Fionn McKinley and Ciaran Doran, Castletown Geoghegan, battle for the ball with Cian Fleming, Raharney.

Raharney prove superior to reach U15 semi-final

Raharney 4-17, Castletown Geoghegan 3-5

Two of the leading hurling clubs in the county met in the Westmeath U15 quarter-final at Joristown Park, Raharney last Wednesday evening and it was the Deelsiders who emerged victorious over Castletown Geoghegan after a quality match.

The Féile champions went into the quarter-final tie as favourites and they built up a big lead which left Castletown Geoghegan with too much ground to recover and despite a heroic effort, they had to give second best on the evening. At half-time, Raharney led by 2-9 to 0-2 and that gave them the platform for victory.

It started well for the visitors as Mickey Devine gave Castletown the lead with a point in the fifth minute, after both teams had missed their share of scoring chances. In the eighth minute, a Raharney penalty resulted in the opening goal of the match as Donnacha Briody’s shot found its way to the net despite a partial save from the excellent Cillian Clarke.

Raharney added to that when Ronan Lawlor shot over; a pointed free from Donnacha Briody pushed the home side four clear after 12 minutes. Fionn Jackson’s long-range free reduced the leeway, but Donnacha Briody replied for the boys in blue and a long-range Oisín McCauley point (free) had them five clear at the end of the first quarter.

After Cillian Clarke denied Ronan Lawlor a goal, Jack Duignan shot over a point. And Raharney got their second goal when Oisín McCauley used his strength to power through the centre and find the net. They had serious momentum now and Cian Fleming’s determination saw him get to the ball first and fire over another point.

Donnacha Briody set up Jack Duignan for Raharney’s seventh point and when Cian McKeogh created the chance, Josh McGauran shot over. Cian McKeogh was the latest player to see his shot saved by Cillian Clarke, but the pressure led to a point for Oisín McCauley as Raharney finished the half on top.

Into the second half and Raharney added to their lead early on as Donnacha Briody shot over, after Tom Shaw’s pass. Oisín McCauley’s industry led to a Ronan Lawlor point and the same player shot over to keep Raharney firmly on course.

Castletown were just struggling to get into their stride but fine work by Cian Corcoran led to a Darragh Mulligan point. Raharney then added two in-a-row per Donnacha Briody and Oisín McCauley. It came after Castletown Geoghegan had plenty of pressure at the other end, but no scores materialised.

Eventually Castletown Geoghegan’s efforts were rewarded when Fionn Jackson drilled home a goal, after Mickey Devine’s shot came off the upright. However, a Donnacha Briody free ensured Raharney found a quick response.

Fionn Jackson’s converted free made it 2-15 to 1-4 at the end of the third quarter. Castletown Geoghegan could have had a goal at this stage, but Fionn Jackson was initially denied, before Fionn McKinley and Fionn Jackson both had efforts saved by Oran Smith. Following that goalmouth drama, Castletown won a 20-metre free and Fionn Jackson was eventually rewarded for his efforts as a well-struck shot found its way to the net.

It was a good spell for the visiting side and Thomas Wrafter got their third goal on 51 minutes when he fired a shot low to the net, after a short free was played to him.

Fine goal keeping by Cillian Clarke denied Jack Duignan twice, but Raharney kept the pressure on and Sean McCann notched a point, after Jack Duignan and Darragh Fitzsimons combined. Jack Duignan followed up with a goal and a pointed free by Donnacha Briody made it 3-17 to 3-4.

Castletown Geoghegan’s Cian Corcoran shot over, after Darragh Mulligan’s pass, but the final say belonged to Raharney as Cian McGee’s long-range free found its way to the net.

Raharney will certainly be hard stopped in this competition on the evidence of this fine victory.

Player of the match: Donnacha Briody (Raharney): The full forward scored 1-6 in total and gets the nod over the likes of Cian Fleming, Oisín McCauley, Cian McGee and Cian McKeogh. It was a fine collective effort by a strong Raharney side.

Scorers - Raharney: D Briody 1-6 (0-3f), O McCauley 1-4 (0-1f), J Duignan 1-2, C McGee 1-0 (free), R Lawlor 0-2, C Fleming, S McCann and J McGauran 0-1 each. Castletown Geoghegan: F Jackson 2-2 (1-2f), T Wrafter 1-0, D Mulligan, C Corcoran and M Devine 0-1 each.

Raharney: Oran Smith; Kyle Aughey, Thomas Smith, Ronan Smith, Frank Kiernan, Cian Fleming, Cian McGee; Cian McKeogh, Ronan Lawlor; Jack Duignan, Oisín McCauley, Shaun McCann; Tom Shaw, Donnacha Briody, Josh McGauran. Subs used: Darragh Fitzsimons, Eoghan Flanagan, Padraig Weir, Calum McKeogh, Jack Heffernan, Charlie Looby, Shane O’Neill.

Castletown Geoghegan: Cillian Clarke; Conor Corcoran, Ciaran Fallon, Darren Corcoran; Oliver Lynch, Daire Fagan, Darragh Mulligan; Cian Corcoran, Luke Robinson; Fionn McKinley, Ciaran Doran, Mickey Devine; Thomas Wrafter, Fionn Jackson, Dylan Ward. Subs used: Daniel Masterson, Billy Whelan, Jason Clarke, Tadgh Seery.

Ref: Barry Nea (Clonkill).