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ACFL Div 1

posted 6 Mar 2017, 11:40 by Athlone GAA   [ updated 6 Mar 2017, 11:41 ]
3/3/2017 Lakepoint Park

Athlone 2-10 St Loman’s 1-10  

Our seniors travelled to Mullingar on a miserable wet Friday night and came away with an excellent win when they defeated reigning county champions St Loman’s in this Division 1 league game in Lakepoint Park.  Although the home team were missing some of their more well-known players due to county commitments, this was a superb win for an Athlone side that was also short of a half-dozen regulars through county, injury and other commitments and which dug deep to earn a deserved victory against strong opponents in difficult conditions.

Athlone had an ideal start when John Stapleton fisted a high pass to the net in the second minute, but the home team settled and two quick points reduced the gap to a minimum, before Stapleton raised Athlone’s first white flag with a long distance point.  St. Loman’s were very lively in attack in the opening stages, with county panellists Shane Dempsey and Ronan O’Toole especially sharp, and two more points, followed by a goal after an Athlone turnover, gave them a three point lead.  Scores from John Connellan and a Joe Fallon free kept Athlone in touch, but another brace of consecutive points restored the Mullingar men’s three-point advantage by the 25th minute.  Another Fallon free, followed by a fine effort from Noel Mulligan, brought Athlone back to within a point, but a further point from Dempsey looked set to guarantee a St Lomans’ lead at the break.  Athlone had other ideas, however, and  finished the half as they had started it, when a superb move involving Jordan Marshment, Tom Egan and John Connellan led to Fionn Dowd goaling from close range to give the visitors a surprise half-time lead of 2-5 to 1-7.

Boosted by the goal, Athlone started the second half brightly and a Joe Fallon point from play doubled their advantage.  The home side did settle and brought themselves back level, but John Connellan restored Athlone’s advantage, before raiding corner-back Tom Egan put two between them again.  A free in the 43rd minute was to prove to be St Loman’s last score as positional changes in the Athlone defence led to Eoin Maher and Jordan Marshment nullifying the threat the St Loman’s dangermen.  Athlone were also struggling for scores though and had to wait until the 55th minute for a quickfire double from Noel Mulligan and Sam Omukoro to stretch their lead to a goal.  The visitors then missed a glorious chance of an insurance score when they went for a goal when a simple point was on, and that meant that the Athlone supporters had to endure a nervous three minutes of injury time as the home side went in search of the equalising goal.  Fortunately, they were unable to fashion a clear-cut opportunity and when a late free was blocked and cleared, Athlone had done enough to win to hold on for the win.  Final score:  2-10 to 1-10.

Athone:  Conal Sheeran, Tom Egan (0-1), Damien Kelly, Fergal Murray, Eoin Maher, Paul Bannon, Fionn Dowd (1-0), Noel Mulligan (0-2), John Stapleton (1-1), Danny Lynam, John Connellan (0-2), Daniel Reid, Joe Fallon (0-3), Jordan Marshment, Mickey Greene  Subs Used: Sam Omukoro (0-1), Luke Kelly, Richie Greene, Eoin Jordan