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IFC semi-final: Oldcastle better Dunderry

12 October 2009

Oldcastle's Vincent Reynolds
Oldcastle 0-14
Dunderry 0-11

Eleven years after contesting the Meath SFC final, Oldcastle are just one step away from returning to the premier grade, which they vacated in 2002, when scoring a fully-deserved victory over Dunderry in the first of the Lagan Group IFC semi-finals at Pairc Tailteann on Saturday night.

Dunderry went into the tie as hot favourites but Oldcastle showed scant regard for the bookmakers' when taking control in the early stages. The men in blue in blue and white were well on the way to the title decider when leading by 0-8 to 0-1 after 22 minutes and were a similar (0-10 to 0-3) ahead at the break.

Although Dunderry did better in the second half, and got the margin down to two points on 57 minutes, they were unable to get any closer and could have no complaints about the result.

The first four points came from frees and that laid down the marker for the encounter in which just eight of the 24 points were struck from open play. The best of the converted frees came from Oldcastle midfielder Vincent Reynolds ion the first half, both being kicked over from beyond the 45-metre line.

The north county side went into 0-3 to 0-0 advantage inside the opening 10 minutes with three different marksmen from frees, Reynolds, Niall Mangan and Paddy Rahill. The first score from play came after 14 minutes with Paddy Gilsenan shooting sweetly between the uprights following a pass from Mangan.

Reynolds' centrefield partner, Eoin Gilsenan, also got on target from play for Oldcastle before the break. At the other end Anthony Kane slotted over two frees before TJ Garry kicked their first from play after 29 minutes.

Dunderry resumed strongly with three points in the opening five minutes with Kane (free and free) and wing back Colm Kane raising their supporters' hopes. During that spell Alan McCann raised the white flag for the leaders for whom Nicky Galligan made it 0-12 to 0-6.

After Mangan made it 0-13 to 0-7 early in the last quarter, Dunderry put over the next four points with Garry slotting over two frees and a 45 and Bob Doherty becoming the third midfielder to hit the target.

Just before Dunderry's last score, on 57 minutes, manager Con O'Neill moved goalkeeper David Jennings up to the attack. However, the move failed to pay dividends and it was Oldcastle who closed the scoring with substitute Ronan Farrelly converting a free on the hour mark.

There was still time for the losers to be reduced to 14 men with referee Brendan Darby showing wing back Colm Harte a straight red card after Terry Farrelly went down under the stand.

Oldcastle- S Fox; S Farrelly, S Rahill, T Rahill; B Curran, R McHugh, C Caffrey; E Gilsenan (0-1). V Reynolds (0-2, frees); P Gilsenan (0-1), T Farrelly, P Rahill (0-2, frees); N Mangan (0-5, 4 frees), N Galligan (0-1), A McCann (0-1). Subs- C McPartland for Caffrey (43), R Farrelly (0-1, free) for McCann (46), R Pakenham for P Rahill (54).

Dunderry- D Jennings; G Newman, D Clarke, K Slattery; Darren Callaghan, E Stephens, C Harte (0-1); B Doherty (0-1), P Callaghan; S Harte, B Callaghan, A Newman; TJ Gary (0-5, 4 frees), K Dowd, A Kane (0-4, 4 frees). Subs - J Kelleher for G Newman (23), David Callaghan for A Newman (41), T Conaty for S Harte (51 mins), J Brady for Dowd (56).

Referee - B Darby (Ballinabrackey).