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ACFL Div 4

posted 14 Jul 2016, 14:51 by Athlone GAA
ACFL Div 4
Athlone 0-13 Castledaly 0-9

Our Junior men's team retained their Division 4 status with a hard fought victory over a battling Castledaly side in difficult conditions in Castledaly on Friday evening.  Despite being already relegated, the home side really put it up to their guests, and it was only in the closing minutes that Athlone were able to seal the win and the two points needed to guarantee Division 4 football next year.

In heavy underfoot conditions, the home side opened the scoring in the 5th minute, before Peter Mahon put Athlone on the board when he fisted over a short Joe Fallon free.  Mickey Greene and Joe Fallon then finished off two excellent moves to put the visitors in front, but another Castledaly score put one point between them at the midway point of the half.  Richie Greene doubled Athlone's advantage with a fine score, but Castledaly then enjoyed their best spell of the half with three consecutive points giving them the lead as half-time approached.  Fortunately Athlone were able to raise their game again just before the break and two Richie Greene points, one from play and one from a free after Tom Stuart-Trainor had been pulled back when clean through on goal, gave them an interval lead of 0-6 to 0-5.

Richie Greene started the second half as he had finished the first, with a free after his namesake Mickey had been fouled, but Athlone failed to build on their advantage and instead it was Castledaly who took control again with four unanswered points to leave them two to the good with 12 minutes left.  At this stage it looked like Athlone would be returning to Division 5 after only one season, but they refused to give up and an excellent Aidan St John effort from distance brought them right back into it.  A superb Joe Fallon free from an acute angle on the right touchline brought the sides level, before another of the veterans, centre-back Emmet Collins, struck two fine points from play to give Athlone the lead at a crucial stage.  The two point advantage meant that the home side were forced to go for a goal as the game entered its closing minutes, but the Athlone defence refused to allow any chances and instead it was Fallon again who stretched the lead with another excellent long range free.  The same player finally made the game safe in injury time with a close range free after corner-back Benjy Bannon had been fouled and the final scoreline of 0-13 to 0-9 meant that Athlone had retained their place in the more competitive Division 4 for 2017.

Athlone:  Amby Fogarty, Benjy Bannon, Conal Sheeran, Eoin Jordan, Eoin Fahey, Emmet Collins (0-2), Andy Lynam, Aidan St John (0-1), Danny Reid, Tom Stuart-Trainor, Joe Fallon (0-4), Richie Greene (0-4), Mickey Greene (0-1), Peter Mahon (0-1), Darren Costello.  Subs: Dermot Piggott, Colin O'Leary