Two late goals for the home side put a gloss on the final scoreliine in this opening Corn na Boinne Group `A encounter in Millbrook on Saturday afternoon. Midfield man Pearse Sheridan and substitute Ben Grey, on 52 and 56 minutes respectively ensured Oldcastle pulled away late on and ensured they opened season ’24 on a winning note.


Oldcastle: 2-15

Walterstown: 1-9

At the interval the home side held a slender 0-9 to 1-5 lead having let an early six point lead slide. After the turnaround Conor O’Sullivan split the posts with a beaut of a point to level proceedings and this game was neck-in-neck up until the aforementioned brace of goals for the home side. 

The Blacks started this encounter with three debutants amongst their ranks with Fionnan O’Connor, Ciaran McEntee and former Meath minor man Olly Maloney all making their adult debut. On the other end of the age spectrum, former Dublin place-kicker Wayne McCarthy started between the posts. They were without the services of Meath U20 man Lorcan O’Connor, while full back Jack Wilson was also unavailable and in all, twelve of the starting XV were 25 or under.

It took them some time to settle too and Oldcastle took full advantage when they opened up a six point gap by the ninth minute. It was another former Meath minor man, Neil McGinley, that got the Blacks off the mark after 11 minutes. He collected possession from Barry O’Connell before splitting the posts. 

Two minutes later McCarthy pulled off a great save to stop an almost certain Oldcastle goal and down the other end, young Olly Maloney raised a white flag on his debut to cut the deficit to four at the midway point of the first half. 

A super point from Barry O’Connell from out right followed soon after. O’Connell collected a pass from corner back Aron McLoughlin, after the Blacks turned over their opponents, before splitting the posts superbly. 

It was cancelled out by a point from Pearse Sheridan on the 21 minute mark but Conor Farrelly tagged one on for the Blacks soon after to leave the scoreboard reading 0-7 to 0-4. 

From the resultant kick-out ‘keeper Sean Maxwell made a boo-boo that was fully capitalised on by Adam Quinn, who made no mistake in planting the ball in the net with three minutes of normal time left to play. Indeed it was Quinn who actually levelled proceedings a minute later when he struck over but before the break Robbie Farrelly raised a white flag to ensure a 0-9 to 1-5 lead for his side at half time. 

O’Sullivan’s point restored parity soon after the turnaround but Walterstown could never quite manage to get their noses in front. CJ Healy converted a free on 35 minutes before O’Sullivan’s quick free located Fionnan O’Connor, who laid the ball off to O’Connell and he made no mistake with his effort from the right. 

By the 40th minute mark the scoreboard read 1-9 to 0-10 and it wasn’t until the 47th minute that we saw another score, this one the obligatory one from midfield man Mark Foy. 

Soon after Neil McKinley tied up this encounter once more when he was on the end of a move involving Conor Farrelly and Adam Quinn. 

But then came the two killer goals; goals that put this game beyond Walterstown’s reach so late in the day and gave the home side all two points. 

Despite the two goals and the defeat this was an encouraging display from a young Walterstown outfit but there certainly is plenty of room for improvement too! The season is but a pup all the same! 

SCORERS: Oldcastle – Robbie Farrelly 0-6 (3f), Pearse Sheridan 1-1, Colin Hawdon 0-3, Ben Grey 1-0, Garrett O’Reilly 0-1, Pearse Sheridan 1-1, CJ Healy  0-1 (1f), Dylan Garrigan 0-1. 

Walterstown – Adam Quinn 1-1, Neil McGinley 0-2, Barry O’Connell 0-2, Olly Maloney 0-1, Conor Farrelly 0-1, Conor O’Sullivan 0-1, Mark Foy 0-1.

OLDCASTLE: Sean Maxwell; Oran O’Reilly, Louis Colleran, Dylan Garrigan; Lee Healy, Steven Lawless, Ronan Maguire; Pearse Sheridan, James Cooke; CJ Healy, Jason Scully, Rory Crawley; Robbie Farrelly, Colin Hawdon, Garrett O’Reilly. Sub: Ben Grey. 

WALTERSTOWN: Wayne McCarthy; Aron McLoughlin, Breandan McGuinness, Ciaran Cox; Jack Doyle, Alan Wall, Conor Farrelly; Conor O’Sullivan, Mark Foy; Fionnan O’Connor, Barry O’Connell, Conor McEntee; Adam Quinn, Neil McGinley, Olly Maloney. Subs: Adam Murphy replaced A Wall 40 mins, Ross Reynolds replaced J Doyle 48 mins, Eoin Heffernan replaced A Quinn 58 mins. 

Refereee: Peter O’Halloran