IFC: Castletown win with ease
May 17, 2014
Castletown's James Finnerty gets in his pass as Longwood's Karl Ennis closes in during the Meath IFC game at Bective
Castletown laid down a marker to all-comers in the intermediate grade with a magnificent display against a spellbound Longwood outfit. In what could only be described as champagne football, the team in green and gold dominated every facet of play and every section of the luscious Bective park. The display had the hallmarks of a team with the self belief to match the undoubted skill. Castletown set about their job with purpose right from the first whistle.
Although Longwood opened the scoring with a prearranged move which finished with a Mickey Burke point Castletown settled with points from Barry Smith and Kevin Ross. Barry Smith then found the net with the games opening goal and from there, there was only going to be one winner. Points quickly followed from the outstanding Gerard Farrelly and James Finnerty before Smith again raised the green flag. Castletown went on to notch up a further 6 points in the first half equally shared by Farrelly, Smith and Ross. Longwood's ultra defense system was tested to well beyond its limits as Castletown took their time, looked & found the openings and punished accordingly.
Longwood enjoyed a spell of somewhat dominance in the last 5 minutes of the half, however the full back line of Joey Carry, Francis Bellew and Johnny Metry stood firm. Bellew continued to roll back the years, indeed popping up in the forward line late in the game only to shoot inches wide. A penalty save by Castletown 'keeper Paul Smith rubbed salt into the Longwood wounds as the sides retreated to the dressing-rooms. The halftime score was 2-10 to 0-4.
The second half was always going to me an anti-climax for the strong Castletown support in attendance however the team stuck to the task at hand and never gave Longwood a sniff of hope. The midfield pairing of Farrelly & Robbie Hoey continued to dominate, aided in no small measure by the eager 'breaking ball merchants' Kenny Smith, Shane Hoey & Ross Blaney. Fraincis Hoey again lead from the 6 position. Wayne Donegan was replaced in the second half, suffering the ill effects of a 1st half impact.
Barry Smith & Kevin Ross continued where they left off adding early points to the Castletown tally, Ross also sending a shot to the Longwood net. From there it was a matter of how much, Castletown eager not to let up. Kenny Smith, now at wing back got on the score sheet with a couple of fine point as did the excellent Darren Finney. Declan Cribbin came off the bench and quickly made his presence known by notching up a point from out on the left.
Overall Castletown can only be delighted by the manner in which they put Longwood to the sword. It was a case of job done as they secured a place in the championship quarter final. There's plenty of water to flow under the bridge before that day arrives however.
Longwood on the other hand face an uphill battle to redeem their season. Employing such a negative approach to the game, deploying the first ever "no-man forward line" in the history of Gaelic Games should surely cause concern.
Paul Smith, Joey Carry, Francis Bellew, Johnny Metry, Ross Blaney, Francis Hoey, Wayne Donegan, Robbie Hoey, Gerry Farrelly (0-3), Kenny Smith (0-2), James Finnerty (0-1), Shane Hoey, Darren Finney (0-2), Barry Smith (2-4) , Kevin Ross (1-5). Subs used- Declan Cribbin (0-1)
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