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ACFL Div 1: Athlone v Tang

posted 7 Mar 2016, 05:11 by Athlone GAA
ACFL Division 1:  

Athlone 1-10 Tang 1-8 

Mother’s Day morning saw our senior team travel out to Tang to take on the home team in the second round of the league and they came home with the two points after a typically hard fought battle.  Athlone played some excellent football in stretches, with some superb scores, but will be disappointed with the final 10 minutes, when Tang scored 1-3 without reply to turn what looked like being a comfortable win into a nervous finale.

After both sides had missed chances in the opening minutes, Noel Mulligan opened the scoring with a free after Stephen Ward had been fouled, before Tang got on the board with two scores in quick succession.  John Stapleton equalised for Athlone after a good team move and they went back in front when Jordan Marshment pointed after some superbly disciplined defending had pushed back a Tang attack and forced a turnover in their own half.  Stapleton doubled the visitors’ lead when he finished off another excellent move that had been started by evergreen corner-back Fergal Murray, before some more great teamwork led to Marshment setting up Sam Omukoro, who slipped the ball to the back of the net to put five points between them with 20 minutes played.  Tang brought themselves back into the game with another brace of scores, but Athlone finished the half strongly and points from Stephen Ward and Noel Mulligan gave them a half-time lead of 1-6 to 0-4.

Athlone started second period as they had finished the first and Stapleton opened their account in the first minute when he fisted over after a strong run.  Centre-back Paul Bannon then finished off a patient move to put the Blues seven points up.
Tang kept in touch with a point from a free after an off the ball incident, but two more excellent points from Stapleton and Mulligan put Athlone eight points up and seemingly in the driving seat as the game entered its final quarter.  Unfortunately Athlone squandered some good chances to put the game beyond their hosts and when a Tang point was followed by a goal from a penalty, the homesters were right back in it, especially after another point left only a goal between them with five minutes still to play.  Athlone did have a chance for an insurance score, but the home keeper kept his side’s hopes alive with a fine double save from Marshment and Kieran Rigney.  Tang reduced the gap to two points as they game entered its final minute, but luckily for the visitors they couldn’t find a way through the massed defence for the goal they needed and Athlone hung on for their second victory of the league campaign, winning on a scoreline of 1-10 to 1-8.

Team & scorers:  Darren Costello, Eoin Maher, Damo Kelly, Fergal Murray, Tom Egan, Paul Bannon (0-1), Matty Darling, Noel Mulligan (0-3), John Stapleton (0-4), Kieran Rigney, Jordan Marshment (0-1), Danny Lynam, Tadhg Prendergast, Sam Omukoro (1-0), Stephen Ward (0-1).  Subs used:  Joe Fallon, Andy Lynam, Conal Sheeran.