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2002-Caulry make amends

Caulry make amends

30 April 2003

After their Houdini-like escape in the semi-final, Caulry were never going to slip up in the final against St. Joseph’s. Here, we chart their return to the intermediate ranks.

Caulry banished the bitter memories of 2001 in no uncertain terms when they overwhelmed St. Joseph’s by 1-17 to 1-7 at Cusack Park on October 6 last to capture the junior football championship for the fifth time in their history.

The Mount Temple side were the ’nearly men’ of 2001, losing the junior championship, Junior Cup and All-County Division 3 finals. Of the three, the junior championship defeat was the most difficult to accept. Caulry looked to have Bunbrosna beaten, but the Longford-border outfit fought back to claim a draw and won the replay by 2-5 to 1-6.

Following that defeat, Caulry vowed to make amends last season and they certainly delivered on that promise. Under the guidance of George Hatton - who took over the managerial reins from former Mayo goalkeeper John Madden - they chalked up 10 straight victories to claim the Hugh Daniels Cup and add to their previous junior title wins in 1935, ’44, ’57 and ’90.

Most supporters would agree that the defining result of last season’s campaign was the 3-9 to 3-8 victory over St. Paul’s in the semi-final. The Clonmellon men led by nine points with less than 10 minutes remaining but, from somewhere, Caulry found the character to battle back and snatch an extraordinary victory. It was difficult to envisage them being beaten in the final after that.
In capturing the junior championship, Caulry averaged just short of 20 points a game. Given the club’s low age profile and impressive record at underage level in recent years, the potential is there for further success to be achieved in the intermediate ranks in the coming seasons.

Caulry signalled their intentions as early as April 13 when they inflicted a crushing 4-15 to 0-5 defeat on Loughnavalley, a side who had beaten them in the Junior Cup final only a few months’ previously. Against Milltown in round two, however, they had to pull out all the stops to win by 0-7 to 0-6.

The red and whites made it a hat-trick of victories on May 5 when they accounted for Delvin by 3-17 to 2-7. They followed that up with an impressive 1-12 to 0-6 victory over Ballycomoyle, who had been seeking their third win of the campaign.
From the start, Caulry stamped their authority on the game and the outcome was never in doubt after Alan Carroll scored the only goal in the 20th minute. The south county side led by 1-6 to 0-3 at half-time and further scores from Carroll and Leo Fallon in the second half made victory safe.

Caulry made sure of qualification for the knock-out stages with a 2-9 to 2-4 victory over St. Loman’s on June 21 at Kilbeggan. Loman’s dominated the opening 25 minutes, but could only manage two points during that time. Alan Carroll eventually broke Caulry’s scoring duck with a goal in the 26th minute, and points from Carroll and Leo Fallon gave them an unlikely 1-2 to 0-3 lead at the interval.
When Alan Rigney added a second goal shortly after the restart, Caulry were six points in front. But the Mullingar side hit back with two goals of their own and Caulry needed two late points from Fallon to copperfasten the victory.

The Mount Temple men continued their winning run a week later when they had four points to spare, 1-10 to 0-9, over St. Paul’s. Another Alan Carroll goal left them in a commanding position at the break, but St. Paul’s rallied in the second half to reduce the deficit to two points. However, a brace of late scores from substitute Peter Smith ended the Clonmellon fightback.

In a dress-rehearsal for the final, Caulry overcame St. Joseph’s by 1-11 to 1-6 in their penultimate game of the group phase. An Alan Carroll penalty put Caulry seven points clear early in the second half and, although Aidan Lennon pulled back a goal for St. Joseph’s late on, the red and whites held firm for victory.

Caulry completed the group phase with a resounding 2-12 to 0-3 triumph over St. Fintan’s/Multyfarnham at Ballynacargy. The game was over as a contest at half-time when Caulry held a 1-7 to 0-0 lead.

In the semi-final at Cusack Park on September 21, Caulry renewed acquaintances with St. Paul’s. Although Leo Fallon found the net after just six minutes, St. Paul’s dominated much of the half with Graham Dillon’s goal helping them to a slender 1-4 to 1-3 lead at the break.
Peter Smith levelled for George Hatton’s side on the restart, but St. Paul’s replied with an unanswered 1-2, the goal coming from veteran Pat Clancy. Alan Carroll kept Caulry in touch from a free, but when Dillon grabbed his second goal and Cormac Reilly tagged on a brace of points, there appeared to be no way back for Caulry.

