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Div 1 Championship

posted 6 Sep 2016, 15:13 by Athlone GAA

Athlone Minors v Shandonagh

The minors bowed out of this years Division 1 championship on Wednesday last after defeat to Shandonagh. Having topped their group with convincing wins over Milmore Gaels, Garrycastle and Shannon Gaels, the lads were hopeful of progressing further in the competition. However they got no reward for topping group 2 and suffered a double blow, first being drawn away from home, and second drawn to play a physically strong Shandonagh side. The home side settled quickest and were a point up when Sean Dowd and two points from the inspirational Daniel Reid put Athlone 2 in front; the second score coming after a one-handed catch off a John Duddy kick-out and a mazy solo run. Certainly the score of the day! Benny Martin also registered a score before Shandonagh split the Athlone defence with a pacy move and well taken goal. This left the half-time score Shandonagh 1-3; Athlone 0-5. 

The returning mark Egan was introduced at half time and his pace added another threat to Athlone's attack. The sides went point for point for the first 15 minutes in a fascinating battle. Athlone points coming from Benny Martin, Reid, Donagh Prendergast and Egan. However with 12 minutes to go Shandonagh struck a hammer blow by scoring a goal on the counter attack. Athlone, to their credit, never gave in. However the physicality of the Shandonagh side had started to show at this stage and they cancelled out each Athlone score with one of their own. The final score was Shandonagh 2-12; Athlone 0-12. This game was tighter than the score suggests; Shandonagh can be grateful for some fine goalkeeping and their own crossbar for keeping Athlone goal shots at bay. The Athlone panel will only lose 5 players next year. If the current players continue to show the desire and commitment from this year, they will go a long way to bringing home the clubs first minor title since 1993, one that is well over-due in Pairc Chiarain.

Team: John Duddy; James Finlass, Diarmuid Martin, Paddy McGettigan; Robert Teape, Eoin Fahey (0-1), David Cleary; