The Shandonagh senior team got 2019 off to a great start last Saturday evening when they took on and overcame last years Westmeath senior champions Mullingar Shamrocks.
This much anticipated match-up between the 2019 Westmeath intermediate and senior champions was played in tough underfoot conditions due to the wet start to the day but both teams still produced fine football. Indeed you would be hard pressed to pick out any aspect of the Shandonagh play that indicated their intermediate status last year as they played with a maturity and battle hardness that becomes any good senior team.
Shandonagh were first on the score sheet with a converted free from Tom Molloy after 3 minutes. Shamrocks responded on the 6 minute mark with a goal by reacting quickest to a 45 which rebounded off the upright. Young Molloy stepped up again on the 15th and 17th minute with 2 sweetly slotted frees. On the 20 minute mark Shandonagh were awarded a penalty as they bore down on the goal and this was duly converted by Brian Kavanagh. Points from play were then added by both Tom Molly and Brian Kavanagh in the 21st and 28th minute respectively. The first half was not without controversy as Mullingar Shamrocks lost their centre-forward to a black card after 15 minutes and their corner forward to a straight red on the 30 minute mark. Half time score was Shandonagh 1-5, Mullingar Shamrocks 1-2.
The second half started with both teams trading points before Mullingar Shamrocks scored 2 points on the run to come within a point of Shandonagh. But this is where the maturity and calmness of the Shandonagh team was evident as they stuck to the task at hand and knuckled down to play football. This was rewarded by a great pass from Alan Hickey to Luke Tynan who made no mistake rattling the back of the net for Shandonaghs second goal. Brian Kavanagh was on form with his placed free taking adding 2 more points before Tom Molloy finished the score sheet at the end. The last few minutes of the game saw the departure from the field of both David Duffy and Daire Conway with both receiving a second yellow card. Shandonagh were deserving winners and we have plenty to look forward to this year with the football these lads are able to produce.
Final score: Shandonagh 2-9, Mullingar Shamrocks 1-9
Conor Craig, Cathal Craig, Daire Conway, Maitiu Scully, Gareth Carr, Ben Treanor, Christy Coyne, David Duffy, Alan Hickey, Luke Tynan, Ciaran Shanley, Tom Molloy, Cormac Coyne, Conor Hayden, Brian Kavanagh