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2004 U-14 Hurling Title

Consistent Castletown Geoghegan Triumph in Under 14 Decider
Westmeath Examiner dated Saturday 18th September 2004

Castletown Geoghegan: 4 - 8            Clonkill: 3- 3

A superbly prepared Castletown Geoghegan side proved just too strong for a gallant Clonkill fifteen in a very well contested Under 14 premier hurling championship decider, played in ideal conditions, in Cusack Park on Wednesday evening last, September 8th 2004. The beautiful evening sunshine ensured that there was plenty of support in headquarters for both sides and those who passed through the turnstile, were treated to a wonderful exhibition of hurling from two very skilful teams.

First half goals from Mark Lynch and Aonghus Clarke put Castletown Geoghegan in the driving seat and really despite wonderful spirit and commendable application, Clonkill could not get a foothold in this game. They trailed by seven points at the interval and while they lifted their game on the change of ends, the black and ambers had no intention of leaving this title behind them.

Clonkill dominated the third quarter of the game and their defence really had to be on song as the boys in green and gold laid siege to their goal. However, the Westmeath 'Cats' held firm and then managed to break downfield for a third goal. Castletown-Geoghegan added another 1-2 before Clonkill could respond and by the time Niall Keegan drove a long range free to the net, the game had gone from them. Clonkill were still pressing forward with the game in injury time, but Michael Heffernan’s late effort was knocked
out for a '65 and that was that.

There were joyous scenes as Castletown- Geoghegan's superb captain; Alan Bouabbse accepted the cup from Minor Board Chairman, Sean Sheridan. Corey Halford opened Castletown-Geoghegan's account and this was followed by another point from corner forward Mark Lynch and when centre back Alan Bouabbse delivered long into the danger area, corner forward Aonghus Clarke pounced to belt the ball past the advancing Clonkill custodian. Clonkill were dealt a real blow as full forward Anthony Price was forced off with a hand injury, but wing forward Gary Moran opened their account with a pointed free after 17 minutes. A minute later Corey Halford provided the perfect delivery for Mark Lynch to unhinge the Clonkill defense for a second time. A point from Cathal Johnson followed four minutes later as the black and amber’s took complete control of the final.

Niall Keegan’s long range free went all the way to the net, Clonkill had a mountain to climb, They deserve credit for never throwing in the towel goal and corner forward Sean McCormack stroked it to the net. However, Castletown Geoghegan's response was impressive as Halford and wing forward David Keenan added points to give them a commanding lead at the interval. The would-be champions showed early intent as Johnson pointed after just 35 seconds of the second half, but Clonkill were determined to push their opponents all the way. After Moran shot over a great point from a free, the Loughegar outfit began to put the Castletown Geoghegan defence under sustained pressure.

Unfortunately for them it produced nothing as Hugh Peter Murray and corner backs Diarmuid Garvin and David Flynn defended like terriers. Goal keeper Niall Kirby made a fine stop from a long range free by Niall Keegan and when Owen Mark Peppard pounced to score Castletown's third goal after 12 minutes of the half, one could sense the title was theirs.

The wing forward did brilliantly to control the ball before hitting the target and while Niall Keegan scored a super 65-metre point for Clonkill (free), Peppard swooped for a second goal after 19 minutes of the half, when a high delivery broke kindly for him. He was certainly the main architect of Castletown-Geoghegan's victory in the second half and further points from Halford and Aonghus Clarke copper-fastened the title. Halford’s came and Michael Heffernan was rewarded with a late goal, but it was Castletown-Geoghegan who took the spoils.

Scorers for Castletown Geoghegan: Owen Mark Peppard 2-0, Alan Clarke 1-1, Mark Lynch 1-1, Corey Halford 0-3, Cathal Johnson 0-2, David Keenan 0-1. Clonkill: N. Keegan 1-1, M. Heffernan 1-0, S. McCormack 1-0, G. Moran 0-2 (frees).

Castletown: Neal Kirby, Diarmuid Garvin, David Flynn, John Heslin, Alan Bouabbse (Capt.), Paul Kilroy; Malachy Lynam, Colin O'Brien, David Keenan, Hugh Peter Murray, Cathal Johnson, Owen mark Peppard; Aonghus Clarke, Corey Halford, Mark Lynch. Subs: Darren Ruane for J Heslin, Finn O'Donoghue for A Bouabbse (inj.), Conor Keegan for M Lynch.

