Westmeath SHC Final: Mangan steers Castletown-Geoghegan to glory
Westmeath SHC Final
Castletown-Geoghegan 0-22 Clonkill 1-14
By Gerry Buckley at TEG Cusack Park
After a five-year wait, Castletown-Geoghegan are Westmeath senior hurling champions, the side managed by former Westmeath football star Alan Mangan full value for their five-point win against Clonkill in ideal conditions at TEG Cusack Park, Mullingar
Having lost the last three county finals, Castletown-Geoghegan were not lacking in motivation and they looked the sharper and hungrier team throughout the first half. Westmeath star Niall OBrien was in top form in the first half-hour, and he contributed two of their opening four points, going on to score seven in total by half-time. Castletown led by 0-4 to 0-2 when Adam Loughlin Stones missed a glorious chance to put Clonkill ahead in the seventh minute, but his weak shot from close range was easily saved by Kieran Glennon.
Castletowns lead had risen to seven points 0-12 to 0-6 by the 26th minute, three of their scores coming from midfielder Mick Heeney.
Better known as a footballer, Luke Loughlin scored his third point from play on the half-hour mark. A point exchange between Anthony Price a free and Jack Gallagher left the scoreboard at the interval reading: Castletown-Geoghegan 0-14 Clonkill 0-8.
Clonkill ended up the game with 15 wides compared with the winners seven and their wastefulness proved very costly against a more economical side in black and amber. Their youthful full forward David OReilly had a great second half, adding three points from play to one scored in the first moiety, and he was awarded the official man of the match award after the game.
The introduction of veterans Paddy Dowdall in defence and Brendan Murtagh in attack bolstered Clonkill, but with Mitchell getting very little space in and around the parallelogram, they never threatened to bridge the gap. The Castletown subs all did well, and points from two of them, Conor Murphy and Morgan Gavigan, helped to steady the ship. Murtagh, now 40 years old, showed that class is permanent by rifling a 30-metre free to the net in the fourth minute of added-time. However, it was a case of too little, too late for Pat OTooles well-beaten team.
Scorers for Castletown-Geoghegan: N O'Brien 0-8 five frees, D O'Reilly 0-4, M Heeney 0-3, J Gallagher 0-2, C Kane, P Clarke, A Clarke, C Murphy, M Gavigan 0-1 each.
Scorers for Clonkill: A Price 0-7 six frees, L Loughlin 0-4, B Murtagh 1-0 free, N Mitchell, M Glynn, A Shaw 0-1 each.
Castletown-Geoghegan: K Glennon; N McKenna, J Bermingham, A Glennon; C Kane, L Varley, D Lynch; P Maxwell, M Heeney; P Clarke, A Clarke, S Clavin; N OBrien, D OReilly, J Gallagher.
Subs: C Murphy for Clavin 36, B Carey for Gallagher 47, J Clarke for Maxwell 49, E Quinn for A Glennon 53, M Gavigan for P Clarke 55.
Clonkill: A Mitchell; C Nolan, A McGrath, M McGrath; J Murtagh, P Scally, D Egerton; A Shaw, S Power; A Price, N Dowdall, A Loughlin Stones; J Smyth, N Mitchell, L Loughlin.
Subs: P Dowdall for M McGrath h-t, L Moran for Murtagh 43, B Murtagh for Loughlin Stones 45, M Glynn for Shaw 46, M Heffernan for N Dowdall 602.
Referee: C Flynn St Brigids.