Club Focus: Garrycastle’s progress since 1981 is a shining example to all

Left: David O’Shaughnessy raises aloft the Flanagan Cup for the first time in 2001. Right: Garrycastle captain Doron Harte proudly raises the Flanagan Cup after his side’s victory over St Loman’s, Mullingar in 2019.

It has been in existence for less than four decades, but already the Garrycastle GAA Club has left an indelible mark on Westmeath GAA, producing some very talented footballers and enjoying much success in the process.

The Athlone-based club has won eight senior football titles since its formation in 1981, while the major highlight will surely be the Leinster Club title which was annexed in 2011. They stand alone as the only Westmeath club to have reached the Holy Grail.

Later that season, on St Patrick’s Day, 2012, Garrycastle appeared in the All-Ireland Club Football final at Croke Park where they pushed the mighty Crossmaglen Rangers of Armagh all the way but had to settle for a draw. The replay went Crossmaglen’s way, but it was some journey by the Garrycastle men.

Garrycastle are the reigning Westmeath champions having defied the odds to beat St Loman’s Mullingar in last year’s final, 2-13 to 3-6, following a most dramatic encounter. Garrycastle trailed by eight points at the break, but showing the kind of indomitable sprit that has stood the test of time, they bounced back to outscore their opponents 2-8 to 0-2 in the second half.

In doing so they denied the same team that had easily beaten them in the group stages, 5-14 to 2-12.

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