Clonkill: Cathal Scally, Ciaran Dowdall, Alan McGrath, John Heffernan; Noel Mitchell, Niall Keegan, Brian Dunne, Niall Folan, Kelvin Reilly, Michael Heffernan, Hugh Gaffney, Gary Moran, Enda Morrison, Anthony Price, Sean McCormack. Subs: Niall Dowdall for Anthony Price (inj) Anthony Price for Niall Dowdall, Niall Dowdall for E. Morrison.

Referee: Michael Riggs (Raharney)



Classy Castletown-Geoghegan repel tenacious Clonkill to land title
By Damian Maher Topic Newspaper 18th September 2004

Castletown-Geoghegan: 4-8            Clonkill: 3-3

Castletown-Geoghegan laid the foundation for victory in the first half, with two goals from Aonghus Clarke and Mark Lynch giving them a seven points lead at the interval, 2-5 to 11. The general consensus at that stage was that the Black and Ambers would go on to win convincingly in the second half, but a determined Clonkill side had other ideas.

With Niall Keegan dominating the midfield sector and Michael Heffernan also to the fore, Clonkill tenaciously put Castletown Geoghegan on the back foot in the opening 10 minutes of the second half. However, they got scant reward for their efforts - just one point from a Gary Moran free -and Castletown-Geoghegan broke forward to score a third goal against the run of play which helped re-establish control.

Castletown-Geoghegan, who scored everything from play added another 1-2 before Clonkill could respond and by the time Niall Keegan drove a long range free to the net, the outcome was decided. Castletown Geoghegan, with their defense outstanding in the second half, simply refused to yield despite being under heavy pressure at times. Clonkill were still pressing forward with the game in injury time, but Michael Heffernan's late effort was knocked out for a'65 and the final whistle sounded. Although he was replaced because of injury, it was a delighted Castletown Geoghegan captain, Alan Bouabbse who accepted the
cup from Minor Board Chairman, Sean Sheridan afterwards.

CLARKE'S OPENING GOAL
After the one-sided nature of the preceding match, the occasion demanded a big improvement for the main event. However, there were fears it would take a similar pattern as powerful full forward Corey Halford took a pass from Cathal Johnson and fired over the opening point after one minute.

That was followed by another point from corner forward Mark Lynch and when centre back Alan Bouabbse delivered long into the danger area, corner forward Aonghus Clarke pounced to belt the ball past the advancing Clonkill goal keeper. It meant Clonkill faced a real battle, with Castletown-Geoghegan five points to the good after just six minutes. Clonkill were dealt a real blow as full forward Anthony Price was forced off with a hand injury, but wing forward Gary Moran opened their account with a pointed free after 17 minutes. It followed a lengthy stoppage as Price received treatment and his loss had a clear effect on
Clonkill who soon fell further behind.

After 18 minutes, Corey Halford delivered a great lengthy pass and Mark Lynch scrambled another goal for CastletownGeoghegan. A point from Cathal Johnson followed four minutes later as the Black and Ambers took complete control of the final. Clonkill battled, though and achieved a real breakthrough after 23 minutes when Gary Moran sent a high ball across the face of goal and corner forward Sean McCormack stroked it to the net. However, Castletown-Geoghegan's response was impressive as Halford and wing forward David Keenan added points to give them a commanding lead at the interval. The would-be champions showed early intent as Johnson pointed after just 35 seconds of the second half, but Clonkill
were determined to make their opponents battle. After Moran shot over a great point from a free, the Loughegar outfit began to put the Castletown-Geoghegan defence under sustained pressure.

Unfortunately for them it produced nothing as Hugh Peter Murray and corner backs Diarmuid Garvin and David Flynn defended like terriers. Goal keeper Niall Kirby made a fine stop from a long range free by Niall Keegan and when Owen Mark Peppard pounced to score Castle-town's third goal after 12 minutes of the half, one could sense the title was theirs. The wing forward did brilliantly to control the ball before hitting the target and while Niall Keegan scored a super 65-metre point for Clonkill (free), Peppard swooped for a second goal after 19 minutes of the half, when a high delivery broke kindly for him. He was certainly the
main architect of CastletownGeoghegan's victory in the second half and further points from Halford and Aonghus Clarke copper fastened the title.

Halford's came after a great solo run and although Niall Keegan's long range free went all way to the net, Clonkill had a mountain to climb. They deserve credit for never throwing in the towel and Michael Heffernan was rewarded with a late goal, but it was Castletown Geoghegan who took the spoils.

Footnote:
Westmeath’s senior hurling manager, Tom Ryan demonstrated his dedication to the cause by attending both last Wednesday’s U-14 hurling finals. Tom made the long trip from Limerick for the occasion and no doubt would have spotted some stars of the future on show.
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