Denny Premier B Final: Mastergeeha v Castleisland B at Mounthawk Park, Sunday, June 18th Kick off at 2pm.
By: Mike Rice
Castleisland AFC make a habit of collecting silverware most seasons and even if they fail to win leagues they always seem to lift a cup competition on a regular basis.
In recent years they have had great success at senior level under the management of Edmund Hartnett and more recently under Mike McCarthy winning Premier A and also lifting the Greyhound Bar Cup title while Jason McCarthy took over the reins for a last couple of seasons and has his side in the semi – final of this year’s Greyhound Bar Cup.
Fourth Final in Four Years.
Their B team have also enjoyed a lot of success winning the league title a couple of years ago and just last year reached the Greyhound Bar Cup Final and only lost in a replay to Listowel Celtic and this is their fourth final in as many years.
Dan Maunsell has been the manager of the team for the past few years and has built up a nice squad of players who have gelled together very well as a unit.
They were in a tough fight to get to the league final this year and were neck and neck with the other two title contenders, AC Athletic and Mastergeeha.
It went to their last game of the season to clinch a place in the decider.
The Islanders will go into Sunday’s final with a lot of confidence as they have been performing very consistently all season churning out very good results.
Very Competitive Division
Premier B was a very competitive division with the finalists only known after the last games of the season for the three sides involved Castleisland, AC Athletic and Mastergeeha.
Castleisland had to get to the final the hard way needing a draw in their last game against CSKA and they got the result they sought to qualify for the final.
They will go into the final with high expectations but they know they face a stern test against a strong Mastergeeha side which won the title just two years ago and have Premier A experience under their belts.
Manager Dan Maunsell will have his side well geared up for the big game and he will be hoping that they turn in the kind of performance he is seeking.
He is confident his side is able to win the game but he knows that only a top shelf display will do to get the better of their opponents.
Looking for Big Performances
If the Castleisland boys are to lift the title they will be looking for big performances from the likes of: Martin Hewitt, Evan O’Brien, Ger Byrne, Mike Cahill, Barry Lynch Niall Casey at the back.
They are particularly strong at midfield with seasoned campaigners such as Shane O’Loughlin, Martin ‘Mazza’ Moriarty, Seán Óg Ó Ciardubháin, as well as Stephen McCarthy, Danny Feehan and Niall Barrett.
They have plenty of options up front also with Jonathan Downey banging in 18 goals so far this season while they can also can call on the experience of Pa O Rourke who is always good for a crucial goal in big games.
In the Line-Up Mix
Others in the mix for the starting line up include: Eamon McLoughlin, Darren Maunsell, Steven Divane and Sean O’Connell.
Meanwhile Mastergeeha are a side with a lot of experience and know what it is like to win a league title getting promoted to Premier A after winning the final against Fenit Samphires two years ago.
While they did go back down again their spell in Premeir A was a learning experience and that will stand to them in this game.
They also got to the final the hard way as they had to win their last game of the season against fellow title contenders AC Athletic and despite the pressure they were under won 4 – 2 to claim a place in the decider.
They have a nice blend of youth and experience in their squad and will go into the game on a high after clinching their place in the final against all the odds.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Both sides know their strengths and weaknesses and the managers will be trying to use this to their advantage.
The Mastergeeha management team is Kevin Dawson and Alan Moynihan and they will have all their players psyched up for the big game.
They will be relying on the likes of: Tadhg Aherne, Paul and Colm Lenihan, Chris Egan, Derry Aherne, Paudie O’Connor, Tom Templeman, Karlo Gniewek, Damien Breen, Padraig Nagle to lead by example and produce the type of performance that got them to the final.
Replay a Possibility?
It should be a very tight game that could take a replay to decide. I will stay neutral and all I will say is may the best team win. It will be no surprise if it takes another game to decide this final.
The Castleisland squad for the final, is: Martin Hewitt, Evan O’Brien, Ger Byrne, Mike Cahill, Daniel Downey, Shane O’Loughlin, Barry Lynch, Martin ‘Mazza’ Moriarty, Seán Óg Ó Ciardubháin, Stephen McCarthy, Eamon McLoughlin, Jonathan Downey, Pa O’Rourke, Danny Feehan, Niall Casey, Niall Barrett, Darren Maunsell, Steven Divane and Seán O’Connell. Manager Dan Maunsell.
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