Gaels dethrone Castletown to reach Westmeath SHC final

September 25, 2023

Westmeath's Derek McNicholas celebrates. ©INPHO/Ashley Cahill.

Derek McNicholas scored a late, late goal to hand Lough Lene Gaels a dramatic and shock 1-16 to 1-15 victory over holders Castletown-Geoghegan in yesterday’s Westmeath SHC semi-final at TEG Cusack Park.

The recently-retired county star sent the Gaels’ supporters into raptures when he crashed the ball to the roof of the net in the third minute of injury-time after Eoin Daly’s initial shot had been blocked. That gave the Collinstown men a two-point lead, and they held on after a late Castletown free left the minimum in it.

With county full back Tommy ‘Jogger’ Doyle back from his summer travels and contributing two points from centre forward, and rising star Shane Williams posting 0-10, the Gaels looked to be heading for their second defeat in a matter of weeks to the black and ambers when they conceded 1-1 (the goal coming from a Niall O'Brien penalty) at the end of normal-time to trail by 1-14 to 0-16, but they refused to panic as McNicholas secured a place in the county final against Raharney for the first time since 2009.

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