2001 Junior Cup Final

Loughnavalley Defeat Caulry To Claim First Football Title  
Caulry 0-8
Loughnavalley 3-5

Loughnavalley displayed determination and class in Ballymore last Sunday to win the Westmeath Junior Cup - the Club’s first football title since its inception.
Caulry, the north Westmeath side’s opposition, were unlucky in front of goal on a number of occasions and the game could have easily swung either way. But it was Loughnavalley that came away from the game as victors with the aid of three vital goals.

Loughnavalley began the tie well and produced a number of good moves from the back. Caulry seemed to be finding it hard to get into the game during the initial exchanges and Loughnavalley opened the scoring with a well taken point from Patrick Kelly after a good build-up involving Sean Ruane and Darren Rigney.
Caulry responded well to their opposition’s opening and a narrowly missed point from Leo Fallon was followed by a score from Alan Carroll. Ciaran Cunningham played a great ball through to Carroll who was fouled before converting the resulting free.
Caulry continued their good run of play and a good move produced a point for Jody Malynn, who took his opportunity brilliantly.
Alan Carroll could have then scored the opening goal of the match. A low ball played through from midfield saw him with the ball at his feet with just the keeper to beat. Unfortunately for Caulry, his shot drifted beneath the approaching keeper and rebounded off the post.
Declan Fry of Loughnavalley then levelled the score at two points a piece but Anthony Malone gave Caulry the lead again almost immediately.
The game was proving to be a tightly contested affair and Loughnavalley had a number of opportunities to level the score before Ciaran Cunningham of Caulry put his side further ahead with a well taken free kick.
With the scores set at 0-4 to 0-2 in Caulry’s favour, it looked as if they might just be beginning to take dominance of the game, but that was until Loughnavalley stepped up a gear.

Ken Daly was left unmarked in front of goal and Darren Rigney found him with a brilliant pass. Daly then took the opportunity to score the first goal of the match and Loughnavalley were again looking capable of winning the Cup.
Ciaran Cunningham scored a brilliant point from a near impossible angle as Loughnavalley continued to prove that they are a team on the ascendancy. As half time approached, Loughnavalley continued to push for more scores and their determination paid off when they got their second goal of the match. 
A goal mouth scramble following a free kick saw a number of attempts on goal before David Hatton beat the keeper with a low hard shot and going into half time, Loughnavalley looked the dominant force in the game with the scoreline set at 2-3 to 0-4 in their favour.

Exciting encounter
In the second half, Caulry displayed true fighting spirit and demonstrating that they were not going to lie down and take defeat easily. A midfield battle saw strong performances Sean and Colm Ruane of Loughnavalley - as well as battling determination from their opposites David Hatton and Enda Murphy of Caulry. 
Straight from the throw-in, Caulry’s Ciaran Cunningham laid the ball off to Alan Carroll who played the ball across the field to Leo Fallon who scored the first point of the half.
Immediately following this, Caulry almost scored a goal when Alan Carroll was played through by Anthony Fitzgerald and left with only the keeper to beat. But Brendan Clarke in the Loughnavalley goal managed to get a hand to the ball and Loughnavalley’s advantage was preserved.
Leo Fallon then scored another point for Caulry and with the score at 2-3 to 0-6 the side were making an impressive comeback.
But this spell Caulry dominance came to an abrupt end when Loughnavalley scored their third goal.
Damien Dowd took a long range free kick which drifted into the area. The ball seemed to slip past the hands of a number of players before finding its way into the back of the net past a stunned Edward Egan in the Caulry goals.

There was very little that Edward Egan could do about Dowd’s goal as the ball just seemed to drift past the hands of every player that tried to touch it.
This slightly obscure goal proved to be the definitive moment of the match as Loughnavalley went on to retain their advantage over Caulry. Despite Leo Fallon’s point directly after Dowd’s goal, Caulry had difficulties in breaking down the Loughnavalley defence which held firm in the main from then on.
Patrick Kelly of Loughnavalley put over a free kick which left the scoreline at 3-4 to 0-7. 
Despite the two goal difference, Caulry continued to battle and could have scored a goal themselves but after a good build -up down the left, Alan Carroll’s shot went narrowly wide and it began to look as if time was running out for the side.
Caulry did manage to get one last point from an Alan Carroll free kick but a number of wide's from the side did not help their cause and Patrick Kelly of Loughnavalley scored the last point of the game to leave the score at 3-5 to 0-8 in Loughnavalley’s favour.

The Loughnavalley supporters were ecstatic at the final whistle and cheered on their side’s first competition win.
The Loughnavalley players deserved their success having battled hard throughout the game and they showed that they have the talent and determination to take on any side on their day.

Caulry: Edward Egan; Damien Dowd; James Casey; Brian Malarney; Anthony Malone; Jody Malynn; Mark Malone; David Hatton; Enda Murphy; Aidan Dunning; Eamonn Keenan; Ciaran Cunningham; Alan Carroll; Anthony Fitzgerald and Leo Fallon.

Loughnavalley: Brendan Clarke; David McCarthy; Declan Scully; Tony Ruane; Bobby Elliffe; Nicky Kirby; Aidan Scally; Sean Ruane: Colm Ruane; Patrick Kelly; John Hegarty; Darren Rigney; Ken Daly; Declan Fry.

Extracted from the Westmeath Independent Archives, 21st December 2001
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