Mullingar Shamrocks GAA Notes

December 02, 2019

LGFA Minor Final: St Loman's 3-13 Mullingar Shamrocks 2-8 (aet)

It was heart break for the Mullingar Shamrocks girls as  St Loman's eventually emerged victorious in this pulsating LGFA Minor Final played in Springfield on Sunday afternoon.

The early stages were dominated by St Loman's but the girls in blue failed to transform this control on to scores on the board. This was partly the result of some brilliant defending by the Mullingar Shamrocks girls with Carla Gibney and Annemarie O'Reilly showing the way and Isabelle Clinton a very safe goalkeeper whose handling and kicking were excellent. In addition the St Loman's shooting was erratic and the series of misses included a number of frees that were firmly embedded in the scoreable category.

Annie Graham opened the scoring for St Loman's with a fine point but this was balanced by a point from Susanna Buckley after a great pass by Katie Kelly created the opening. Sarah Geoghegan and Niamh McGinley exchanged points before the game swung in Mullingar Shamrocks favour in the final ten minutes of the half; Mia Gilligan ghosted behind the St Loman's defence and punched the ball to the net and Holly McCormack added a point to secure an interval lead of 1-3 to 0-2 for Mullingar Shamrocks.

The Shamrocks girls continued to dominate after the restart. Laura Culkin pointed  after a great turnover by Annmarie  O'Reilly, a Chloe Smullen rocket was brilliantly tipped over the bar by St Loman's goalkeeper Jane McKenna. Vicky Carr took control of the free taking duties for St Loman's and pointed from long range but this was neutralised by a similar score by Chloe Smullen. This point by Vicky Carr was the first of what proved to be a 2-9 total before the final ended after extra time. Laura Culken turned provider for Holly McCormack who scored Shamrocks second goal and extend the Shamrocks lead to nine points with twenty minutes remaining (2-6 to 0-3). It was a remarkable transformation by the Shamrocks girls.

St Loman's however were not for turning and inspired by Vicky Carr began the salvage operation that was ultimately successful. The young halftime substitute Caoimhe Kilmurray, who played a key role in her team's comeback, scored St Loman's first goal.  Carr pointed again and followed this with a goal with a shot that dipped under the crossbar despite the best efforts of Isabelle Clinton to keep her net intact. Carr followed with two more pointed frees to send St Loman's into a one point lead. In the final hectic minutes Mullingar Shamrocks reacted with renewed energy  and Máiread Newman scored a superb equalising point from an almost impossible angle. 

Crucially in the final minutes, Mullingar Shamrocks lost their most dangerous forward and free taker Chloe Smullen with concussion and this may have been costly as in the final minutes it was Shamrocks turn to miss two scoreable frees. At the end of normal time the teams were level 2-7 each and two ten minute periods of extra time followed.

Vicky Carr was the first to score after the restart; the Shamrocks response was immediate as Megan Reid equalised. This proved to be Shamrocks final score. and Vicky Carr wrapped up the title for St Loman's when she gained possession from the throw-in at the start of the second period of extra time and raced through the Shamrocks defence and scored a goal that was an exact replica of her first goal as the ball once again dipped under the crossbar past Isabelle Clinton.

It was disappointment in the end for the girls but they can take consolation from the fact that it was their best performance of the year in what was a brilliant advertisement for LGF. Isabelle Clinton is an excellent goalkeeper and the full back line of Ruth Keane Carla Gibney and Eve Hynes defended magnificently as did the halfback line of Annemarie O’Reilly, Catherine Tubridy and Jenna Kelly with Carla and Annemarie magnificent. 

Susanna Buckley and Máiread Newman covered acres of ground as they worked hard at midfield and won plenty of possession and Máiread's equalising point is a contender for the Shamrocks score of the year. Our half-forward line kicked the crucial scores, the loss of Chloe was severe and it was great to have the soccer international back in the Shamrocks colours for this championship. Our full-forward line also played their part with Mia ghosting in for a great goal, Katie Kelly distributing in her normal intelligent manner and Laura Culkin having one of her finest games in the Shamrocks colours. It is important  that these girls continue in the game. Well done to all and to Ciarán,  Karen, Kieran and Debbie for all the hard work.  

