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IFC final: Oldcastle crush 'Wood

27 October 2009

Oldcastle captain Terry Farrelly raises the Mattie McDonnell Cup to the delight of his team mates at Pairc Tailteann.
Oldcastle ............. 2-11
Kilmainhamwood ...... 0-6

Fielding a potent blend of youth and experience Oldcastle proved too strong for Kilmainhamwood in the Lagan Group IFC final at Pairc Tailteann on Bank Holiday Monday.

Seamus Kiernan's charge set down a marker in the early exchanges and by half-time led by nine points, 1-8 to 0-2.

Skipper Terry Farrelly won the pre-match toss and according to plan opted to play with the stiff breeze blowing towards the hospital goal.

The gambit paid a rich dividend and the Mattie McDonnell Cup was bound for Oldcastle when they restricted Kilmainhamwood - who were bidding to make an immediate return to the senior ranks - to a miserly two third quarter points.

Teenage full-forward Nickie Galligan took the scoring plaudit was 1-3 and his 48th minute goal with assistance from Alan McCann and Paddy Gilsenan left it 2-9 to 0-4.

Oldcastle - who only retained their IFC status with an 0-8 to 0-2 win over Ballivor in the relegation decider last November - used their full quota of substitutes in the latter stages in what was an emphatic squad success.

The experienced Ronan Farrelly - who overcame a hamstring injury to be available for the decider - was the first to be drafted in.

He was quickly followed by Cian McPartland who did well to prevent Francis Owens getting in for a goal with strong challenge.

The evergreen Vincent Reynolds led by example with a strong display at midfield where he was well assisted by Eoin Gilsenan.

Rory McHugh and Sean Rahill provided a strong central spine in the Oldcastle defence while tenacious corner-back Thomas Rahill restricted Kilmainhamwood 'skipper Ray Magee to two points from play.

Oldcastle were never reeled in once Niall Mangan pointed them in front in the second minute from a close range free.

Most of the traffic was towards the hospital goal in the opening ten minutes with teenager Gilsenan cutting in from the left before sending over his side's first score from play.

Galligan got in on the act with a brace of points before Kilmainhamwood captain opened his side account from a 30-metre free in the 12th minute.

Kiernan's men responded with 1-4 in the second quarter. A second Gilsenan point was followed by a long effort from Patrick Rahill (free).

When Alan McCann was fouled by Damien Cunningham, Gilsenan netted the resultant kick with aplomb after Ray Madden temporarily replaced Michael Clarke in the Kilmainhamwood goals.

Mangan closed Oldcastle's first-half account with a brace of points, one from a free.

Substitute Colm Gichreest posted Kilmainhamwood first point from play in first-half stoppage time before picking up a yellow card for a challenge on Shane Farrelly.

Within four minutes of the restart Oldcastle - who were demoted from the senior grade at the end of 2002 - increased their lead when Reynolds landed a free from 40 metres.

Oldcastle next score was Galligan's aforementioned goal and fittingly he had the final say with last score of the game in stoppage time at the end of a memorable day for the men in royal blue jerseys as they clinched their first title at this level since
1987 and second in all.

Oldcastle -S. Fox; S. Farrelly, S. Rahill, T. Rahill; B. Curran, R. McHugh, C. Caffrey; E. Gilsenan (0-1), V. Reynolds (0-1, f); P. Gilsenan (1-2, 1-0 pen), T. Farrelly, P. Rahill (0-1, f); N. Mangan (0-3, 2 fs), N. Galligan (1-3), A. McCann. Subs - R. Farrelly for Caffrey (44), C. McPartland for S. Farrelly (51), R. Packenham for McCann (53), D.
Hawdon for P. Rahill (55), R. Kellett for Mangan (56).

Kilmainhamwood - M. Clarke; P. Barber, S. Smith, D. Cunningham; P. Moran, S. Mulligan, M. Shankey; A. Farrelly, R. Madden; P. Owens, F. Owens, H. Corbally; D. Russell, R. Magee (0-3, 1 f), S. Kiernan (0-2, fs). Subs - C. Gilcreest (0-1) for Corbally (20), A. Crosbie for Russell (ht), L. Shankey for P. Owens (37).

Referee - G. O¹Brien (Wolfe Tones).