Eanna Holland, Southern Gaels, emerges with the ball, as Cian Gavigan, Castletown Geoghegan, awaits developments, in Tuesday's Westmeath IHC game at Robinstown.

Dowd goal gives Southern Gaels the edge

Slevins Coaches Westmeath IHC

Southern Gaels 1-16 Castletown Geoghegan 0-16

Southern Gaels consolidated their position at the top of the Intermediate hurling championship table with a three-point win over Castletown Geoghegan, at Robinstown, Mullingar on Tuesday evening.

The game had twice fallen victim to inclement weather the previous weekend, but the sun shone here and St Oliver Plunkett’s had the venue in tip-top condition, brightening the way for a decent contest.

Southern Gaels needed to show resilience when Castletown Geoghegan battled back after the break, after the Athlone side led by 0-11 to 0-5 at half-time.

Five unanswered points brought Castletown Geoghegan back into contention before Sean and Chulainn Dowd notched two vital scores for the Shannonsiders. The talented brothers later combined for the game’s only goal on 43 minutes: Sean sent a long free into the danger area where Chulainn fielded impressively and finished to the net in clinical fashion.

The Gaels were seven points clear after Chulainn Dowd (with a classy strike from an acute angle) and substitute Eanna Holland (a long-range effort) notched crucial scores.

Castletown Geoghegan refused to capitulate and the outstanding Peter Murphy added four unanswered points (one from play) to ensure a close finish.

Dean Selvin had a couple of potential goal chances for a tenacious Castletown side, but was denied by ‘keeper Shaun Fox in the 50th minute, while on another occasion the Southern Gaels defence stood firm when threatened. Earlier, at the opposite end, Mikey Lynam produced a crucial challenge to thwart Fionn Dowd.

Southern Gaels top the group on four points, ahead of Clonkill, Castletown Geoghegan, Turin and St Brigids, who are all on two.

Man of the match: Chulainn Dowd (Southern Gaels): The impressive corner forward notched 1-7 of his side’s tally and his goal after 43 minutes was well executed.

Scorers - Southern Gaels: C Dowd 1-7 (0-3f; 0-2 ‘65s’), S Dowd 0-3 (1f), F Dowd 0-2, E Martin, S Hoctor, L Whelan and E Holland 0-1 each. Castletown Geoghegan: P Murphy 0-10 (7f; 1 ‘65’), A Conway, C Gavigan, D Slevin, O Gavigan, P Dalton and S Jackson 0-1 each.

Southern Gaels: Shuan Fox; Jonathan Keogh, Shane Galvin, Diarmuid Murtagh; Diarmuid Martin, Cian McCarthy, Dermot Treacy; Kieran Duncan, Sean Dowd; Seamus Hoctor, Eamon Martin, Evan Farrell; Chulainn Dowd, Fionn Dowd, Luke Whelan. Subs: Eanna Holland for Farrell and John Martin for Whelan (39), Eoin Hardiman for F Dowd (51), Paul Hogan for Treacy (53).

Castletown Geoghegan: Eoin Glennon; Paul O’Sullivan, Paddy Doran, Fergal O’Brien; Odhrán Gavigan, Mikey Lynam, Shane Doran; Eoin Kiernan, Sean Jackson; Peter Dalton, Cian Gavigan, Peter Murphy; Dean Slevin, Andy Conway, Andy Dalton. Sub: Alan Kincaid for A Dalton (39).

Ref: Matt Shaw (Clonkill).