2002 Westmeath Junior Championship Final

Caulry’s second-half salvo sinks St. Joseph’s
Caulry 1-17
St. Joseph’s 1-7

At Cusack Park on Sunday last, October 6th, Caulry emerged winners of the 2002 Junior Football Championship, with a ten-point win over St. Joseph’s. It was their fifth win in this junior championship, having been previously successful in 1935, 1944, 1957 and 1990.
On Sunday they proved to be too strong for a spirited and courageous St. Joseph’s team, who contested bravely all the way. They kept within scoring touch in the first-half being just two points in arrears at that stage. Despite having the balance of pressure in this first-half, Caulry had not the lead that this dominance should have produced.
But a quick-fire start to the second-half set them firmly on the way to success, with a 1-2 addition to their lead in the first five minutes after the resumption of play. From then on St. Joseph’s were faced with an uphill battle, and while they never gave up the effort, Caulry proved too good in most departments, and they ended worthy winners. This was apparent with the scoring tally in the second-half, resulting in a 1-9 to 0-4 advantage to the winning team.
While the final scoreline showed a ten-point deficit, it does not in any way reflect the determined effort and much good play that was served up by the St. Joseph’s team.

More mobile
The first-half was not long in motion when it became apparent that Caulry had a more mobile attacking unit that gave the opposing defence a trying time. With David Hatton and Alan Rigney in the pivotal positions, they combined well as a unit, with Alan Carroll and Leo Fallon their chief marksmen. With Fergus McCormack in the number six berth leading by example, the St. Joseph’s defence did well to keep the score down to a two point margin at the end of the first-half.
At the other end the Caulry defence proved a stern test for the opposing attack, with Brian Mullarney and Gary Flanagan particularly effective. Aidan Dunning for Caulry and Aidan Lennon for St. Joseph’s both had good moments at centre-field. This was a game however that was featured by good team effort by both sides rather than any particular individual prominence dominating the action.

First-half
On an ideal day for play, not much breeze and no glaring sun to affect the game, Caulry got on the scoreboard in the third minute with a point from a free by Leo Fallon. St. Joseph’s replied soon afterwards with a free by Aidan Lennon from 40 metres out. As Caulry kept on the attack again Leo Fallon was on target from a free. Another free by Leo was this time directed to Alan Carroll who added their third point in the eighth minute.
St. Joseph’s had a spell of attack, but Brian Mullarney was proving a barrier to their efforts, defending well as he did all through the game. Likewise Fergus McCormack for St. Joseph’s, in the number six berth, was working tirelessly to hold firm against a lively and fast-moving attacking unit.
Caulry’s goal effort by Alan Rigney crashed off the crossbar and was cleared. The next score did not come until the sixteenth minute when Alan Rigney at full-forward sent over the bar, and Alan Carroll added another to increase the Caulry lead.
A sideline ball by Aidan Lennon kept St. Joseph’s on the move, and it was kept moving by Darren Pettit, Andrew McCormack and finished over the bar by Damien Lynam.
A free conceded on David Hatton was pointed by Alan Carroll, and another free, this time conceded on Alan was pointed by Leo Fallon. But St. Joseph’s were contesting with dogged determination, and came back to gain a free which Aidan Lennon pointed. In the twenty-fifth minute a Caulry attack resulted in a penalty being awarded, but Alan Carroll’s effort was well saved and cleared by Andrew Meares in goal. Peter Smith collected a clearance and sent over the bar for Caulry’s eight point. James McCormack defended well to halt their further progress and, as they continued the effort, a sideline ball on the right was taken by Darren Pettit. He sent the ball accurately to the square, and in the resultant tussle the ball broke to Declan Nannery who dispatched it to the net. It was a decided uplift for St. Joseph’s and deserved reward for honest effort. Caulry had two more chances before half-time, but Leo Fallon was wide, first from a free and then from play. The half-time score read Caulry 0-8 St. Joseph’s 1-3. Caulry had six wides and St. Joseph’s had no wide in this first-half.

Explosive opening
For the restart of play, St. Joseph’s brought on Daire Lynam for Seán Lynam. Caulry had a decisive opening five minutes, in which they scored 1-2 to set up the scene for eventual success.
First Alan Rigney played Leo Fallon to send over the bar.
Then Mark Dolan was in action and, as the St. Joseph’s defence failed to control the ball, Alan Carroll seized the chance to send to the net. A fine long-range point by Leo Fallon followed, to stretch the lead to a seven-point margin. Caulry came again and Aidan Dunning set up Alan Rigney, whose effort came back off the post and was cleared.
Despite this setback St. Joseph’s kept battling and, in a scramble near the Caulry goal, Andrew McCormack collected to send over the bar. Aidan Lennon then hit a forty-metres free to add another point and reduce the deficit to a five-point margin.
A free forty metres on the right was pointed by Alan Carroll and a sideline ball thirty-five metres out on the left was pointed by Leo Fallon, as Caulry edged further away again. At the end of the third quarter, St. Joseph’s had their first wides of the game, when Aidan Lennon and Declan Nannery were both off target. Anthony Malone and Gary Flanagan were both in action to defend well as the Caulry defence came under pressure.
Richie Meares replaced Alan McDonnell for St. Joseph’s. Brian Mullarney then swept forward to set Caulry moving and Alan Carroll finished over the bar. Pat Conway came on for St. Joseph’s to replace Pat McCormack. For Caulry, Simon Keegan came on as a temporary replacement for Mark Rigney, and then both reverted back again after a few minutes. Aidan Lennon pointed a free to keep his team maintaining the effort but again Leo Fallon replied at the other end. Caulry brought on Mark Malone for Mark Dolan. Daire Lynam had a point for St. Joseph’s last score of the game.
Caulry now finished on a high note and Leo Fallon and Mark Rigney set up Alan Carroll to send over the bar. David Hatton broke clear to finish for another point, and the last score of the game was a point by Alan Rigney. Late changes for Caulry saw Damien Dowd replace Jody MaLynn and Simon Keegan for David Hatton. The final score was Caulry 1-17 St. Joseph’s 1-7. Caulry had three wides and St. Joseph’s had two wides in this second-half.

At the end of the game, Football Board chairman Denis Coyne presented the Caulry captain, Anthony Malone, with the championship trophy.

Caulry: Noel Murray, Brian Mullarney, Gary Flanagan, Jody Mclynn, Anthony Malone (Captain), Eddie Egan, Mark Dolan, Enda Murphy, Aidan Dunning, Peter Smith 0-1, David Hatton 0-1, Mark Rigney, Alan Carroll 1-6 (2 pts from frees), Alan Rigney 0-2, Leo Fallon 0-7 ( 3 pts from frees. 1pt from a sideline ball).
Subs: Simon Keegan for Mark Rigney, Mark Rigney for Simon Keegan, blood substitution. Damien Dowd for Jody Mclynn, Mark Malone for Mark Dolan, Simon Keegan for David Hatton.

St. Joseph’s: Andrew Meares, Neil Keegan, Darren McCormack (captain), Pat McCormack, James McCormack, Fergus McCormack, Brendan Nannery, Seán Lynam, Aidan Lennon 0-4 (from frees), Brendan Slevin, Declan Nannery 1-0, Damien Lynam (0-1), Darren Pettit, Andrew McCormack 0-1, Alan McDonnell. 
Subs: Daire Lynam 0-1 for Seán Lynam, Richie Meares for Alan McDonnell, Pat Conway for Pat McCormack.

Referee: John Lennon (Ballymore).
Comments