Under 20 Championship Quarter-Final
Athlone 3-12 Shandonagh 1-8
A clinically taken hat-trick of goals from Stephen O'Connor, allied to a superb defensive performance, gave our U20 team a surprisingly comfortable win against a fancied Shandonagh side in this quarter-final played in Páirc Chiaráin on Saturday afternoon.
Beginning the game with the aid of a strong breeze, Athlone got off to a dream start with a goal straight from the throw-in, when Diarmuid Martin and Shane Allen combined to set up Stephen O'Connor, who finished emphatically. A long-range Luke Kelly free, followed by a Benny Martin point continued the good start, before O'Connor reacted quickest to a loose ball in the large square for his second goal. Shandonagh got on the board with a close range free but two well-struck 45's from Luke Kelly and a JJ Offorjama score give Athlone a 10-point lead after 20 minutes. However, they suffered a setback when Kelly was dismissed for dissent following a second Shandonagh pointed free, and although Daniel Reid replied from distance, the visitors then enjoyed their best spell of the half and added two more frees to reduce the gap as half-time approached. To their credit though, the Athlone lads rallied and late points from Benny Martin and Shane Allen restored their 10-point advantage at the break, 2-8 to 0-4.
Playing into wind, and a man down, Athlone needed to keep things tight in the opening minutes of the second half, but instead their lead was halved in the first five minutes when some sloppy turnovers led to two pointed frees and a goal from a penalty. All the momentum now appeared to be with the visitors, but an inspirational score from Shane Allen, followed by Stephen O'Connor's hat-trick goal with another cool finish after a brilliant team move, took the sting out of their comeback. Josh Beaumont added a point from a free, while it took Shandonagh until the 53rd minute to get their only score from play, a measure of how well the Athlone defence played against their highly-rated opponents. Further points from JJ Offorjama and Benny Martin put the seal on an impressive all-round performance, as Athlone qualified for an away semi-final against the winner of the quarter-final between The Downs and Caulry, at a time and date to be confirmed.
Athlone: John Duddy, Joe Devins, James Finlass, Paddy Ryan, Donagh Prendergast, Diarmuid Martin, Paddy McGettigan, Shane Allen (0-2), Daniel Reid (0-1), JJ Offorjama (0-2), Luke Kelly (0-3), Sean Dowd, Josh Beaumont (0-1), Stephen O'Connor (3-0), Benny Martin (0-3) Subs Used: Conor Rushe, Niall Doolan, Enda Daly.
Everyone is invited to the End of Year Club Dinner Dance & Reunion of 1988, 1991 and 1998 Senior Championship Winning Teams takes place in the Shamrock Lodge Hotel on Friday, 16th November. Dinner at 8pm & DJ til late. Tickets €25 available online at www.athlone.gaa.ie Also you can contact Rory Byrne at 087 9527671, Damian Lawlor 086 8282255 or Joe Finlass 086 0757582. Tickets selling fast so get yours now for what promises to be a great night.
Club gear for Christmas
We are selling half zip training tops, jerseys, shorts, gear bags and beanie hats. Contact Teresa at 087 6799472 or see our price list on Athlone GAA Official facebook page.
A great week was had by all at the recent Halloween Camp held in Pairc Chiarain under the supervision of Darren Magee (Westmeath GDA). A big thank you to Darren and his team of coaches Ellen, Edel, Anthony, James, Donagh, Eoin & Chulainn for all their hardwork and the great turnout of children who attended the camp.
The numbers drawn were 1-10-18-23.
There were three winners of the jackpot.
Monica & Majella c/o Mags Daly.
Tom & Marie Jinks c/o Mags Daly.
Tommy Blaine c/o Andy O`Sullivan.
There were three match three winners.
Barney c/o Brian Mulvihill.
Ned Johnson c/o Amby Fogarty.
Jimmy Allen c/o Online.
Next weeks jackpot will be €1500.
Bingo takes place in the Clubhouse every Thursday at 8.30pm. Loads of cash prizes. Everyone Welcome.
Vote of Sympathy:
The Loughlin Family, Delvin.
The Claffey Family, Dublin Road.
The Daly Family, Retreat Park.
The Nally Family, The Moorings.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anam.