Senior Co. League Div 2: Milltown/Castlemaine 1-10; Austin Stacks 2-9.
Rarely have we ever got an easy game against Milltown/Castlemaine and this was certainly the case on this fine Sunday afternoon (1st July) in Milltown in this 8th round (of 11) of the Co. League. Early on in the game we felt we were going to be beaten out the gate – we had failed to register a score in the opening quarter while the home side had 1-3 on the board.
When we had a third wide in the 16th minute Greg Horan got the ball rolling when he won the kick-out, laid off quickly to Darragh O’Brien and with some help from Pa McCarthy Darragh was at the end of that slick move to to put over our first score in the 17th minute. This was followed quickly by a Shane Carroll point.
Team captain, Shane Guthrie, won the kick-out, found Pa McCarthy who linked with Greg Horan who burst his way through to land a fine goal. We were now just one point in arrears, and that was still the margin between the sides at half time when both teams scored two each in the closing ten minutes of the half – our two coming from a Darragh O’Brien free after a foul on Greg Horan and the final score of the half from a Pa McCarthy beauty that sailed high between the posts from distance (Milltown ahead at half time by 1-5 to 1-4).
Almost six minutes had elapsed after the resumption before the first score came. And it came from a Darragh O’Brien free (after Jack O’Shea had been fouled for the umpteenth time) to level the match for the first time. Then, two minutes later, we took the lead for the first time when Darragh’s brother, Ferdia, put over a beauty from play. But two quick points from the opposition put them back in the lead on the 40th minute. Two minutes later a lovely Stacks move saw Shane O’Callaghan put Jack O’Shea through for another equalizing point. And this was followed, in the 45th minute, by our second goal. It came after another good build up which ended with centre-back, Ciarán O’Reilly, in the right spot to tap a Darragh O’Brien cross to the net and put us three points clear.
But Milltown never gave in and after holding us scoreless in the first quarter they repeated that feat in the last quarter, wiping out our lead during this period by scoring three more points (two from frees). This left the sides level for the 4th time as the game entered added time (1-10 to 2-7). And during the six minutes of this additional time we regrouped and added two more points – both from Darragh O’Brien – to secure a well-deserved, hard-earned victory.
And what made the victory more relevant was the fact that the two teams (Desmonds and Na Gaeil) that were level with us on top of the Div 2 League Table suffered defeats in their games, which now leaves us clear on top of the Table with 14 points, one ahead of Kilcummin, with Desmonds and Na Gaeil sharing third spot on 12 points each. And the irony of all this is we must face Na Gaeil (w/e 29th July ) and Desmonds (w/e 19th August) in the last two rounds of the League (these, of course, are provisional dates).
Team: Robbie Murphy, John Dennis, Jack O’Shea (0-1), Barry Walsh, Pa McCarthy (0-1), Ciarán O’Reilly (1-0), Ciarán O’Connell, Shane Guthrie (Capt), Greg Horan (1-0), Shane Carroll (0-1), Darragh O’Brien (0-5 – three frees), David Fitzmaurice, Ferdia O’Brien (0-1), Shane O’Callaghan, Fergal Ryan.
Subs used: Denis Costello (ht), Joseph O’Connor (ht), Wayne Guthrie (42m), Michael Linnane (56m).
Match Photographs by Adrienne Mc Loughlin: