Minors

Minors 2017

Eoin Jordan
Eamon Martin
Fergal Murray

Minor League Division 1
Athlone 3-13 St. Mary's Rochfortbridge 1-10
It's 5 league wins (and 2 in the space of five days) on the spin for the minor boys as they saw off a battling St. Mary's Rochfortbridge on Sunday evening. The home side got off to a good start and early points from Luke Kelly, Josh Beaumont (2), and Sean Dowd saw them lead by 4. Rochfortbridge pulled the game back level with 4 points of their own. A point each from Shane Allen and Enda Daly put Athlone ahead again before a bullet of a goal from Josh Beaumont after a clever through ball from Mark Egan.  Rochfortbridge responded with a point before a fortuitous OG gave Athlone breathing space at half time with the score 2-7 to 0-5.

Rochfortbridge were first off the mark in the first minute of the second half before a well worked point by Josh Beaumont was followed by a brilliantly taken goal from Mark Tallon after good work from Diarmuid Martin. This was followed by points from Mark Egan and a Luke Kelly free. The away side responded again with 2 points of their own, followed by a well taken penalty goal (almost saved by Rytis Liaukevicius in the Athlone nets). Athlone closed out the game with 2 points from Luke Kelly and another from Josh Beaumont to leave the final score 3-13 to 1-10.
Best for Athlone were Luke Kelly, Josh Beaumont and Donagh Prendergast. The lads play their last league game of the season at home to Rosemount on Thursday (18th May), with a lot of lads carrying injuries, the strength of the squad will be fully tested. However, 3 U16's, Eamon Martin, Andrew Beaumont, and Michael Byrne, stepped up to the plate in this game and would not look out of place in the level above their age.

Athlone Team: Rytis Liaukevicius; Joseph Devins, James Finlass, Patrick Ryan; Donagh Prendergast, Paddy McGettigan, Anthony Johnson; Diarmuid Martin, Luke Kelly (0-5); Enda Daly (0-1), Josh Beaumont (1-4), Sean Dowd (0-1); Mark Egan (0-1), Mark Tallon (1-0), Shane Allen (0-1). Subs: Eamon Martin, Andrew Beaumont, John Duddy, Aaron Forde, Michael Byrne.

Athlone 2-20 Coralstown-Kinnegad 2-9

Our minor boys got their fourth league win in a row when they defeated Coralstown-Kinnegad in a game played in perfect conditions in Kinnegad on Wednesday evening last.  The home side who started the stronger with three early scores (while Athlone squandered four goal opportunities!), but Athlone eventually found their scoring boots and points from Donagh Prendergast, David Cleary and Luke Kelly had them level after 15 minutes. A very fortunate goal from a long range free from Kieran Colclough, followed by a ruthless finish by Josh Beaumont, settled the away side and four points, one each from Cleary and Mark Egan and two frees from Colclough, to three in response from the hosts left the half-time score 2-7 to 0-6.

Kinnegad scored a fortunate goal of their own within 30 seconds of the restart to pull themselves back to within four points, but Athlone replied with six points in five minutes to make the game safe. These included some brilliant scores from Enda Daly, two from Diarmuid Martin (one after making a fantastic catch), another from Colclough, and two brilliant points from Josh Beaumont after winning his own turnovers. A brace of points each from Mark Egan and Shane Allen stretched the lead even further, and despite a late Kinnegad flurry that yielded a quickfire 1-2, Athlone finished strongly with another point from Beaumont, a great effort off his left by Donagh Prendergast, and a third from wing-back by David Cleary to put the seal on a good evening's work.

The game finished 2-20 to 2-9, with 1-18 of Athlone's total coming from play.  However, Athlone will be disappointed with 13 wides and some sloppy passages of play, so there is plenty that needs to be worked on in training.  When the game was in the melting pot, there were some fine displays from Colclough in midfield (who gave an exhibition of high fielding), David Cleary, Joe Devins, and the ever-dangerous Josh Beaumont, while it was also good to see Sean Dowd back in blue after a long lay-off from injury. However man of the match goes to Patrick Ryan who made three courageous blocks and kept Kinnegad's danger man on the inside line quiet all game.

Athlone:  John Duddy, Joseph Devins, Diarmuid Martin (0-2), Patrick Ryan, Paddy McGettigan, Shane Allen (0-2), David Cleary (0-3), Kieran Colclough (1-3), Luke Kelly (0-1), Niall Doolan, Mark Egan (0-3), Donagh Prendergast (0-2); Josh Beaumont (1-3), Enda Daly (0-1), Eamon Martin  Subs used:  James Finlass, Mark Tallon, Rytis Liaukevicius, Sean Dowd.
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Minor Boys' League Division 1
Athlone 3-14 Shandonagh 0-15

The minor boys got their third league win on the spin away to Shandonagh last Thursday evening.  On what was a perfect evening for football, Athlone got off the mark when Eamon Martin got the first of his three goals, but Shandonagh replied with four straight points and Athlone didn't score again until the 19th minute with a Benny Martin free. Eamon Martin got his second goal from close range soon after and Athlone finished with points from Shane Allen, Paddy McGettigan and another free, leaving it 2-4 to 0-6 at HT.

The second half saw  brilliant display of football with the sides producing 20 scores between them.  Five of Athlone's 1-10 in the second half came from the boot of Benny Martin, with the other scores coming from Allen, Enda Daly and David Cleary. Eamon Martin's hat-trick goal was a real poacher's finish and was a result of a great turn over from Mark Tallon and being set up by his brother Diarmuid.  Athlone finished the strongest but were made to earn their win by the home side. Three excellent saves from John Duddy, along with a solid display by the full back line of Joe Devins, Paddy Ryan, and the excellent James Finlass kept Athlone in the game at times.

Athlone:  John Duddy, Joseph Devins, James Finlass, Patrick Ryan, Patrick McGettigan (0-1), Shane Allen (0-3), David Cleary (0-1), Anthony Johnson, Diarmuid Martin, Niall Doolan, Benny Martin (0-7), Donagh Prendergast, Deba Okodugha, Enda Daly (0-2), Eamon Martin (3-0)  Subs:  Mark Tallon, Aaron Forde, Kevin Cleary, Conor Rushe, Rytis Liaukevicius.
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Minor League Division 1

21/2/2017- Pairc Chiarain

Minor League Division 1:
Athlone 1-9 St. Loman's 0-6

The minor boys got their first league win of the season at home to St. Loman's in poor conditions last Tuesday evening. The first score of the game was hard to come by and didn't come until the 10th minute from a Lomans' free. A superb solo score by Mark Egan got the home side off the mark. This was followed by a point by Lomans and a free for Athlone, scored by Kieran Colclough. Colclough continued his 100% record from penalties in the 20th minute when he slotted to the corner of the net to raise the only green flag of the game, the penalty coming after a foul on JJ Offorjama.  Enda Daly then got on the scoresheet to leave it 1-3 to 0-3 at half time. 

Athlone played with the aid of a strong wind in the second half and put 3 great scores on the board, one from Colclough, and two, one off each foot from the skilful Benny Martin. However, to their credit, Lomans battled hard and scored 3 fine points of their own. Colclough, Martin and Egan rounded off the scoring to leave Athlone victorious on a score of 1-9 to 0-6.

John Duddy was superb in goal, pulling off a string of fine saves. James Finlass and Shane Allen held things together at the back, while JJ Offorjama and Luke Kelly were a constant thorn in the side of the visitors' defence.  This was a hard fought win and the management of Eoin Jordan, Fergal Murray and Eamon Martin will be happy to get the first win of the season under their belts, although they know there is a huge amount of work to do with this talented squad.

Team:  John Duddy, James Finlass, Diarmuid Martin, Patrick McGettigan, David Cleary, Shane Allen, Niall Doolan, Kieran Colclough (1-3), Anthony Johnson, Mark Egan (0-2), JJ Offorjama, Donagh Prendergast, Luke Kelly, Enda Daly (0-1), Benny Martin (0-3) 
Subs used: Aaron Forde, Joseph Devins, Kevin Cleary, Deba Okodugha, Patrick Ryan.

