IFC Group A: O'Mahonys leave Ballinlough frustrated

July 30, 2023

Jake Regan fires over for O'Mahonys as Oldcastle's Conor Delaney closes in during the Meath IFC clash at Ballinlough

Navan O’Mahony’s 2-08 Oldcastle 1-11

Both teams left Ballinlough frustrated yet relieved in equal measure on Saturday evening when the sides were left to share the two points on offer. The final quarter saw both sides squander opportunities to take the lead and a draw looked a fair result. 

With a gale-force wind behind them, Navan O’Mahony’s opened the scoring with a pointed free from Jake Regan. This was nullified within seconds at the other end of the pitch, when Oldcastle scored from play.  Conor Finnegan managed to edge his side in front again but the sides were soon level when Oldcastle split the posts. 

In the sixth minute, Regan kicked an excellent point from play from nearly at the sideline, added to by a well-taken point by Louis Collins shortly after. The next three minutes kept the umpires busy with Oldcastle converting  a free and a mark before Regan scored, this time from the opposite sideline. 

The sides were level for five minutes until Navan O’Mahony’s worked the ball through a number of players until Paddy Dillon was in a scoring opportunity and split the posts. A free from Regan left two points in it until approaching half time, Mike O’Reilly gave a perfect pass across the square to Darragh Maguire who palmed it to the net to put some distance between the sides for the first time. A Collins point in injury time put six between the sides at the break

Navan O’Mahony’s 1-08
Oldcastle 0-05

Against the wind in the second half, Navan O’Mahony’s had a lot of work to do. In the opening minutes of the half, Oldcastle were through on goal but were denied by the crossbar. A couple of minutes later, however, they did get through to find the net, leaving three points between the sides. 

Struggling to add scores of their own, Navan O’Mahony’s missed a number of opportunities sending some wide with others dropping short. By the tenth minute, the sides were level once again and less than a minute later, Oldcastle had taken the lead for the first time with a free. 

Navan O’Mahony’s worked the ball down the field again and once more it was O’Reilly who set out the all-important pass. This time corner forward Oisin O’Brien was the recipient who found the net, to put the Brews Hill charges two points to the advantage again. 

Oldcastle responded immediately, pointing from play from the resulting kickout and leaving the narrowest of margins between the sides. Another point in the fifteenth minute meant the sides were all square again. Indeed it proved to be the last point of the game as both sides struggled to convert chances in the final quarter.

Both teams dropped a number of balls short as well as kicking wides, while both sets of defenders also dispossessed on several occasions. Navan O’Mahony’s Darragh Murphy proved most effective for his side at this, winning a number of balls and guiding them up the pitch. 

Navan O’Mahony’s: Aaron Byrne, Darragh Murphy, Brian Dillon, Paddy Dillon (0-01), Louis Collins (0-02), Mike O’Reilly, Darragh Maguire (1-0), Niall McGrane, Conor Finnegan (0-01), Evan Coffey, Cathal Smyth, Aodhan Mallon, Ronan Clarke, Jake Regan (0-04), Oisin O’Brien (1-0)  

Eoin Joyce for Collins, Duggie Dillon for Clarke, Shane Maguire for Finnegan, Jack McConnell for O’Brien 

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