2009 Leinster Minor Campaign

Four Caulry players on Westmeath Minor Panel

Although the Westmeath Minor team failed to win the Leinster Minor title in 2009, it was still a memorable year for the Caulry GAA Club, as the Westmeath Panel contained 4 Caulry lads. Kevin Maguire, Ben Hogan, Robbie Kenny and finally Alan Fitzpatrick, who had the honour of being the Westmeath Minor Captain for the year.
Below is an extract taken from the Westmeath Independent Archives,  on the 21st April, 2009

Westmeath Minors overcome Carlow
Westmeath 1-15
Carlow 1-6

An undistinguished performance in a mediocre match saw Westmeath again consign Carlow to the losers group after Saturday"s Leinster MFC opener in Dr. Cullen Park.

In a repeat of last season"s clash, both teams plodded through the first half, lacking cohesion and losing too much ball in the transfer.
However, a purple patch in the opening minutes of the second half helped to ease Westmeath into a ten-point lead and ultimately into the quarter finals.

They now face a stiff task having to travel to Navan for the quarter-final clash with Meath on Saturday, May 23. 
Manager Ger Heavin and his troops will know that, despite the win, there"s a need for a significant improvement in performance levels.
The sides were level in the third and 19th minutes after an exchange of frees as both teams struggled to find target with some very poor distribution, and interval lead of 0-5 to 0-3 in Westmeath"s favour was indicative of some dreadful finishing at both ends of the park. It was a measure of the mediocrity in both colours that only three points had been scored from play at the interval.
Had the winners run into open spaces in front of goal they might have amassed a sizeable total by the break, with repeatedly the inside trio of Cormac Boyle, Eoin Gorman and Jason Cully forced to retain possession on the wings for lack of support through the middle.
Carlow"s greatest weakness was in attack where they seldom threatened the maroon goal with only Eamon Fitzgerald, and later Daryl Roberts, causing the superior visitors any problems.

Indeed, Carlow only scored four times in the first 50 minutes and two of those points were from frees by Roberts and Darragh Foley after they had opened the scoring in the 55th second per Fitzgerald after good work by Shane Rohan and Niall Humphries.
Westmeath booked passage with two periods of blitz football, the first from the 32nd to the 46th minutes during which they posted 1-6 – 1-5 coming in a seven minutes spell.

On the resumption, a pointed free by Eoin Gorman put Westmeath three points ahead and they were visibly more assertive. Midfielder John Heslin added a point from a free, while Gorman also converted a placed ball and Jason Cully added the Lake County"s fourth point in succession, to make it 0-9 to 0-4. It was now looking much better for the visitors. 
The Westmeath goal was hardly fashioned with skill but rather by a dreadful blunder by a Carlow defender who dropped a McCormack cross from the right in front of Kelvin Reilly and the No. 10 could hardly believe his good fortune, stabbing the unclaimed ball to the net in the 46th minute to open their advantage to 1-9 to 0-4 and effectively end the contest.
They might have raised another green flag late in the hour when Cully launched a high ball at the right post but Carlow "keeper Craig Kearney reacted quickest to clear it to safety. The home custodian was called on to make another good stop from Fox in the tenth minute after the defence were almost caught flat by a quickly-taken free.

Carlow found the net with ten minutes remaining when a high delivery towards the square the ball fell kindly for Daryl Roberts who made no mistake. Westmeath now had to be much more vigilant. The Barrowsiders added a point and Westmeath goalie Brian Finnerty, was called upon to make a crucial save and keep Westmeath"s healthy lead intact. 

Westmeath then killed off their opposition with four successive points between the 55th and 58th minutes.
Solid at the back, and conceding only 1-3 from play, Westmeath looked to Ciaran Sheridan, Kevin Maguire and Ben Hogan to keep the lid on the host attack, while Heslin did some fine work in the middle, and with partner Ger Egan had monopoly of possession which the forwards did not use to full effect, with Callum McCormack, the very consistent Wayne Fox (the best in the opening half) and Gorman the pick of the eight forwards employed.

The game was not helped by 40 frees (21 to the winners). In all four players were carded: Carlow"s Foley, Stephen Smith, Roberts and Humphries and Westmeath"s Stephen Gilmore.

Westmeath scorers: Eoin Gorman 0-6 (0-5f), Kelvin Reilly 1-1, John Heslin 0-3 (frees), Jason Cully and Callum McCormack 0-2 each, Wayne Fox 0-1. 
Westmeath: Brian Finnerty (Millmore Gaels), Ciaran Sheridan (Ballynacargy), Kevin Maguire (Caulry), Ben Moran (Caulry), Ben Hogan (Downs) Alan Fitzpatrick (Caulry-Captain), Paul Carey (St. Mary"s), Ger Egan (Tyrrellspass), John Heslin (St. Loman"s), Kelvin Reilly (do), Callum McCormack (Maryland), Wayne Fox (Coralstown), Cormac Boyle (Kilucan), Eoin Gorman (Milltownpass), Jason Cully (Coralstown). 
Subs: Trevor Farrell (Maryland) for Carey 37; Stephen Gilmore (St. Loman"s) for Boyle 48; Darren Ruane (St. Malachy"s) for Gorman 59; Robbie Kenny (Caulry) for Heslin 62.

Carlow scorers: Daryl Roberts (1-2), Darragh Foley (0-1, free), Stephen Smith, Eamon Fitzgerald (0-1).
Carlow: Craig Kearney (Palatine), Shane Rohan (St. Patrick"s), Paul Costello (Tinryland), Jamie Kenny (Pal), Erin Molloy (Rathvilly), Shane Murphy (Clonmore), Paddy Tobin (Kilbride/Burrin R), Darragh Foley (do), Stephen Smith (Rathvilly), Jack Kennedy (St. Pat"s), John Ml. Nolan (Naomh Eoin), Eamon Fitzgerald ("Davitts), Daryl Roberts (Kildavin/Clonegal), Padraig Hickey (do) Niall Humphries (Clonmore) 
Subs: Gary Dillon (Fenagh) for Hickey 40; Robbie Power (Tinryland) for Kennedy 42; Adam Kenny (Naomh Eoin) for Tobin.

Ref: Damien Brazil (Offaly)

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