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1933 McCrann Cup Final

Caulry win by a point

Close on seven hundred people witnessed a thrilling football match in the sports field on Sunday last, when Caulry defeated Athlone by a point - (4 to 3)- in the McCrann Cup final. It was a splendid exhibition of the national game, and judging by the enthusiasm of the crowd present, the fine sporting spirit of the players, and the dashing play and fine clearances throughout the hour, the play met with general approval. 

The standard of play was very high indeed, and old Gaels present - and they were legion - commented very favourably upon the fine promise shown. One prominent old Gael mentioned that the enthusiasm shown brought him back to 1916, '17 and '18 when all Athlone was turned towards the national pastimes. 

Prompt to time both teams to the field, Athlone in royal blue looking particularly fit and neat, and Caulry in light red, looking somewhat more the experienced lot. Mr Stephen McCrann, U.C.D., the generous donor of the beautiful cup, threw in the ball, and both teams were off. The teams settled down at once and in a moment, the ball was in the Caulry goal, but M. Nugent kicked well down field. 

Both defences were very sound, the fielding of both fulls - O'Connor and Nugent - being a feature of the game. Heavey tackling brought a crop of fouls, and in this respect Caulry suffered most in the earlier stages. It was apparent that there would be no quarter given by either side. 

Murray score for Athlone 
From a foul within forty yards of the Caulry goal, A. Murray - who was playing first class football - pointed for Athlone. The score added interest to the game, and Caulry, per Griffin, from a free equalised. Athlone missed many golden chances at this stage, weak shooting by the forwards being the cause. 

M. Nugent of Caulry, saved his side from certain defeat over and over gain, and a particularly strong drive from Bracken was saved in the goalmouth. From a further free, A. Murray scored again for Athlone, and half time came with Athlone winning by 0-2 to 0-1 for Caulry. 
On the resumption, play was even faster than in the first half, and power of Athlone was outstanding, with Hickey of Caulry. These two players were a delight to watch, while A. Murray and P. O'Connor of Athlone, and Columb, and L. Nugent of Caulry showed up to advantage. The Athlone forwards were again at fault when a beautiful pass by Mulvihill went abegging. Caulry were also ill-luck at this stage when Griffin missed an open goal. 

Caulry draw level 
Tense excitement prevailed amongst the Caulry supporters when Griffin equalised from a free, and a little later Hickey - the star of the Caulry team - added a further point. A third point came to Athlone almost immediately and again Griffin scored a minor for Caulry from a difficult angle. 
Athlone made desperate efforts to pull the game out of the fire, and Power, Murray, Bracken, Drumm and Mulvihill were working strenuously. Athlone, however, made the big mistake trying for goal when points were quite sufficient. The Athlone defence were now down amongst the forwards, and it seemed certain that Caulry would fall before the onslaught. 

Columb (the Caulry skipper) was leading his men in master'y fashion, and he fell back to defend. Athlone forwards were pressing hard, and a foul thirty yards out against Caulry looked like brining the equalising point to Athlone. A. Murray again took the free, but sent wide of the post - the game was lost and won! Athlone were attacking at the final whistle. 

Caulry, 0-4; Athlone 0-3 

Mr. T Plunkett (Moate) handled the game in splendid fashion. 

For Caulry: M. Nugent, Hickey, L. Nugent and Columb were best, and for Athlone, Power, Murray, O'Connor and Bracken played well. 

Judging by the crowds of school children present, they seemed to have appreciated the kindly action of the Athlone GAA Club in granting them free tickets. These school children followed the game with ease, and showed there approval of good passages in the play in a very marked fashion. 
At the termination of the game, Rev. Brother Gerald congratulated the Caulry captain on behalf of Athlone GAA Club, also on their fine sporting play, and hoped that next year, Athlone would have the chance of wiping out this defeat. Caulry had played a great game; they had won, and he wished them well.

The cup will be presented to Caulry team later, and a splendid set of medals go with the cup. 

Extracted from the Westmeath Independent Archives