Daly delivers coup de grace as Shamrocks take crown off Garrycastle
Mullingar Shamrocks 0-12 Garrycastle 1-8
WESTMEATH SFC FINAL REPLAY
REIGNING Leinster champions Garrycastle were dethroned as Westmeath champions in a niggly county final replay, in which 12 players (six from either side) were yellow-carded.
The challengers started brightly and were two points ahead with just two minutes on the clock.
However, the wind-assisted Garrycastle soon got into their stride and rattled over four unanswered points by the 12th minute, three of them (including two frees) from the boot of Dessie Dolan.
Approaching the end of the first quarter, last season's All-Ireland finalists pounced on a Shamrocks defensive error to fire home a great goal, Dessie Dolan teeing up his cousin James who rifled the ball low to the net.
Shamrocks edged the remainder of the first half, with Ciaran Curley influential in their attack, but Garrycastle led 1-6 to 0-6 at half-time.
Conor Cosgrove increased Garrycastle's lead from a converted free within a minute of the restart, but it was to be 32 minutes before they added to their total.
Matthew Guiheen spurned a glorious chance of a goal for the holders and, with the wind at their backs, Shamrocks chipped away patiently and they were rewarded with a couple of terrific long-range points from play by the outstanding Sean Daly and substitute Anthony Clinton.
The sides were on level terms as the hour mark was reached before Sean Daly put Shamrocks ahead again from a tricky 25-metre free.
The same player then doubled Mullingar's advantage with a truly fantastic point from play, forcing Dessie Dolan to try and make the most of the chance presented to him and he blasted at goal from a 25-metre free.
However, the former All Star's rasping shot was deflected over the crossbar.
In the dying seconds, Shamrocks captain Kieran Gavin (the victorious DCU skipper in the Sigerson Cup earlier in the year) made a vital catch to ensure his side bridged a 12-year gap in Westmeath and end Garrycastle's famous run of glory.
Scorers -- Mullingar Shamrocks: S Daly 0-5 (1f), C Curley 0-4 (3f), D Corroon, L Smyth, A Clinton 0-1 each. Garrycastle: D Dolan 0-4 (3f), J Dolan 1-0, C Cosgrove 0-2 (2f), P Mulvihill and D Harte 0-1 each.
Mullingar Shamrocks -- R Tyrrell; A Purcell, K Gavin, E Moore; P Joyce, D Gavin, M Curley; D Corroon, D O'Donoghue; K Daly, S Daly, S Quinn; J Ganley, C Curley, L Smyth. Subs: A Clinton for Quinn (38), D Daly for Joyce (42), D Miller for Purcell (64).
Garrycastle -- C Mullin; M McCallon, E Mulvihill, G McCallon; K Henson, D Harte, J Gaffey; A Browne, P Dillon; M Guiheen, P Mulvihill, E Monaghan; C Cosgrove, J Dolan, D Dolan. Subs: A Fox for G McCallon (23), S O'Donoghue for Dillon (43), C O'Neill for Harte (inj 49), D O'Shaughnessy for Guiheen (inj 56).
Ref -- D Maher (Ballynacargy).