2023 West U21A Football Semi-Final

McGrath Oil West U21A Football Championship Semi-Final

Cappawhite Gaels 3-12 (21)

Arravale Rovers 1-4 (7)

Michael McCarthy at Cappawhite

Cappawhite Gaels ended Arravale Rovers stranglehold on the West U21 A Football with a comprehensive win on Saturday in Cappawhite. The Gaels who lost years decider to their opponents led from start to finish and never looked in trouble.

Two years ago Cappawhite Gaels were in the U19 ‘B’ grade and went onto win County honours while Arravale Rovers were decisive winners over Knockavilla Kickhams in the West U19 A.

Conditions were as good as could be expected in November and Arravale Rovers won the toss and elected to play with the aid of the breeze. However, it was Cappawhite Gaels with Stephen Dee & Tommy Costello in midfield who won the throw in and between them worked the ball to centre back Tommy O’Mahony who opened the scoring after 50 seconds. Cappawhite Gaels were packing out the defence and Arravale were finding it hard to break them down. On 7 minutes Stephen Dee had a shot for a point which looked to be drifting over but fell short and deceived the Arravale Rovers ‘keeper and ended up in the net. This was quickly followed up with points from Neil Clancy, Mikey O’Brien and another Dee effort for a 1-04 to no score lead after 15 minutes. Eoin Doocey would eventually open the account of the Tipp Town team on 18 minutes from a free but this was almost immediately cancelled out with a flowing Gaels move from the kick out which Neil Clancy pointed. A stalemate ensued for the next ten minutes with no scores. Arravale Rovers had a numerical advantage with a Cappawhite player in the sin bin but couldn’t make it count on the scoreboard and Anthony Barry extended the Cappawhite Gaels lead with a point on 28 minutes. Arravale had their best spell of the game in the dying seconds of the half when a good move saw Gavin Cussen walk the ball into the net and they turned over the kickout and Doocey got his 2nd of the game to leave five in it at the break 1-07 to 1-02.

Arravale Rovers needed to start the 2nd half quick as they played into the wind and got a point back when Eoghan Lonergan stole in for the left to clip over an excellent point. Stephen Dee won the resulting kickout and his long ball into the Arravale full back line was won by Conor Martin who scored a good point in response. Three minutes later hard-working Gaels full forward Anthony Barry won a ball inside the 14 and his pass across the square was finished to the net by Neil Clancy as the lead was extended to eight. Arravale Rovers began to push and Oisin Hogan got a point on 13 minutes but his would be their last score of the game. Cappawhite Gaels defence was well on top and took all that Arravale could throw at them. Substitute Cian O’Carroll and Sam Carmody broke up the field for points before the impressive Brian Buckley won a ball around the ’45 and he soloed through the defence to finish the game off with a well taken goal. A Stephen Dee free and a well taken point from Conor Martin would finish out the scoring and a fourteen-point win for the Cappawhite Gaels.

Arravale Rovers will be disappointed with the result but never stopped trying to break down the defence. Raymond Kelly and Eoin Doocey had their moments while Gavin Cussen was a threat up front but ultimately they were out played and outworked by a superior Cappawhite Gaels outfit.

The winners had good performances all over the field, Aidan Mair was assured in goal while the defence was excellent with Mikey O’Brien, Tommy O’Mahony and Michael English forming a formidable half back line. Ben White marshalled the defence well when dropping deep from his wing forwards position. Dee & Costello worked tirelessly in midfield while Conor Martin was the pick of the forwards but was ably assisted by Sam Carmody Brian Buckley & Neil Clancy.

Galtee Rovers now await Cappawhite Gaels in the final.

Cappawhite Gaels: Aidan Mair, Pakie Barry, Gearoid Ryan, Daire Duggan, Michael English, Tommy O’Mahony(0-1), Mikey O’Brien(0-1), Tommy Costello, Stephen Dee(1-03,0-1 free), Ben White, Sam Carmody(0-1), Conor Martin(0-2), Brian Buckley(1-0), Anthony Barry(0-1), Neil Clancy1-02)
Subs – Cian O’Carroll(0-1) & Sean Cleary

Arravale Rovers: Marcus Kinnane, Odhran O’Dwyer, Evan Carrie, Peter Ryan, Jack English, Raymond Kelly, John Paul Lohan, Shane Maher, Eoin Doocey(0-2, 0-1free), Micheál Lowry, Eoghan Lonergan(0-1), Oisin Hogan(0-1), Caleb Hickey, Evan Hawkins, Gavin Cussen(1-0)
Subs – Aidan Roche, Jack Kelly, Michael Bowes, Sean Lewis, Brendan Delaney & Shane Quigley.

Referee: Paul Carew (Lattin/Cullen)

Mikey O’ Brien, Paul Carew & Micheál Lowry

By procappawhite Sun 10th Dec