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Game of two hours costs Charlestown

Game of two hours costs Charlestown

Aghamore 1-7
Charlestown 0-8

Daniel Carey

TWO hours and three minutes after it began, the curtain finally came down on last Saturday’s game at Fr O’Hara Park, Charlestown. Aghamore’s senior status is safe – rarely has a team been so pleased to conclude their involvement in a competition. Charlestown are in a relegation semi-final.
In an unspectacular game, the 78-minute second half will remain in the memory. There were just two minutes of normal time remaining when Aghamore corner back Colm Caulfield sustained a dislocated shoulder. The nature of the injury meant the defender couldn’t be moved, and more than 40 minutes elapsed before he was removed to hospital by ambulance.
Aghamore remained on the field throughout the lengthy stoppage; Charlestown retired to the dressing room for a period. By then, the game had swung decisively in favour of the visitors, the result of a 49th minute Simon McGuinness goal.
The game had begun in atrocious weather conditions. Richard Haran went close to opening Charlestown’s account with a free, but referee Denis Harrington signalled that the ball had gone wide. Alan Freeman got Aghamore off the mark from a free in the eighth minute, and Caoimhín Carty chipped in with a nice dinky point. But Sarsfields hit the front after Tom Parsons collected a ‘garryowen’ before popping the ball over, and Haran added two frees.
The rain alone couldn’t excuse some of the poor decision-making and sloppy passing on show, though the last three scores of the first half were all of high quality. Mark Caffrey ended a nice Charlestown move with a point. Enda Sweeney responded with an Aghamore effort in close quarters, and after Caffrey’s shot on the turn was well saved by Niall Walsh, Paul Mulligan converted the resultant ’45.
Half-time saw a run on buns by well-positioned spectators, while former Charlestown player John Casey threatened to “leave in protest” if the score of the Dublin-Tyrone game was read out. Those without Sky+ sought whispered updates.
Five-three ahead at the break, the hosts hit the ground running in the second half, as Anthony Mulligan pointed (while falling) within 18 seconds of the restart. Liam Groarke spurned a goal chance soon after, but Aghamore began to dictate matters. County player Alan Freeman led the way, pointing another free before firing over from play in that characteristic easy style of his after Kenny Feeney’s ball from the wing.
Man of the match Freeman levelled matters in the 46th minute following a self-earned free that required treatment on his back. Charlestown needed a score, but shot two wides, and then coughed up a goal after short passing in their defence. Goalkeeper David Sloyan lost the ball to McGuinness, who netted the all-important goal.
A raft of subs came on as the game entered the melting pot. Charlestown’s Martin Mulvaney pointed a free shortly before Caulfield’s injury, and added another when play eventually resumed. That brought the gap to a point, but Brendan Harrison pulled off a huge block, and Seán Óg Robinson’s huge lofted score left two in it once more.
Enda Casey almost won it for Charlestown at the death, but saw his shot for goal half-blocked and then saved after being set up by Joseph Owens. Moments later, it was all – finally – over.

N Walsh; N Freeman, D Kilkenny, C Caulfield; C Carty (0-1), C Garvey, I Carty; S McGuinness (1-0), R Lyons; B Harrison, E Sweeney (0-1), K Cassidy; K Feeney, A Freeman (0-4, 3f), L Groarke.
Subs used: R Byrne for Kilkenny; D Duffy for Feeney; S Óg Robinson for Caulfield.


D Sloyan; E Casey, D McMeel, K Deignan; D Warde, P Walsh, D Higgins; S Morris, T Parsons (0-1); R Haran (0-2, 2f), M Caffrey (0-1), A Higgins; M Mulvaney (0-2, 2f), A Mulligan (0-1), P Mulligan (0-1, 1 ’45).
Subs used: O Conway for Haran; M Divilly for Caffrey; C Maye for Warde; J Owens for T Parsons.

Referee: D Harrington (Tourmakeady)

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