Comeback stuns Oldcastle

June 28, 2004
Duleek continued their outstanding form at intermediate level with a hard earned victory over Oldcastle. Duleek .................................... 1-09 Oldcastle ................................. 0-10 These two unbeaten Intermediate sides met on Saturday evening last in sunny, but windy conditions in Kilberry. Straight from the throw-in, it was clear to see that Oldcastle meant business. Their tenacious players were first to most balls, had quicker anticipation and in general seemed to be more determined than their east Meath counterparts. Some of the tackling in the first half was 'Tyrone' style as they swarmed around any Duleek man with the ball, invariably turning over possession, or forcing a free in their favour. Indeed, some of the Duleek supporters could be excused if they asked whether this was a championship match at all; such was the lacklustre effort their team put in for the first half-hour. Winning the battle at midfield, the Oldcastle forwards received a lot of the ball in the opening period, and their direct running posed problems for the Duleek defenders. The first five points of the match went to Oldcastle with the first four coming from frees. Duleek opened their account on twenty-two minutes with a left-footed point from Conal McGinley. After twenty-seven minutes, Oldcastle playing with the deceptively strong breeze, had stretched their lead to six points. The most important score of the game came in injury time in the first half. A blockdown by the impressive midfielder McDonnell, gave Duleek possession 45 metres out from the Oldcastle goal. Three slick passes later and substitute Deveroux had buried the ball in the back of the net. This was the lifeline the lethargic Duleek team required. Half time Duleek 1-02 Oldcastle 0:08 Oldcastle opened the scoring in the second half with a long-range free after two minutes. Duleek, aided with that breeze, began a second half comeback. The impressive Curran scored two points midway through the second half to close the gap to two points. Duleek, now having the upper hand at midfield through McDonnell and Cunningham, began to play their best football of the game. Points through the hard-working Kenny McDonnell and an impressive solo effort from Curran brought the sides level. The Duleek backs, playing well as a unit, restricted the potent Oldcastle attack in this second period to just two points. In the final few minutes, substitute and corner forward Tallon won some important frees for the Duleek men and freetaker Curran obliged with two pointed frees to give Duleek the lead for the first time in the match. There was no time for Oldcastle to respond and Duleek salvaged the two points. Duleek - David Andrews, Mark Cudden, Ciaran Byrne, Kevin Smith, David Crosby, Paul Martin, Des Teeling, Tony Cunningham, Karl McDonnell, Gordon Hynes, Aodhagan Byrne, Conall McGinley, Adrian Joyce, Peter Curran (0-7), Kenny McDonnell (0-1). Subs - J Devereaux (1-0) for A. Joyce, B. Tallon for C. McGinley (0-1)

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