Junior Championship Playoff
Athlone 1-7 Shandonagh 0-8
Athlone's junior men's team qualified for the knockout stages proper of the junior championship when they held off a stern Shandonagh challenge in a thrilling playoff game, played in appalling weather conditions in TEG Cusack Park on Sunday. Despite the low scoring, this was a very exciting encounter, played out by two fiercely committed teams, in conditions that made good football very difficult
Starting with the aid of a very strong wind, Athlone created plenty of opportunities in the opening minutes, but were guilty of some wasteful shooting and trailed by a point before finally getting on the scoreboard after 12 minutes with a brilliantly worked goal. A long pass from Benny Martin found Richie Greene and he set up Diarmuid Martin, who finished coolly to the net. Shandonagh replied with their second point, but Athlone's accuracy improved after their shaky start and well-taken points from Sean Dowd and Richie Greene put them a goal to the good after 20 minutes. Shandonagh again narrowed the gap with a point, and although Athlone finished the half strongly with points from Richie Greene and Joe Fallon, it did not look like the four-point interval lead would be enough in the conditions.
The second half began in a similar manner to the first, with the team playing with wind advantage dominating, but being unable to convert their possession into scores, although it was mainly superb defending from the Athlone backs, rather than poor shooting that kept Shandonagh scoreless for the first 10 minutes. However, after they did finally get off the mark, they quickly added two more points to reduce Athlone's lead to the minimum with a quarter of the game still to play. To their credit, Athlone didn't panic and they finally opened their second half account an excellent Richie Greene point after a really patient passing move. Shandonagh struck the next point to leave just one between them again, but again Greene kept Athlone's noses in front with a close range point after a good turnover by Luke Dully. A 57th minute Shandonagh point made it a one-point game and it looked like an equaliser was inevitable, but the Athlone defence did brilliantly to prevent this and Greene struck another fine point after a minute of injury to seemingly make the game safe for Athlone. However, there was still time for a very late scare when a final Shandonagh attack saw a high ball lofted in to the square, but rookie keeper Luke Kelly did superbly to keep it out of the net under pressure from the big opposition full-forward.
In Athlone's previous games, it was the forwards who received the plaudits as they ran up big scores, but this game was won on the back of a superb defensive performance. Despite the wet and windy conditions, the handling and distribution of young keeper Luke Kelly was very assured, while in front of him, the now settled full-back line of Eoin Fahey, Andy Lynam and Shane Galvin kept tabs on the lively Shandonagh inside forwards. Half-backs Eoin Jordan, Emmet Collins, Michael Doolan and Rory Donnellan (when introduced), were impressive defensively and in launching attacks, while up front, Richie Greene kicked some fine opportunist scores when Athlone most needed them. Athlone now face Delvin the quarter-final in Kinnegad on Wednesday, September 13th at 6.45pm.
Athlone: Luke Kelly, Shane Galvin, Andy Lynam, Eoin Fahey, Eoin Jordan, Emmet Collins, Michael Doolan, Colin O'Leary, Diarmuid Martin (1-0), David Cleary, Joe Fallon (0-1), Sean Dowd (0-1), Darren Costello, Benny Martin, Richie Greene (0-5) Subs Used: Rory Donnellan, Luke Dully, Shane Kilroy-Glynn, Dermot Bannon, Sam Omukoro, Cathal Joyce.Minor Boys Division 1 Quarter Final
Athlone 2-12 Rosemount 0-12
Our minor boys qualified for the Division 1 semi final after a hard fought win over Rosemount on Wednesday evening. Played in pristine conditions, Rosemount started better and were two points up after two minutes, although Athlone soon drew level through frees from Kieran Colclough and Benny Martin. Athlone went ahead then with two quick points from Josh Beaumont and a brilliant outside of the boot point from Martin, but the home side regained the initiative with four points in a row to put themselves 0-6 to 0-4 up, before a Shane Allen free then left just a point between the sides at half time.
Athlone came out fired up in the second half and rattled off five points in the first five minutes - two points from Benny Martin, and one each from Colclough ('45), Sean Dowd and Mark Egan, to just one in response from their hosts. JJ Offorjama then finished off a brilliant team move to rattle the net to give the visitors a six point lead, but Rosemount battled back with two frees and three points from play, either side of a Josh Beaumont point for Athlone, to cut the deficit to two with five minutes left. Benny Martin put daylight between the sides after being set up by a lung bursting run from impressive full back James Finlass, and Athlone finally made the game safe when Josh Beaumont fisted the ball to the net after being set up by David Cleary. In what was a superb team performance, every player gave their all for the cause, which was evident in a number of players coming off with cramp at the end. The lads and management now look forward to a semi final place in the Division 1 championship.
Team and panel: John Duddy, Joe Devins, James Finlass, Patrick Ryan, Donagh Prendergast, Diarmuid Martin, Paddy McGettigan; Shane Allen (Capt.) 0-1 (f), Kieran Colclough (0-2, 1f, 1 '45); JJ Offorjama (1-0), Mark Egan (0-1), Antony Johnson; Josh Beaumont (1-2), Benny Martin (0-5, 1f), Enda Daly. Subs: Sean Dowd for Daly, Stephen O'Connor for Johnson, Luke Kelly for Egan, David Cleary for Allen. Rytis Liaukivicius, Niall Doolan, Conor Rushe, Aaron Forde, Eamon Martin, Deba Okodugha, Kevin Rowan, Mark Tallon.
Lip Sync Battles 2017
Following the hugely successful Lip Sync Battles last year we are hosting the event again on Saturday, 25th November in the Sheraton Hotel Athlone. There are still a few places remaining so if you would like to take part or to sponsor an act or to help out, please contact Teresa at 087 6799472 or any member of the Committee.
There was no winner of this weeks €7,500 jackpot.
The numbers drawn were 3-9-15-26.
There were 13 match three winners.
Diana Flanagan c/o Bingo
Pat Malone c/o Bingo
Leanna Costello c/o Bingo
Alice Dowler c/o Bingo
B Furey c/o J Browne
Maeve Begley c/o A Fogarty
Joe Keelan c/o A Fogarty
Eamon Martin c/o R Daly
six in a Row c/o R Daly
Patricia Somers c/o M Daly
K The Cottage c/o M Daly
Marie Grogan c/o L Roper
John Giles c/o L Roper
Next weeks jackpot will be €7,650.
Athlone GAA Bingo:
Bingo takes place in the Clubhouse every Thursday at 8.30pm. Loads of cash prizes. Everyone Welcome.
Well done to the Westmeath Camogie Team on winning the All Ireland Premier Junior Title at Croke Park against Dublin on Sunday last.
Vote of Sympathy:
The Collins Family, Auburn Villas.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anam.