Mullingar Shamrocks: Isabelle Clinton; Ruth Keane, Carla Gibney, Eve Hynes; Annemarie O’Reilly, Catherine Tubridy, Jenna Kelly (Jodi Aherne); Susanna Buckley (0-1), Máiread Newman (0-1); Holly McCormack (1-1), Sarah Geoghegan (0-1), Chloe Smullen (0-2) [Megan Reid, 0-1]; Laura Culkin (0-1), Katie Kelly and Mia Gilligan (1-0) [Jasmine Haugh]. 

Junior B Football Final: Milltownpass 2-15 Mullingar Shamrocks 2-11

With less than a minute less on the clock and with Milltownpass leading by three points a David Gavin delivery to the edge of the square was superbly fielded by Shane Colleary who turned his marker and blasted for the net. The shot was brilliantly saved by Rory Coyne in the Milltownpass goal. Andrew McCormack was on hand for the rebound but shot wide. It was that close to another extra-time session for Mullingar Shamrocks and although Liam Gorman added a point to extend the Milltownpass lead to four points the likelihood is that had that last attack of Shamrocks produced a goal extra-time would have been on the menu for the second time.

Mullingar Shamrocks began in impressive fashion and playing against the hill raced to an early 2-4 to 0-2 lead with Trevor Keena notching 2-2 and Gary Corroon and Adam McCormack contributing a point each. Milltownpass rallied and outscored Shamrocks 2-6 to 0-4 over the final fifteen minutes of the half with two goals by Brendan Kelly and a series of points edged the home side into the lead. Gary Corroon and Adam McCormack again contributed to the scoreboard and at the interval Milltownpass held a 2-8 to 2-6 lead.

Points by Gary Corroon and Marc Eivers levelled matters shortly after the restart but a long period of Milltownpass dominance followed during which points by Seamus Faulkner and Eoin Gallagher extended the Milltownpass lead to six points (2-14 to 2-8). A disallowed Milltownpass goal at this stage was a help and points from Trevor Keena, Marc Eivers and Shane Colleary paved the way for the last minute attempt to pluck a draw from the jaws of defeat.  Rory Coyne's brilliant save ended the revival as time evaporated.

Overall it was an enjoyable competition for Mullingar Shamrocks that provided many players young and not so young with an opportunity to play football. Qualifying for the final was a bonus and great credit is due to manager Aidan O'Donoghue and Gary Corroon whose ability to convince players to make themselves available ensures that Shamrocks will always field a team.

Mullingar Shamrocks: Dillon Matthews; Cormac Murphy, Eamonn Breslin, Richie Daly (Brian McGuire); Jack Kelly (Pádraic McKenna), Ryan Blundell, Kenneth O'Reilly; Gareth Doyle (Peter Collins), Marc Eivers (0-2); Pearse Corroon, Shane Colleary (0-1), Trevor Keena (2-3); Gary Corroon (0-3) [John O'Reilly], Adam McCormack (0-2), David Gavin;  

Santa Claus is coming to Springfield ...

Santa Claus has left base and has emailed us that he will be attending the Mullingar Shamrocks’ children’s Christmas Party on Saturday week 7 December in The Clubhouse from 4.00-6.00 pm sharp. He also asked that we round up as many volunteers as possible to help on the evening. He tells us that the Shamrocks Party is one of the best he attends ANYWHERE and that it is very important that standards are maintained.  Anyone available to help on the day or with the preparations on Friday  6 December (7-9)  please let Barry Kelly know, and parents if you have a young person attending please let Barry know also as he needs to inform Santa about what presents he needs to have packed when he lands in Springfield.

The Aussies are coming also ...

