Tyrrellspss and Shamrocks must meet again for place in Westmeath county final
Mullingar Shamrocks 2-9
By Gerry Buckley
While never coming close to matching the drama of the opening semi-final (Garrycastle v St Lomans's Mullingar) the second penultimate round tie in the Westmeath SFC proved to be another hard-fought encounter at Cusack Park last Sunday.
And the upshot is that Tyrrellspass and Mullingar Shamrocks must do it all again to decide who meets St Loman’s in this year’s Flanagan Cup decider on October 13.
Both sides will feel they could have won this tie, with the Tidy Town probably more aggrieved as David Glennon spurned a glorious chance in the second minute of added-time. However, it had taken two late points from Ger Egan to get Tom Coffey’s men level and a draw was probably a fair result in the final analysis.
Tyrrellspass opened the scoring courtesy of Ger Egan’s tricky free conversion in the third minute. His team-mate David Jessop soon did well to clear his lines when Darren Quinn hesitated following Ciaran Curley’s attempt at a score. Dylan McDermott (who sporadically looked a very promising player) equalised with a wonderful point before the men in sky blue and navy took control, adding four unanswered points via Denis Glennon (a typically classy finish), Egan (two routine frees) and Aaron O’Brien (a tidy score).
The atmosphere continued to be more subdued when compared with the epic curtain-raiser, but Seanie Daly broke the monotony with a fine point for the holders at the end of a great move. In the 21st minute, a terrific move by the challengers ended with David Glennon teeing up the overlapping Gavin Hoey who found the net in style with a left-footed shot.
Martin Flanagan hit the side netting with an ambitious effort from a near-impossible angle and Shamrocks responded with a well-taken point by Darren Keena. With three minutes of normal time remaining in the first half, Aaron O’Brien’s lob goalward was contested by Philip Shaw and Denis Glennon and an alert Martin Flanagan flicked the ball to the net from close range. This left the scoreboard at the break reading: Tyrrellspass 2-5 Mullingar Shamrocks 0-3.
Sandwiched between points from Lorcan Smyth (a free) and Dylan McDermott, Darren Quinn did well to keep out Ciaran Curley’s shot with his outstretched legs. The referee soon awarded Shamrocks a penalty, deeming Darren Keena to have been fouled in the large parallelogram (moments after Tyrrellspass could easily have been awarded a free further out the field). However, Seanie Daly’s low spotkick was wide of the target.
The latter player turned from villain to hero within two minutes when he cheekily dunked the ball to the net at the end of a flowing move by Ray Smyth’s charges.
A minute later the sides were level, Dylan McDermott rifling home a great goal after playing a one-two with Ciaran Curley. Another one-two led to the Mullingar men taking the lead, Donal O’Donoghue and Lorcan Smyth combining for the latter to raise a white flag. Ger Egan levelled the game at 2-6 apiece approaching the end of the third quarter from a 30-metre free.
The game was now very much up for grabs and Lorcan Smyth’s high shot (which could easily have dipped under the crossbar) restored Shamrocks’ lead.
After Ger Egan untypically missed a scoreable free, his colleague David Jessop replicated his earlier goal-line heroics, again from Ciaran Curley. In the 50th minute, a foul on Dylan McDermott resulted in a close-range free – it seemed perilously close to a penalty award – which an off-colour Denis Corroon converted.
Three minutes later, a delightfully-struck ‘45’ from Seanie Daly put the champions three points ahead. Substitute Ben Gavin closed the gap with a good point and Ger Egan kept his side in the hunt for the Flanagan Cup with two late points, both from around 35 metres – a lovely score from play and a difficult free.
David Glennon had the chance to emerge as the hero of the hour in the 62nd minute but his shot tailed off wide, leaving two evenly-matched teams set to do it all again next Saturday (Cusack Park, 2pm).
Scorers - Mullingar Shamrocks: D McDermott and S Daly (0-1’45’) 1-2 each, L Smyth 0-3 (1f), D Corroon (f) and D Keena 0-1 each. Tyrrellspass: G Egan 0-6 (5f), G Hoey and M Flanagan 1-0 each, A O’Brien, Denis Glennon and B Gavin 0-1 each.
Mullingar Shamrocks: Philip Shaw; Eddie Moore, Kieran Gavin, Aaron Purcell; Donal O’Donoghue, Davy Gavin, Paddy Joyce; Denis Corroon, Daragh Daly; Dylan McDermott, Seanie Daly, Killian Daly; Darren Keena, Ciaran Curley, Lorcan Smyth. Subs used: Aonghus Smyth for Moore (h-t), Anthony Clinton for Keena (46), Simon Quinn for McDermott (60 + 2).
Tyrrellspass: Darren Quinn; Eoghan O’Neill, Brian Slevin, Shane Arthur; David Jessop, Gavin Hoey, Jamie Gonoud; Ger Egan, Dean McNicholas; Conor Slevin, David Glennon, Aaron O’Brien; Philip Sheridan, Martin Flanagan, Denis Glennon. Subs used: Ben Gavin for O’Brien (40), Ciaran Daly for Sheridan (51), Stephen Quinn for Jessop (60).
Referee: Shane Farrell (Ballynacargy).
Man of the match
Ger Egan (Tyrrellspass). The inter-county star was reasonably prominent throughout in a game with no real stand-out player dominating. Egan’s late brace secured a deserved draw for his side.
Seanie Daly’s missed penalty in the 36th minute ultimately came back to haunt the champions.