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2006 Junior Championship Semi-Final

Caulry held to draw as Clancy switches roles for St Paul’s  
St. Paul’s 0-9
Caulry 1-6 
The footballers of Caulry and St Paul’s must do it all again after this closely contested Westmeath junior semi-final played in heavy conditions at St Loman’s on Saturday evening. 
Heavy overnight rain and an earlier game left the surface somewhat on the soft side but it did not deter two well-prepared sides giving plenty of endeavour as they sought a final slot against Milltown.

Early exchanges were very much in favour of the Caulry men as they dominated possession stakes in the opening 20 minutes. The stats from that period make for worrying reading for Paul’s. Caulry went 0-3 to 0-0 clear on the scoreboard but, of some concern to them, will be the fact that they had six wides, some which were from scoreable positions.

Pat Clancy, who was later to enter the fray in a telling manner, was seen making regular forays up and down the sideline with instructions to his charges. Many positional switches were made in this opening period and the tide started to turn somewhat when influential centre-back Philip Gilsenan sent in a huge effort from 60 metres, out near the sideline. It bounced off the surface in front of Eddie Egan’s goal and hopped over for the opening point for St Paul’s. 
Prior to this there were well-taken scores for Caulry, Mark Malone opening their account after two minutes before an acutely-angled free from Alan Carroll ten minutes into play. Three wides had been shot by Caulry in between those scores and indeed such was their dominance at this stage that St Paul’s were confined to scrapping for possession in their own third of the field. There was, however, one notable exception for the blues as they raided with intent on seven minutes and the final interchange between Dara Brady and Maurice Quinn was repelled with a fine save from Eddie Egan.
Caulry went three points clear on 15 minutes following a move involving Mark Fitzpatrick, Peter Smith and finally finished by Anselm Fitzgerald. However, Gilsenan’s effort had St Paul’s back in the hunt and, on 22 minutes, a fine move involving Cormac Fox, Anselm and Mark Fitzgerald ended with the latter pointing. The football gradually improved and Paul’s were level on 26 minutes thanks to an excellent point from Dara Brady.
Caulry then finished the half in a flourish, with Alan Carroll and Johnny Dolan working the opening for the latter to shoot hard and low past the diving John Fitzpatrick for the game’s only goal. Straight from the kick out Anselm Fitzgerald gathered the break and moved inside the 45 before pointing. Half-time: Caulry 1-4 St Paul’s 0-3.
The second half started well from a Paul’s perspective with Johnny McGuinness availing of two frees to close the gap to two points inside five minutes. Caulry sprung Gary Flanagan from the bench at this stage and he was to help restore some semblance of their first-half control in this area. Nine minutes in and a good Caulry attack resulted in a close-in free, ably converted by Alan Carroll. 

A crucial few minutes halfway through the final period saw yellow cards for two Caulry players and one also for one of the blues. While the game was never overly robust, this lack of discipline continued to haunt Caulry, in particular, and following dissent, they conceded a simple 14-metre free which left a tap over to Johnny McGuinness on 20 minutes. 
A further free two minutes later from Kenny Higgins left the minimum between the sides. Enter Clancy to make his presence felt on the field of play during the final ten minutes of action. Paul Gilsenan was a tower of strength now in the middle for Paul’s, supporting his defence and leading the attack. On 27 minutes it was the evergreen Pat Clancy that finished a good team move with the leveller.
Caulry broke downfield and Mark Fitzgerald settled nerves with a point for the championship favourites on 29 minutes. Paul’s raided again and as we entered injury time and Clancy emerged from a tussle with possession and duly planted the ball over the bar to leave the scores all square. James McQuaid had a chance to make it a famous evening for the Blues but his effort tailed off to the right. 
In truth, it was a just result when the efficient referee Damien Maher called time from the resultant kick out. All to play for again and not one to easily call.

CAULRY: Eddie Egan, Damien Dolan, John Buckley, Brian Mullarney, Ernie Buckley, Jodie Malynn, Anthony Malone, Nicky Killane, Peter Smith, Anselm Fitzgerald (0-2), Mark Fitzpatrick (0-1), Mark Malone (0 -1), Alan Carroll (0-2, 1f), Cormac Fox, Johnny Dolan (1-0). Subs: Gary Flanagan for Killane, Mark Rigney for Cormac Fox; John Smith for Carroll.

ST PAUL’S: John Fitzpatrick, Padraig Skelly, Ray Flynn, Gary Gilsenan, James McQuaid, Philip Gilsenan (0-1), David Dolan, Maurice Quinn, Paul Gilsenan, Kenny Higgins (0-1f), Johnny McGuinness (0-4, 4f), Darren Henry, Darra Brady (0-1), James Henry, Stephen Reilly. Subs: Darren Noone for Reilly; Daniel Smith for Henry; Pat Clancy (0-2) for Dolan.

REFEREE: Damian Maher (Ballynacargy). 

Extract from the Westmeath Independent Archives, 14th October 2006