2004-Division 3 honours for Caulry

Division 3 Honours for Caulry

27 May 2005

Caulry’s capture of the All-County League Division 3 title last year augers well for the coming season according to club chairman Paddy McMenamin.

After struggling to find their feet on their return to the intermediate ranks in 2003, Caulry were a much improved outfit last year with the highpoint being their capture of the All-County League Division 3 title.

The success, which ensured Caulry of promotion to Division 2, atoned for the bitter disappointment of a narrow championship defeat to Shandonagh which cost the Mount Temple men their place in the knock-out stages. Going into that match, Caulry were in contention for a semi-final spot but a 0-8 to 0-10 defeat put them out of the running.

“Winning Division 3 went a long towards making amends for the loss to Shandonagh,” says Caulry chairman Paddy McMenamin.
“If we had beaten Shandonagh, we would have gone straight through to the semi-final of the championship but things didn’t go right for us on the day and we ended up losing by a couple of points.

“While it was disappointing not to reach the knock-out stages, it was still a successful year for us. To win Division 3 was a good achievement while we also had some very good performances in the championship. We were a lot more competitive than we had been in the previous year.”
McMenamin, who had served as minor chairman before taking up his current position last year, attributes Caulry’s improved form to the fact that they were at full strength.
“We had everyone available to us which was a big boost,” he points out.

“In 2003, five or six of our key players spent the summer in America and our performances suffered as a result. But we were back to full strength last year and that made all the difference.
“It wasn’t all smooth running, though, especially after Gerry Reilly stepped down as manager for personal reasons after our first championship game against Maryland. However, Mick O’Brien took over at short notice and did a very good job along with selectors Tommy Woods and PJ Cunningham,” he adds.

Three years after they were pipped for promotion to Division 2 by Kilbeggan Shamrocks, Caulry finally made amends by landing the Division 3 title last year. The only blip in an otherwise unbeaten campaign was a defeat to Mullingar Shamrocks. Victory over neighbours Castledaly in their final league game wrapped up promotion.

Caulry’s second team also enjoyed a successful league campaign and were somewhat unlucky to finish as runners-up to Tubberclair in Division 5. “A one-point defeat to Mullingar Shamrocks and a draw with Tubberclair cost us promotion,” McMenamin ruefully recalls.
The Mount Temple men opened their intermediate championship campaign with a very satisfying 0-14 to 1-7 victory over arch rivals Maryland. Alan Carroll opened the scoring from a ’45 and Caulry went on to lead by two points at the interval.

Following the resumption, Caulry increased their advantage with points from Carroll and Ernest Buckley but Maryland were back in contention after David Martin sent a penalty to the net. However, Caulry refused to be rattled and with Gary Flanagan producing a man of the match display at midfield, they went on to make sure of victory with late points from Carroll and Peter Smith.

In their second outing against Kilbeggan, the red and whites looked to be facing defeat when they trailed by 0-6 to 1-8 at the interval. But a dominant second half display, which saw them score 1-2 while holding their opponents scoreless, earned them a share of the spoils.

A late goal from Ballynacargy’s Ger Heduvan consigned Caulry to their first defeat on August 22 at a rain-soaked Moate. Caulry struggled badly in the opening half and trailed by five points at the break. But with the elements in their favour in the second half, they hauled themselves back onto level terms courtesy of unanswered points from Aidan Dunning, Peter Smith and Anselm Fitzgerald.

When veteran Dunning gave them the lead for the first time with five minutes remaining, a Caulry victory looked to be on the cards but there was a final twist when Heduvan scored a late goal to give Ballynacargy a 1-8 to 0-9 win.

Caulry bounced back to defeat Tang by 1-8 to 1-5 four days later. It was anything but plain sailing for Mick O’Brien’s side in the first half, at the end of which they found themselves 0-2 to 1-4 in arrears. But things changed quickly on the restart with Gary Flanagan’s expertise from placed balls helping to give Caulry the edge.

Flanagan, who arrived too late in Tubberclair to start the game, entered the fray midway through the first half and proceeded to kick five frees on a night that was far from conducive to the art. The turning point, however, was Alan Carroll’s goal two minutes into the second half.

The Mount Temple men secured their third win of the campaign when a somewhat fortuitous goal from Flanagan saw them edge out Castletown-Finea/Coole/Whitehall by 3-6 to 2-7 at St. Loman’s. After trailing by 0-1 to 0-2 at half-time, the south county outfit were rocked early in the second half when goals from Kevin Brazil and Alan Brady helped Castletown-Finea to a 2-6 to 0-2 lead. But similar scores from John Dolan and Alan Carroll had brought Caulry back onto level terms before a Brazil point gave the northerners the lead again.

However, Caulry snatched an unlikely victory when a Flanagan free from 40 metres deceived the Castletown-Finea goalkeeper and ended up in the net deep into injury-time.
If Caulry had been fortunate to beat Castletown-Finea, their luck deserted them in their next outing against Killucan when an injury-time goal from John Shaw denied them victory. Helped by Leo Fallon goal, Caulry took a 1-3 to 0-2 lead into the interval and despite surrendering their advantage when Paul Greville goaled in the 20th minute of the second half, they looked to have done enough when Peter Smith, Alan Carroll and Alan Rigney hit late points.

But there was a sting in the tail for the red and whites when Shaw fired to the net in injury-time to give Killucan a dramatic 2-6 to 1-8 victory.

Despite that result, matters were still very much in Caulry’s own hands when they squared up to Shandonagh in their final group match at Castletown-Geoghegan. After being outplayed in the early stages, Caulry finished the first half strongly to lead by a point at the interval.

Shandonagh battled back to retake the lead 11 minutes into the second half but Alan Carroll had Caulry level with 10 minutes remaining. However, it was after that that things started to unravel for Caulry. Shandonagh took a grip on proceedings and went on to secure a two-point victory thanks to late scores from Vinny Hewitt, Paddy Duffy, Tommy Brennan and former Dublin star Tommy Carr.

Caulry’s ambitions for the coming season are reflected in the appointment of John Foley as manager. McMenamin believes that Foley, who led Athlone to a county final appearance in 2003, is capable of getting more from what is a very youthful Caulry side.
“John Foley was very successful during his time with Athlone and I’m confident that he can make a similar impression with ourselves.

“Our minimum targets for this year are to retain our Division 2 status and to reach the knock-out stages of the intermediate championship. I firmly believe there is an intermediate championship in this team and hopefully it will happen for us sooner rather than later,” he concludes.

The Caulry team which lost to Shandonagh in their final group match of the 2004 IFC was: James Carroll; Anthony Malone, Johnny Buckley, Nicky Killane; Mark Malone, Eddie Egan, Brian Mullarney; Gary Flanagan, Leo Fallon; Ernest Buckley, Jody Malynn, Peter Smith; Alan Carroll, Mark Dolan, Alan Rigney. Subs used: Simon Keegan, Mark Rigney, John Dolan and Willie Buckley.

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