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The Downs 5-11 Athlone 4-8.

The minors faced a tough first outing of the year away to last year's beaten minor finalists The Downs. However it proved to provide a good workout for both teams on a crisp Sunday morning. Josh Beaumont scored a fine individual point to get Athlone off the mark. The Downs settled into the game with 3 points in a row before two quick-fire goals from David Cleary and a clinical Beaumont finish put Athlone in command. The Downs finished the half with 1-2 sandwiched between a Mark Egan free. Shane Allen ensured Athlone went into half-time level with 2 incredible blocks near the end of the half.

The second half proved to be a goal fest!  Some poor defending mixed with fortuitous finishing saw the Downs net 4 goals. However, Athlone responded with 2 quality majors of their own; the first a ruthless individual effort from Mark Egan, the second a great penalty finish on the stroke of full time from Kieran Colclough. The game finished 5-11 to 4-8. Athlone's second half points coming from Benny Martin, Josh Beaumont (2) and a great score from Donagh Prendergast. The game leaves this talented squad with a lot of work to do but they showed some glimpses of promise for a successful season ahead.

Team: John Duddy, Paddy McGettigan, Diarmuid Martin, Joseph Devins, Niall Doolan, Shane Allen, David Cleary (1-0), Luke Kelly, Anthony Johnson, Donagh Prendergast (0-1), Mark Egan (1-1), Kieran Colclough (1-1), Josh Beaumount (1-3), Enda Daly, Benny Martin (0-1).
Subs used: Aaron Forde, Kevin Cleary, Rytis Liaukevicius, Declan McCormack.

Minors 2016 - Mentor Eoin Jordan




Athlone Minors v Shandonagh
The minors bowed out of this years Division 1 championship on Wednesday last after defeat to Shandonagh. Having topped their group with convincing wins over Milmore Gaels, Garrycastle and Shannon Gaels, the lads were hopeful of progressing further in the competition. However they got no reward for topping group 2 and suffered a double blow, first being drawn away from home, and second drawn to play a physically strong Shandonagh side. The home side settled quickest and were a point up when Sean Dowd and two points from the inspirational Daniel Reid put Athlone 2 in front; the second score coming after a one-handed catch off a John Duddy kick-out and a mazy solo run. Certainly the score of the day! Benny Martin also registered a score before Shandonagh split the Athlone defence with a pacy move and well taken goal. This left the half-time score Shandonagh 1-3; Athlone 0-5. 

The returning mark Egan was introduced at half time and his pace added another threat to Athlone's attack. The sides went point for point for the first 15 minutes in a fascinating battle. Athlone points coming from Benny Martin, Reid, Donagh Prendergast and Egan. However with 12 minutes to go Shandonagh struck a hammer blow by scoring a goal on the counter attack. Athlone, to their credit, never gave in. However the physicality of the Shandonagh side had started to show at this stage and they cancelled out each Athlone score with one of their own. The final score was Shandonagh 2-12; Athlone 0-12. This game was tighter than the score suggests; Shandonagh can be grateful for some fine goalkeeping and their own crossbar for keeping Athlone goal shots at bay. The Athlone panel will only lose 5 players next year. If the current players continue to show the desire and commitment from this year, they will go a long way to bringing home the clubs first minor title since 1993, one that is well over-due in Pairc Chiarain.

Team: John Duddy; James Finlass, Diarmuid Martin, Paddy McGettigan; Robert Teape, Eoin Fahey (0-1), David Cleary; Daniel Reid (0-5), Shane Allen (0-1); JJ Offorjama, Sean Dowd (0-1), Anthony Johnson; Benny Martin (0-2), Tadhg Prendergast, Donagh Prendergast (0-1). Subs: Mark Egan (0-1) for Johnson, Luke Kelly for T Prendergast and Niall Doolan for Cleary.


