26 March 2019 – ACBFL, Division 3, Round 3

Castletown 2-10 Walterstown 1-7

A young panel of 22 players travelled to Castletown for the match, with both teams having won their opening two league fixtures. A total of 11 U19 players would see game time for Walterstown on the night, to include a competitive debut for Conor McGuire, the 8th member of last year’s Minor team to make the step up to adult football.Prior to the match, the most active member of the panel was physiotherapist, Edel McGrane, who treated a number of players for minor knocks, to ensure that they could start the match. The ever dependable Ciaran Lydon started in goal and Aaron Dunphy deputised at full back for the injured Dan Halligan and went on to have a fine match.

On a good evening for football, the hosts attacked away from the road and down the hill in the first half and scored the opening point of the game in the second minute. Walterstown responded well and went on to play their best football of the match during the next 15 minutes, scoring an unanswered 1-3, with two points from play from Sam McCabe, either side of a free from Stephen Davis. A well worked and well taken goal by Adam Barrett, following excellent passes from Christopher Farrelly and Sam McCabe, gave the visitors a 5 point lead by the 16th minute. The backs were all turning in solid performances and Christopher Farrelly and Kevin Devine were showing well at midfield. To their credit, Castletown steadied the ship and scored their second point of the game in the 19th minute. Unfortunately, during the 5 minute period before half-time, the Blacks’ concentration levels slipped and the home team took full advantage, with two smartly finished goals turning the match in their favour.

Half Time: Castletown 2-2 to Watertown 1-3

At half-time, the management team felt that the score did not necessarily reflect the play and that some scores had been left behind and that this had been punished by Castletown, with the two goals.

Castletown opened the scoring in the second half, with a third point, before Adam Cummins replied with an excellent point of his own, kicked under pressure from the home team’s backs. The outcome of the match was sealed during the next 10 minutes, when the hosts upped their accuracy in front of the posts and scored four unanswered points. During the same period, Walterstown lost Kashif Ali, John Moran and the influential Christopher Farrelly to injuries, being replaced by Conor McGuire, Ramiz Sohail and Paul Foy respectively. The home team then introduced 4 substitutes of their own. With just over 10 minutes to go, Stephen Davis scored a point from play, before Castletown replied with a further two points. Timi Sowumni replaced Stephen Davis, Luke Cullen replaced Adam Cummins and Paddy Donnellan replaced Conor Lenehan and the young Walterstown team continued to battle to the end. Darren Finnegan showed great persistence on the end line to score from play and, following a foul on Timi Sowumni, Adam Barrett scored a difficult free, to complete the Blacks’ scoring on the night. Castletown scored the final point of the match just before the final whistle.

Full Time: Castletown 2-10 Walterstown 1-7

The management team were disappointed with the result, but were very pleased with the team’s effort, up to the final whistle, particularly given the age profile of the players on duty. Whilst Castletown deserved the win on the night, better accuracy, more concentration and less injuries might have left the match closer at the final whistle. Thoughts now turn to preparation the opening Junior C Championship match versus St Ultan’s, set for Saturday 13 April 2019.

Team: Ciaran Lydon; Kashif Ali; Aaron Dunphy; Cormac Freeman; Adam Cummins (0-1); Cathal McGuinness; Conor Lenehan; Kevin Devine; Christopher Farrelly; Darren Finnegan (0-1); Andrew Moran; John Moran; Sam McCabe (0-2); Stephen Davis (0-2, 1f) and Adam Barrett (1-1, 1f). Substitutes:, Conor McGuire for Kashif Ali; Ramiz Sohail for John Moran; Paul Foy for Christopher Farrelly; Timi Sowumni for Stephen Davis; Luke Cullen for Adam Cummins and Paddy Dornellan for Conor Lenehan; Jack Hart (unused).