the coming weeks for the final on October 13th.
Team; Jason Daly, Sean Kelly, Darragh O’Keefe, Paddy Dowdall, David Whelan, Kelvin Reily (0.02), Paul Whelehan, Fola Ayorinde (0.01), Conradh Reilly (0.01), Sam McCartan, Ronan O’Toole (0.01), David Windsor (0.02), Ken Casey, John Heslin (0.02), TJ Cox (0.03). Subs used; Sean Flanagan( 1.00), Kevin Regan, Conor O’Donoughue, Tristan Graham, Garett Hickey.
Under 8 Boys:
Well done to our Under 8’s who hosted the last of the Westmeath blitzes on Saturday morning - Mullingar Shamrocks and CFCW were our guests. A big thanks to Gary Kiernan who has lead the u8 mentors this year and was out early this morning organising pitches and refreshments. Our u8s all received medals (Gary even put the ribbons on himself).
Draw Date: Thursday September 26th
This Week’s Jackpot: €10,300
No Jackpot Winner
€50 Consolation Prize winners each are as follows:
1. Senan Russell Jnr
2. Zoe/Alex/Zara Martin
3. Stephen Callaghan
4. Ken Eades
Next draw: Thursday October 3rd
Next Week’s Jackpot: €10,400.
Remember it could be you!