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ACFL Div 4; Athlone v CFCW

posted 5 Apr 2016, 05:13 by Athlone GAA
ACFL Division 4
Athlone 2-8 Castletown-Finea-Coole-Whitehall 3-9

A severely understrength Athlone lost their unbeaten record in Division 4 of the ACFL when they went down to league leaders CFCW in miserable conditions in Páirc Chiaráín on Sunday morning.  Due to other commitments, the home side were forced to field several injured and unfit players, but there was at least one positive in this situation with the return of Cathal Joyce to the blue and white for the first time since his health scare in September.   Deployed to the edge of the small square with instructions not to move too far from there, the full-forward had a very productive morning and ended the game with a personal tally of 2-2.

The visitors played the better football in the opening half and a goal midway through the first half gave them a half-time lead of 1-4 to 0-4, Athlone's scores coming from the lively Richie Greene (0-3) and Joyce, while Darren Costello pulled a superb save on the stroke of half-time to prevent a second goal.  Early second half scores from Joyce (an overhead effort!) and Andy Lynam after an excellent move kept Athlone in touch, but a disastrous spell around the 40th minute mark saw the North Westmeath men score 1-2 in a minute to stretch their lead to seven points.  The elder Lynam reduced the gap slightly with another fine point, but a third CFCW goal soon after seemed to put the game out of reach.  To their credit, and with the injuries mounting but no subs available, Athlone kept going and pulled a goal back with a smart finish from Joyce.  Mickey Greene then got on the scoreboard with a long-range point and Joyce added another goal, but the visitors were able to match these scores with a couple of points for their own to always stay more than one score ahead.  Athlone did have one final goal chance, but the visiting keeper pulled off a great fingertip save from a powerful Kieran Rigney effort.  This was to be the final action of what was an entertaining game considering the dreadful conditions and the final whistle saw CFCW the victors on a scoreline of 3-9 to 2-8.

Athlone:  Darren Costello,  Andy Lynam (0-2), Danny Lynam, Eoin Jordan, Kieran Rigney, Tom Egan, Emmet Collins, Conor Devaney, Luke Dully, Tadhg Prendergast, Dylan Lynch, Richie Greene (0-3), Conor Melinn, Cathal Joyce (2-2), Mickey Greene (0-1)