Garrycastle always in control
Dessie Dolan pulls the strings as Garrycastle regained Westmeath senior football title
Garrycastle’s Dessie Dolan: played key role at centre-half forward in win over Mullingar Shamrocks in Mullingar. Photograph: Inpho
With recently retired inter-county star Dessie Dolan pulling the strings at centre half forward, Garrycastle regained the Westmeath senior football title by a deserved six-point margin against Mullingar Shamrocks in a disappointing county final at Mullingar yesterday afternoon.
Garrycastle, managed by former Leitrim boss, Dessie Dolan Snr, led from start to finish. Despite playing against the wind, they were 0-3 to 0-0 in front after 19 minutes, two of their points coming from frees by Dessie Dolan, who had also set up their opening point by wing back Gary McCallon. Points from Ciaran Curley and Lorcan Smyth kept Shamrocks in touch, but a great goal from Alex Gardiner in the 26th minute helped Garrycastle to a 1-3 to 0-3 lead at the interval.
The Bernard Flynn-managed outfit managed to reduce the deficit to the bare minimum on two occasions in the third quarter. However, Aidan Browne continued to be the dominant midfielder on show and Garrycastle kept the scoreboard ticking over, on two occasions gifted by errors made by Shamrocks. With ten minutes remaining and his side three points to the good (1-7 to 0-7), half-time substitute Gary Dolan spurned a great goal opportunity, but two other substitutes Michael Monaghan (his second score) and James Duignan played crucial roles by slotting over two outstanding points from play as Garrycastle cruised to their seventh title since the turn of the century.
GARRYCASTLE: C Mullin; M McCallon, J Donoghue, A Fox; K Henson, J Gaffey, G McCallon (0-1); J Barrett, A Browne; D Rushe (0-1), D Dolan (0-5, frees), M Guiheen; C Cosgrove, A Gardiner (1-0), J Dolan (0-1). Subs: G Dolan for Cosgrove (h-t), M Monaghan (0-2) for Guiheen (35 mins), J Duignan (0-1) for Rushe (50 mins), C O’Neill for Gardiner (54 mins). MULLINGAR SHAMROCKS: P Shaw; E Moore, A Purcell, E Siode; K Daly, E O’Neill, C Kirwan; D O’Donoghue, D Corroon (0-2, one free); S Daly, L Smyth (0-3, one free), S Quinn; D Gavin, D Daly, C Curley (0-2). Subs: P Joyce (0-1) for Gavin (9 mins), D McDermott for S Daly (h-t), A Clinton for O’Donoghue (42 mins), P Fagan for Quinn (52 mins), C Moore for Joyce (black card, 60 mins). Referee: P Fox (Rosemount).