Against all the odds, however, Caulry staged one of the greatest Houdini acts ever witnessed on a football field in Westmeath. Faced with a nine-point deficit with just seven minutes of normal time remaining, the comeback began in earnest when David Hatton pointed. Alan Carroll banged in a second goal before points from Leo Fallon and Mark Rigney narrowed the gap to two.
Then, with two minutes of injury-time elapsed, Rigney claimed possession from a weak kickout and, without any hesitation, lobbed the ball over the ’keeper’s head for a sensational winning goal. Comeback complete.

The Mount Temple men must have felt their name was on the cup after that dramatic escape and, in truth, they never looked like losing the decider to St. Joseph’s. Inspired by corner forwards Carroll and Fallon, who bagged 1-6 and 0-7 respectively, the Caulry attack carried too much scoring power for a St. Joseph’s side, which sorely lacked penetration up front.

Fallon opened the scoring for the champions-elect in the third minute and further scores from the same player, and the Rigney brothers, Alan and Mark, left them 0-5 to 0-1 to the good at the end of the first quarter. Damien Lynam responded with a point for the Streamstown men before Alan Carroll had a penalty saved by Andrew Meares in the 25th minute.

That let-off clearly lifted St. Joseph’s spirits and Declan Nannery’s goal from close range left them just two points adrift, 1-3 to 0-8, at the interval. However, Caulry put themselves firmly in the driving seat on the restart when they notched 1-2 without reply. First Leo Fallon pointed. Barely a minute later, Alan Carroll pounced on a loose ball and coolly slotted home. Fallon then pointed from long range and, suddenly, seven points separated the sides.

Andrew McCormack and Aidan Lennon replied with points for St. Joseph’s, but Caurly had the scent of victory in their nostrils and further minors from Fallon and Carroll propelled them to a richly deserved victory.
After two years at junior level, Caulry will feel they have what it takes to make their presence felt in the forthcoming intermediate championship. Their progress will be closely observed.

The Caulry team which captured the junior football championship was: 
Noel Murray; Brian Mullarney, Gary Flanagan, Jody Malynn; Anthony Malone, Eddie Egan, Mark Dolan; Enda Murphy, Aidan Dunning; Peter Smith, David Hatton, Mark Rigney; Alan Carroll, Alan Rigney, Leo Fallon. 
Subs used: Simon Keegan, Mark Malone, Damien Dowd, Damien Keenan and Simon Keegan.

First Under 21 title for Caulry/Castledaly
Yet another major championship made its way to south Westmeath when Caulry/Castledaly defeated a fancied St. Loman’s to capture their first under 21 football title on March 1st last.
A strong defensive display, allied to an impressive showing up front, saw the combination side run out 2-11 to 0-10 winners at Tyrrellspass. The sides were level at half-time after St. Loman’s had battled back from the concession of a third minute goal.
In the early stages of the second half, the Mullingar side hit the front, but after Alan Kelly swooped for Caulry/Castledaly’s second goal in the 36th minute, the outcome was never in doubt.

En route to the final, Caulry/Castledaly had beaten Inny Gaels (2-6 to 0-9), Shannon Gaels (2-12 to 1-6) and 2001 finalists Clann Braonain (3-12 to 1-7). Loman’s, on the otherhand, had taken the scalps of Mullingar Shamrocks (0-10 to 1-5) and reigning champions Garrycastle (1-7 to 0-6).

Caulry/Castledaly made a dream start to the decider with Alan Rigney scoring an early goal. Loman’s, however, had levelled by the seventh minute thanks to points from Niall McGurran, Colin Whyte and Kieran Kilmurray.
Points from Gary Flanagan and Alan Carroll (two) enabled the south county side to retake the lead, but the accurate Whyte ensured Loman’s of parity at the interval, 0-7 to 1-4.

Two minutes after the restart, Whyte edged the Mullingar outfit in front, but Caulry/Castledaly instantly replied with a fisted goal from corner forward Alan Kelly. Further points from Niall Duffy and Niall Kelly had the combination side ahead by 2-7 to 0-8 with 17 remaining.
Loman’s closed the gap with scores from Whyte and McGurran, but a flurry of late points from Flanagan, Kelly, Duffy and Damien Doyle sealed an historic success for Caulry/Castledaly.

Caulry/Castledaly’s superiority was reflected in the fact that all bar one of their scores came from play and was supplied by six different players. In contrast, Loman’s managed just four scores from play and relied heavily on full forward Whyte whose return of 0-7 kept them in contention for much of the game.

The victorious Caulry/Castledaly team was: 
Conor Allen; Adrian Kelly, Kenneth Larkin, Willie Buckley; Brian Mullarney, Eddie Egan, Enda Kelly; Leo Fallon, Gary Flanagan; Alan Rigney, Niall Duffy, Alan Carroll; Alan Kelly, Niall Kelly, Damien Doyle. 
Subs used: Graham Young and Mark Malone.