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ACFL Div 4 Athlone v St. Malachys

posted 7 Mar 2016, 05:09 by Athlone GAA
ACFL Division 4:  

Athlone 1-13 St Malachys 2-10

Our Junior Men’s team marked their promotion to Division 4 of the ACFL with a battling draw against fellow newly promoted side St Malachy’s under the Páirc Chiaráin lights on Friday night, 4th March.
Just as in the Division 1 opener the week previous, Athlone had a dream start with an early goal, when Dylan Lynch finished off a fine move that had started with a great block by Jack Ruane in the full-back line.  Joe Fallon added a point soon after, before the visitors got on the board with two pointed frees.  St Malachy’s then took the lead for the first time with a goal of their own, but a Richie Greene free brought the sides level again.  Full-forward Mickey Greene put the home side back in front with two excellent points, but his opposite number restored themen in red and black’s advantage with a quickfire 1-1.  Shane Kilroy-Glynn completed the first half scoring with a point on the stroke of half-time to leave Athlone trailing by 2-3 to 1-5 at the break.
The home side drew level in the first minute of the second half when a save by half-time substitute Conor Devaney started an excellent move that was finished by Richie Greene.  A couple of great blocks by Danny Lynam and Joey Jordan stopped St Malachy’s retaking the lead and instead the second of those led to Joe Fallon putting Athlone back in front from a free.  St Malachy’s opened their second half account with a point that could’ve as easily been a goal, but Conal Sheeran restored Athlone’s advantage with the score of the match, a booming point from beyond the 40.  Richie Greene doubled the lead with another free but any hopes that the St Malachy’s challenge might fade were dispelled when they regained the lead with the next three points.  The third of these would’ve been goal but for a fine save by Devaney, who did well to push a powerful goalbound shot over the bar.  The topsy-turvy nature of the game continued when Richie Greene equalised from a free after a strong run from Kieran Rigney had been halted illegally.  Both sides exchanged frees as the match entered its final 10 minutes, Athlone’s coming from Joe Fallon, but the Castletown-Geoghegan men seized the initiative with two points to lead by two with minutes remaining.

To their credit, Athlone refused to throw in the towel and Fallon reduced the gap to a minimum with another free as the game entered injury time.  Because of an earlier injury to corner-back Shane Galvin, there were a few minutes of added time to be played and in the 62nd minute, Richie Greene finished coolly to bring Athlone level again.  Indeed, the home team looked like they would go on and win it when Richie Greene received the ball in acres of space near the visitors’ goal, but the ref called back play for a hop ball after an off the ball incident in the middle of the field.  That was last action of what was, despite the heavy underfoot conditions, a very entertaining contest, leaving the sides deadlocked on the final score of Athlone 1-13 St Malachy’s 2-10.

Team & scorers:  Darren Costello, Jack Ruane, Danny Lynam, Shane Galvin, Eoin Jordan, Tom Egan, Conal Sheeran (0-1), Colm O’Leary, Danny Reid, Dylan Lynch (1-0), Shane Kilroy-Glynn (0-1), Tadhg Prendergast, Joe Fallon (0-4), Mickey Greene (0-2), Richie Greene (0-5).  Subs used: Conor Devaney, Conor Melinn, Kieran Rigney, Dermot Pigott, Aidan St John, Fionn Dowd.