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ACFL Div 1 Athlone v Mullingar Shamrocks

posted 29 Mar 2015, 15:11 by Athlone GAA
ACFL Div 1 
Athlone 0-10 Mullingar Shamrocks 0-09 
Athlone finally returned to winning ways when they accounted for Mullingar Shamrocks in a low-scoring but gripping Division 1 encounter played under the Páirc Chiaráin lights on Friday night.  This was a hard-fought, but deserved, victory, made more notable by the fact that Athlone fielded a very young and inexperienced team on the night.  

Mullingar started the brighter and an early point gave them a lead that they held of the duration of the first half.  However Athlone never let their more experienced opponents open up too much of a gap and went in at half-time trailing by only a point.

The opening ten minutes of the second half was Athlone’s best period and three well taken points from play, the first two from subs Shane Kilroy-Glynn and Andrew Lynam followed by a third from Jordan Marshment gave them a lead that they would not relinquish, despite massive Shamrocks pressure in the closing stages.

After both sides had exchanged further points, Athlone led by 0-10 to 0-08 after 55 minutes.  Mullingar took over at midfield at that stage and laid siege to the Athlone goal for the final five (that felt like 10!) minutes.  Despite pulling another point back, Shamrocks couldn’t find an equaliser, even though they monopolised possession and territory.  The Athlone defence deserves great credit for their discipline and perseverance during this period, as they hassled and harried the Shamrocks attackers without conceding any easy frees, thereby restricting Shamrocks to speculative efforts from distance that mostly went harmlessly wide.

Overall, this was a very pleasing result for Athlone, and not only because it snapped a long losing streak.  Missing a lot of experienced regulars for various reasons, Athlone fielded a very young team and it was the performance of these youngsters, especially when under great pressure in the closing minutes of the game, that was most encouraging.

Scorers: Joe Fallon (0-5), Jordan Marshment (0-2), John Stapleton (0-1), Shane Kilroy-Glynn (0-1), Andrew Lynam (0-1)

Team: Darren Costello, Daniel Lynam, Conal Sheeran, Fergal Murray, Matthew Darling, Paul Bannon, Eoin Maher, John Stapleton, Jordan Marshment, Eoin Jordan, Noel Mulligan, Dylan Lynch, Joe Fallon, Jack Quinn, Tadhg Prendergast

Subs: Shane Kilroy Glynn (for Jordan), Andrew Lynam (for Prendergast), Craig Dunne (for Lynch)