Athlone 3-16 Garrycastle 2-8

Our minor team qualified for the knockout stages of the Division 1 championship when they recovered from a wasteful opening half to defeat neighbours Garrycastle in the second round of the group stage, played in Garrycastle on Monday evening.  This game had been rescheduled as a mark of respect to the late Dermot McManus so our thanks to Garrycastle for facilitating this change at short notice.

Despite having most of the early possession and opening the scoring with points from Joseph Offorjama and Aaron Forde, Athlone were wasteful in front of goal and trailed a more economic Garrycastle side by 0-3 to 0-2 after 10 minutes.  Three quick points from Danny Reid and Benny Martin (0-2) should’ve settled Athlone, but they continued to squander good scoring opportunities and added only one more point, a free from Benny Martin, in the final 18 minutes of the half.  Fortunately for Athlone, the defence did an excellent job in marshalling Garrycastle’s attack in this period so, despite their profligacy, the visitors still led at the break on a scoreline of 0-6 to 0-5.

After Garrycastle had drawn level early in the second half, Athlone got a major boost when Danny Reid got on the end of a long ball to finish coolly to the net for his side’s first goal and this was quickly followed by another Benny Martin point.  Garrycastle did strike back with their own first goal but Athlone had finally found their shooting boots and six excellent unanswered points between the 40th and 50th minutes put some daylight between the sides, although Athlone did need a great block from Shane Allen not to concede a second goal in this period.   Two brilliantly taken goals from substitute Deba Okodugha added a further gloss to the scoreline and, despite the hosts closing the scoring with a fine goal of their own, Athlone had done enough and ran out winners on a score of 3-16 to 2-8.

Athlone:  John Duddy, James Finlass, Diarmuid Martin, Patrick McGettigan, , Robert Teape, Eoin Fahey, David Cleary, Danny Reid (1-2), Shane Allen (0-2), Joseph Offorjama (0-1),Sean Dowd (0-3), Donagh Prendergast, Benny Martin (0-7) Aaron Forde (0-1), Anthony Johnson  Subs:  Deba Okodugha (2-0)
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Minor League Division 1
Athlone 4-8 Moate All Whites 1-10
Moate started the stronger and had two points on the board before Tadhg Prendergast opened Athlone’s account with a fine solo score.  Another Moate score was answered by Prendergast after a fine team move, before Athlone took the lead for the first time when a strong run from Danny Reid set up Ben Troy who goaled from close range.  Prendergast almost added another goal soon after when his goalbound effort was deflected over the bar by the visitors’ keeper, but Athlone did raise their second green flag when the younger Prendergast brother Donagh finished off another excellent move.  The home side were well on top at this stage and a point from Shane Allen and two from Benny Martin, the second a sweetly-struck outside of the boot effort, stretched their lead to nine, although Moate pulled back a point to leave Athlone leading by 2-6 to 0-4 at the break.

An early second-half Moate point was cancelled out by a similar score by Shane Allen, before Tadhg Prendergast seemed to put the game beyond the visitors with Athlone’s third goal, after he had been released by a superb through ball from David Cleary.  Any hopes that this would be end of the visitors’ challenge were quickly dispelled, however,  when they scored two excellent points followed by a goal from a rebound after Aaron Forde had made a good save from the initial effort.   Two more quick points reduced the gap even further and, following a five minute blitz, Athlone’s lead had been whittled down from eleven points to four.  A difficult final quarter looked on for the hosts but they regained control and a great run from Deba Okodugha set up Benny Martin for another well-taken goal.  This fourth goal took the sting out of the visitors’ comeback and the final 10 minutes were quiet on the scoreboard, with only one further point added by each side, Athlone’s coming from a Tadhg Prendergast free, meaning that the home side ran out winners on a scoreline of 4-8 to 1-10.

Athlone: Aaron Forde, Deba Okodugha, Diarmuid Martin, Patrick McGettigan, Anthony Johnson, Eoin Fahy, David Cleary, Danny Reid, Robert Teape, JJ Offorjama, Tadhg Prendergast (1-4), Donagh Prendergast (1-0), Ben Troy (1-0), Benny Martin (1-2), Shane Allen (0-2).  Subs used: Josh Beaumont, Michael Doolan, Kevin Cleary
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