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2005 U-21 Hurling Final

Castletown-Geoghegan 1-14 Clonkil 0-12

In December 2005 Castletown won their first under 21 championship since 1996 courtesy of a 1-14 to 0-12 victory over Clonkill. This team contained many of the club's brightest prospects, including Michael Garvin, Joe Clarke and Blaine Lehart who, along with Ronan Whelan and Patrick Clarke, were members of the Christy Ring Cup-winning Westmeath hurling panel. Castletown played three games en route to winning the under 21 championship. Managed by Sean Keegan and Noel Geraghty, they had a titanic battle with Lough Lene Gaels in the first round before prevailing by 3-12 to 2-12 after extra-time. However, the victory came at a cost with centre back Pat Ryan suffering a broken ankle.

The win over the Gaels set the scene for a semi-final showdown with Crookedwood, who were hoping to add the under 21 title to their intermediate and junior 'B' championship crowns, but they found Castletown
to be made of stern stuff and succumbed to a 0-7 to 1-11 defeat. Playing on their home patch, the black and ambers drew first blood when Sean Whelan slipped his marker to fire over the opening point in the fourth minute. Noel Yourell leveled matters immediately before Shane Carey edged Castletown
back in front.

Richie Crowley restored parity once again before Eddie O'Neill scored the only goal and Éamon Óg Clarke followed up with a point to put further daylight between the sides. The 'Wood’ scored the next three points and were unlucky to have a goal disallowed for a square ball infringement. Sensing the danger, Castletown finished the half with points from cousins Éamon Óg and Joe Clarke to take a 1-6 to 0-5 lead into the break. Crookedwood needed to makean early impression in the second half but instead it was the home side who tacked on two further points from Michael Maloney and Sean Whelan. Robbie Jackson extended the Castletown lead and the 'Wood had to wait until the 52nd minute to register their 1st point of the half when Antoine Savage fired over.

two points in succession and Crookedwood’s faint hopes were ended when Castletown goalkeeper Paddy Maloney pulled off a truly wonderful save when pushing a Shane Collins pile driver around the post. The final was played at St. Loman’s on December 10th with Clonkill providing the opposition, backboned by members of the minor championship winning team, Clonkill were expected to provide a stiff challenge for the black and ambers but they never recovered from a 24th minute goal scored by Sean Whelan.

Castletown were full value for their five-point win on a day when their half back line of Michael Garvin, Michael Maloney and David Langan were imperious. Garvin was arguably the most impressive of this dominant trio. Particularly in the first half when Clonkill failed to penetrate and relied on long rang frees to try to put scores on the board. Adam Price pointed a 70-metre free to give the Loughagar men an early lead, but it was the only occasion they had their noses in front as Castletown hit back with unanswered points from Robbie Jackson, Eddie O’Neill, Shane Carey and Éamon Óg Clarke to ease into a 0-5 to 0-1 advantage. Luke Folan scored Clonkill’s second point after 14 minutes, but Castletown continued to hold
the upper hand and after Jackson had added two further points, the decisive breakthrough came when Shane Carey set up Whelan for the only goal. Another Jackson free put Castletown 8 points clear in the 22nd minute before Clonkill rallied to trail by 0-5 to 1-8 at the interval. The black and ambers had the advantage of the breeze in the 2nd half, but Clonkill opened brightly and points from Owen Price and Luke Folan had the margin down to 4 with 17 minutes remaining. Clonkill trailed by just 3 points, 0-9 to 1-9 and looked capable of reducing the deficit further. It was still a three point game with five minutes remaining, but three points in as many minutes from Éamon Óg (two) and Robbie Jackson helped to ease the
Castletown’s worries, and despite conceding a late point to Folan, the black and ambers held on for a deserved victory.

Team:- Paddy Maloney, Davin Clarke, Brian Garvin, Shane Herity, Michael Garvin, Michael Maloney, David Langan, Joe Clarke, Blaine LeHarte, John Gallagher, Éamon Óg Clarke, Robbie Jackson, Shane Carey, Eddie O’Neill and Sean Whelan. Subs used Colm Mackey & Liam Corcoran.
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