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Club Final Semi Final Athlone Minors v St. Malachys/Ballinagore

posted 6 Nov 2011, 13:05 by Unknown user   [ updated 6 Nov 2011, 13:08 ]
Athlone Minors 2-5 St. Malachys/Ballinagore 0-6 - Semi Final Club Championship

The old cliché, Goals win Games, was never as relevant as it was on Saturday night in Pairc Chiarain, where Athlone and St. Malachys/Ballinagore contested the Division 1 Minor Club Championship semi final.  In what was a thrilling affair, it was a goal either side of half time which sealed Athlone’s place in the County Final, where they will meet Mullingar outfit St. Lomans this coming weekend.

Athlone came out of the traps the stronger side, seizing the initiative with a Ray Connellan free, and further excellent scores from Robbie Henshaw, Niall Boland and Seamie Byrne.  The decisive score of the half came from the in form Luke Dully, who’s energy and work rate in the inside line was rewarded when he bravely fisted a high ball into the roof of the St. Malachys/Ballinagore net.  A further point from the left foot of Ray Connellan left Athlone with a 1 -5 to no score lead at half time.

Cue the inevitable St. Malachys/Ballinagore fight back.  The second half saw the away team kick 6 unanswered points, with Athlone guilty of missing some guilt edged opportunities in front of goal.  It could have been a lot worse for the Athlone side had it not been for epic defensive displays from Eoin O’Reilly and Brian Gill in particular.  With Malachys/Ballinagore in the ascendancy, Athlone needed a score quickly.  It crucially came in the form of a goal following fantastic build up play involving Gavin Downey, Glenn Costello, Luke Dully and Seamie Byrne before being placed coolly to the bottom corner by Ray Connellan beyond the reach of the Malachys/Ballinagore keeper.

To the elation of the large Athlone following, the referee blew the final whistle with Athlone to the fore on a score line of 2-5 to 0-6.  The lads must be commended for their attitude and work rate, and the impact of the subs when introduced showed that it will be a 20 man effort to win this championship.  Delighted as all involved were, Athlone know an improved performance will be required to topple St. Lomans Mullingar in the final.  

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