Castletown get their blend right
Castletown 3-13 Starlights 1-3
A blend of youth and Senior experience guided Castletown to the Enniscorthy Farm Systems Junior football championship semi-final after an impressive 3-13 to 1-3 victory over Starlights in the battle of the second strings in Monageer on Saturday.
The eventual winners couldn't have asked for a better start after Gavin Stamp swept to the net after only 16 seconds.
Lee Murphy was the sole point-scorer for Starlights, and he pegged back a free after two minutes, although Castletown responded with six unanswered points from Mark Halpin (two), his younger brother Shane, together with Gavin Stamp (free), Aaron Condren and Danny Dixon ('45), moving them into a position of strength by the half-time juncture (1-6 to 0-2).
And they virtually assured their passage to the final four six minutes after the re-start when the excellent Darragh Brooks supplied Mark Halpin for a worm-burner finish to the corner of the net. Substitute Ross Bealin staked a claim for a starting berth next day out when he pointed soon after his introduction, while Brooks scored the point his industry deserved immediately after.
Starlights hit 1-1 without reply, with Dayle Donohoe conjuring up a brilliant goal on 42 minutes. But the victors had their tails up long before that, and reeled off 1-5 in the last ten minutes, as imposing replacement Stephen Gardiner powered his way through for a brace, while Bealin sealed the deal with a close-range goal a minute from time after being fed by emerging talent Rory Heffernan.
Castletown: Niall Hempsentall; Paul Nugent, David Deering, Risteárd Kinsella; Aaron Condren (0-1), Noel Morris, Danny Dixon (0-2, 1 free, 1 '45); Oisín Condren (0-1), Rory Heffernan; Mark Halpin (1-2), Kevin Morris, Seán Roche; Shane Halpin (0-2), Gavin Stamp (1-1, 0-1 free), Darragh Brooks (0-1). Subs. - Ross Bealin (1-1) for K. Morris, Killian Pierce for M. Halpin, Stephen Gardiner (0-2) for Roche, Stephen O'Rafferty for S. Halpin, Peter Fogarty for N. Morris.
Starlights: Timmy Dwyer; Chris Doyle, Daniel O'Brien, Ryan Hadley; Wayne Breen, Joe Cullen, Ed Tobin; John Ryan, Brian Ronan; Lenny Connolly, Eoin Quigley, Dayle Donohoe (1-0); Aaron Dobbs, Lee Murphy (0-3 frees), Tom Ryan. Subs. - Seán Cloherty for O'Brien, inj., Dylan McVeigh for Connolly, Pa O'Rourke for J. Ryan, Anthony Russell for Cullen, John Daly for Quigley, Diarmuid Byrne for T. Ryan.
Referee: John O'Loughlin (Monageer-Boolavogue).