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ACFL Division 4

posted 10 Apr 2018, 12:46 by Athlone GAA
Athlone 0-10 Mullingar Shamrocks 0-8

Our Division 4 team got their league campaign off to good start with a hard-fought win over Mullingar Shamrocks in their opening game played in miserable conditions in Páirc Chiaráin on Easter Monday.

Athlone started brightly with points from Dermot Bannon and a Richie Greene free in the opening minutes, but Shamrocks then grabbed the initiative and dominated the rest of the half.  They kicked five consecutive points, but squandered several more good scoring opportunities, while the hosts were also grateful to goalkeeper Conor Devaney and corner-back Danny Lynam for a couple of good saves and a last gasp goal-line clearance that prevented Mullingar from adding a deserved goal.  Instead it was Athlone who had the final word of the first period when Richie Greene raised a white flag to leave just two points between the sides at half-time.

After some stern words and a couple of changes from the management team during the break, Athlone again got off to a good start and a pair of well-taken points from Ryan Gaffey and Andy Lynam brought them level.  Shamrocks responded well and restored their two-point advantage, but the Blues were playing with much greater intensity than in the first period and three quick points from Ryan Gaffey nudged them in front with 10 minutes to play, although they were then dealt a blow when Danny Lynam was dismissed for a second yellow card offence.  A patient passing move led to Sean Dowd doubling the lead, but Shamrocks came back almost immediately to reduce the gap to the minimum again.  Some disciplined defending and controlled possession meant that they weren’t able to create the opening for the equaliser and young substitute Shane Allen closed the scoring with a superb long-distance point to finish off a patient passing move.  It did look like Ryan Gaffey had added an insurance point as the game entered stoppage time, but the referee overruled his umpires to wave his free wide.  This led to a nervous injury-time period for the home supporters as Shamrocks went looking for the winning goal, but good work from the home side’s backs kept them away from the danger area until the final whistle, with Athlone holding on to win on score line of 0-10 to 0-8.

Athlone:  Conor Devaney, James Finlass, Tom Egan, Danny Lynam, Eoin Jordan, Emmet Collins, David Fagan, Matthew Darling, Dermot Bannon (0-1), Andy Lynam (0-1), Ryan Gaffey (0-4), Colin O’Leary, Richie Greene (0-2), Darren Costello, Sean Dowd (0-1) Subs Used:  Shane Allen (0-1), Diarmuid Martin, Dylan Lynch, Shane Galvin.