And they will be here before Santa Claus just about. They arrive on Wednesday 4 December with two matches scheduled  for 2.30 in Springfield ... The Australian touring footballers are back again after their two very previous successful visits in 2017 and 2018 when they were given a lesson by our LGF girls team. This  time they are bringing two teams of boys, an under-15 team and an under-17 team and they will take part in two friendly matches with our lads from the same age groups starting as stated at 2.30.

The boys will be hosted overnight on Wednesday by Shamrocks' families and if anyone wishes to help out please contact Barry Kelly (a couple of host families are still needed). After an evening meal in the host family's house, the boys have a visit of Jungle Joe's scheduled where some 10-pin bowling skills will be tested. They touring party will depart from Mullingar on Thursday morning after breakfast ...

Junior B Football semi-final: Mullingar Shamrocks 2-13 Rosemount 1-11

Mullingar Shamrocks qualified for the final of the Junior B Football competition with this fine victory over Rosemount in frosty Lakepoint Park on Friday night.

Shamrocks began in impressive fashion with Marc Eivers scoring with the first attack and this was followed by two points from the ageless Gary Corroon. Ben Cox reduced the deficit with a pointed free but Mullingar Shamrocks responded with a brilliantly engineered goal that began with a sideline kick and after a series of passes David Gavin gained possession and broke through on goal and a super-fast exchange of passes with Shane Colleary ended with Gavin crashing the ball to the net. Ben Cox and David Gavin scored points before Rosemount with a goal and a point from Ritchie Brien made a significant dent on the Shamrocks lead. This was self-inflicted as Shamrocks played some great football but poor finishing and hasty shooting let the side down. Shane Colleary worked hard and pointed but  Ben Cox added two more points and after all the good play Shamrocks trailed at the interval (1-6 to 1-5).

A Lorcan Daly point extended the Rosemount lead but David Gavin responded with a like score. This was followed by what was probably the most significant score of the night when Shane Colleary goaled to restore the Shamrocks lead (2-6 to 1-7). Ben Cox and Gary Corroon swapped  points; Adam McCormack, Shane Colleary and Gary Corroon (0-2) extended the Shamrocks lead to six points (2-11 to 1-8). Another big moment came midway through when Robbie Boyle saved brilliantly from Lorcan Daly and Ryan Blundell brilliantly blocked the second attempt. Two points from Lorcan Daly reduced the deficit with ten minutes remaining before Adam McCormack climbed high to punch the ball over from a Marc Eivers 45. Marc was outstanding on the night and his midfield performance laid the foundation for the Shamrocks victory but he has not yet perfected the art of chipping the goalkeeper although he's working on it. David Gavin, one of the stars of the frosty night, scored Shamrocks final point, Rosemount added two to their total and when Mickey Dan Murtagh blew the final whistle, Mullingar Shamrocks were leading by 2-13 to 1-11 and for the first time in a long time we had finished ahead of Rosemount in a grade other than senior. What's seldom etc ...

It was a great team victory with all involved contributing to the win. Robbie Boyle and Shane Colleary rolled back the years in style. Back in 1995 before 3G pitches were invented and many of his Shamrocks team mates or Rosemount opponents were born, Robbie Boyle played on the winning Dublin team that defeated Tyrone in that famous All-Ireland final when Charlie Redmond played on for a while after being sent off and Peter Canavan scored 0-11 of Tyrone's 0-12. Robbie's handling and kicking against Rosemount was exemplary and the  great second half save proved that class is permanent. Shane Colleary too continues to defy the years and the man who scored the famous goal in the 2004 Leinster final against Wexford when Westmeath won the Leinster title played a key role in the Shamrocks victory. But it was a night when the young and not so young combined for a great win.

Mullingar Shamrocks: Robbie Boyle; Cormac Murphy, Eamonn Breslin, Richie Daly (Brian McGuire); Jack Kelly, Ryan Blundell, Kenneth O'Reilly; Gareth Doyle (Peter Collins), Marc Eivers (0-1); Pearse Corroon, David Gavin (1-3), Adam McCormack (0-2) [Vinnie Timoney]; Shane Colleary (1-2), Gary Corroon (0-5), John O'Reilly (Tom Morley).  

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