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2010 Intermediate Championship First Round

Late Grennan point sees Caulry edge out All Whites

Caulry 1-11
Moate All-Whites 1-10

When these nearest of neighbours and fellow parishioners met in the Westmeath IFC in 2008, the town team had a narrow victory over their Mount Temple counterparts in a low scoring (0-7 to 0-6) encounter at Tubberclair. Fast-forward to Championship 2010 - Moate had barely survived in the Intermediate grade a year earlier, winning only one of their five games, while the reds swept through the Junior Championship to regain Intermediate status. 
Fate ordained that both protagonists would clash in round one of Division 1 and so a sizeable attendance were present at Athlone's Páirc Chiaráin on Friday evening last for this eagerly awaited rematch. Both teams were under new management - Brendan Clarke had taken over at Caulry, while Tommy Gorman was in charge at the All-Whites, with revenge very much at the top of the reds' agenda.
However, it was the town team who pressed all the right buttons almost straight from the throw-in on a somewhat heavy Athlone surface, following earlier bouts of rain which thankfully had moved on by match-time. A crossfield breeze didn't confer any advantage to either team. An early Eoin Grennan (Caulry) wide was promptly followed by a Moate blitzkrieg which yielded an unanswered 1-2 by the eighth minute. Lar Gillivan placed full-forward Niall Mackey for the opening point of the game on two minutes, and it would get infinitely better for the big full-forward three minutes later when he seized on a Jimmy Gillivan centre to give Caulry goalie Joe McMahon no chance from close-in. Midfielder Lar Gillivan had another Moate point from play in the eighth minute.  

Happy times indeed for the All Whites against opponents making (up to now) an inauspicious return to the Intermediate grade, but it was all to change in the following seven minutes of play, as Caulry responded in kind. Former Athlone Community College star Alan Fitzpatrick, playing at centre-forward, initiated a movement, continued by corner-forward Johnny Dolan, which led to Robbie Kenny bringing the reds right back into contention when firing an unstoppable shot past Moate custodian David Mackey.
The impressive Eoin Grennan's good work saw attacking corner-back Pat Buckley point from play, while Kenny combined with Fitzpatrick for the latter to equalise on exactly 15 minutes. The pendulum had suddenly swung in the Mount Temple side's favour way but, from here to half-time, the scores were level on three further occasions.
Wing forward Alan Claffey (Moate) and centre-back Ben Moran exchanged points. Moran was certainly imposing his presence on this first round tie as he stifled potentially dangerous Moate forays at source, simultaneously driving his colleagues forward in droves. Moate wing-back Brendan Arigho was diligently defending his citadel with authority, also finding time to go forward. Caulry's Gary Flanagan and Moate's hard working wing-forward Alan Claffey both pointed, while the next exchange of points were courtesy of Johnny Dolan (Caulry) and the aforementioned Arigho. 
A feature of the game to date following 23 minutes of action was that the twelve scores flagged (1-5 to each team) were all from play but it was Alan Fitzpatrick's pointed free in the 27th minute, which would leave Caulry narrowly in front on the interval scoreboard. Although there were lots of frees and twelve wides (seven to Caulry) in the half, the combination of fluctuating fortunes and the subsequent tit-for-tat exchanges was providing entertainment and excitement for the spectators present on the evening.
Early second-half indications suggested that Caulry were gaining the upper hand. Their goalie Joe McMahon (another member of that 2008 Leinster Colleges winning Athlone CC team) was seen to effect in clearing his lines, while scores from Alan Fitzpatrick (free) and an excellent Damien Dolan point gave the Mount Temple men a three-point advantage for the first time in the game. Moate sub David Adamson was narrowly wide at the other end, but they were about to launch another superb spell of ascendancy which would see them regain the lead in impressive manner. Alan Claffey (free) punished a foul on centre-forward Nigel Adamson, while a terrific seven-minute cameo by full-forward Niall Mackey yielded a trio of points, all from play. 
Lar Gillivan and team captain Conor Costello regained the initiative around midfield, while another sub David Minnock (introduced for James Gillivan) and Nigel Adamson were prominent in the build-up to those Mackey scores. A heavy tackle on corner-forward Paul McLoughlin (Moate) led to the number fifteen being stretched off replaced by James Kinahan. 
The reds re-ignited their resilience with forwards Ernie Buckley and Declan Donohoe both on target to restore the one-point advantage. Moate's David Adamson (59th minute) earned the foul which had the All-Whites faithful on song when Lar Gillivan pointed the resultant free.

But when it looked that a share of the spoils would be the outcome of this local derby, up popped Caulry wing-forward Eoin Grennan, who capped a splendid evening's work, when propelling the ball straight between the uprights for what would prove the winner. Moate had a late-late chance of snatching an equaliser (62nd minute) from a free out near the sideline, but Lar Gillivan's kick was signalled wide with Caulry taking the two points on offer.
And so Brendan Clarke's charges made a successful return to the Intermediate grade, putting that earlier false start behind them and going on to achieve a hard-earned win over rivals who would not have been flattered to take something from this clash. A feature of the Caulry performance was that, along with their refusal to countenance defeat, their final total was shared by ten players, with their six starting forwards all scoring from play, together with three defenders and a midfielder. It was this ultimate greater balance throughout the field which would eventually prove decisive, but only just, in edging the outcome. 
Moate All Whites had arguably, the man of the match in full-forward Niall Mackey with a personal tally of 1-4 from play. However, apart from Alan Claffey and on occasions Nigel Adamson, he lacked the necessary support up front to realise a winning tally. Midfielders Lar Gillivan and Conor Costello were in ascendancy at various stages, while in a defence that was often made to struggle against fleet-footed opponents, Brendan Arigho, Eamon McDermott and John Stone were best. 

CAULRY: Joe McMahon, Brian Mullarney, Kevin Maguire, Pat Buckley (0-1), Damien Dolan (0-1), Ben Moran (0-1), Johnny Buckley, Gary Flanagan (capt., 0-1), John Maguire, Eoin Grennan (0-1), Alan Fitzpatrick (0-3, 1f), Declan Donohoe (0-1), Johnny Dolan (0-1), Robbie Kenny (1-0), Ernie Buckley (0-1). Sub: Cormac Fox for P Buckley (42).

MOATE ALL WHITES: David Mackey, Eamon McDermott, Kieran Kelly, John Stone, Brendan Arigho (0-1), Stephen Byrne, Declan Whelan, Lar Gillivan (0-2, 1f), Conor Costello (capt.), James Gillivan, Nigel Adamson, Alan Claffey (0-3, 1f), Mark Ennis, Niall Mackey (1-4), Paul McLoughlin. Subs: David Adamson for S. Byrne (H/T); David Minnock for J. Gillivan (39); James Kinahan for P. McLoughlin (inj 52); Darren McArdle for M. Ennis (63).

REFEREE: Michael Mannion (Garrycastle).