St Colmcilles 2-11
Castletown booked their place in the last 4 of the Meade Potatoes Intermediate Football Championship with a hard fought win over a determined St. Colmcilles side. This was a shoot-out of the highest quality as the teams trade scores, mostly out of the top draw. In truth Castletown looked to be the more composed side taking their points when they were on offer whereas St. Colmcilles were looking for goals all too often. The Castletown forward unit again showed their class running at the Cilles defense and generally causing havoc from start to finish. All 6 starters turned in 5 star performances.
St. Colmcilles won the toss and elected to play with the aid of a strong breeze and the famous Rathkenny hill. Some early positional changes from the seasiders saw them using a 2 man full forward line and an extra defender. Niall Ronan, formally of Leinster & Munster rugby lined out on the '40. Castletowns Joey Carry, was tasked with picking up county man Graham Reilly and did an excellent man marking job. He would pop up in the closing stages to fire home the insurance point.
The teams traded early scores, Colmcilles opening the scoring from Reilly. This was quickly countered by Kevin Ross, Darren Finney and James Finnerty points. Barry Smith then took over scoring duty, popping over 3 points. At the other end Castletowns Francis Bellew & Jonathan Metry were holding the last line of defense. Bellew, who played with the Colmcilles for a number of years, was on hand to save a certain goal mid way through the first half when Ciaran Kelly shot from close range. The Colmcilles goal came when Reilly got on the end of the move to race clear and fire to the net. There was nothing the Castletown net minder Paul Smith could do. It was at this time that Castletown showed their credentials. They could have closed up shop and tried to get to half time only 4 or 5 points down however that was never going to be the case with this team. Tommy Smith was the one to step up and rattle the net after some fine inter-play. Tommy began to see more of the ball, drawing his man into numerous fouls and an eventual yellow card. Kevin Ross would close the first half scoring for the north Meath men.
Half time score 1-7 apiece.
In what was a microcosm of the entire game the second half opened at 100mph. Graham Reilly raced through the on goal, his shot hitting the bar. Castletowns Noel Smyth was first to react and cleared. Castletown broke quickly and got the ball into Ross who stroked the ball over the bar with leisurely ease. Clearly now in scintillating form Ross would go on to steal the show. He followed up quickly with another wonder point and when Barry Smith and Gerry Farrelly both did something similar from long range it looked to be Castletowns day. Wayne Donegan was introduced for the injured Metry and turned in an excellent display, the highlight being a well taken point from 45 yards. Robbie Hoey at midfield for the men in green and gold supplied the platform, coming out on top of his personal duel. He ran himself into the ground and was replaced by Shane Hoey who carried on in the same manner.
St Colmcilles to their credit didn't throw in the beach towel. A Ciaran Kelly shot was expertly saved by Paul Smith at his near post but soon after Eoin Woods popped up in space and punched the ball to the net to bring the sides level.
With the game now very much in the melting pot leaders such as Kenny Smith and Francis Hoey were willing to get on the ball and take control. Ross Blaney defended for his life as well as getting forward in support whenever required. Gerry Farrelly dictated things around the middle of the field. Kevin Ross added 2 more points to give Castletown some more breathing space in between a super James Finnerty score. Barry Smith then put 3 points between the teams as the game reached the closing stages. The coast men were forced to look for a third goal but that wasn't going to happen. With the final play of the game it was left to Joey Carry to place the proverbial cherry on top with a splendid point from out on the right.
Next up for Castletown is a semi-final clash with Balinlough next weekend.
Castletown: P.Smith, J.Carry(0-1), F. Bellew, J. Metry, R. Blaney, F. Hoey, N.Smyth, G. Farrelly(0-1), R. Hoey, K. Smith , J. Finnerty(0-1), Kevin Ross (0-6), D. Finney (0-1), Barry Smith (0-6), Thomas Smith (1-0): Subs S. Hoey for R. Hoey, W. Donegan(0-1) for J.Metry.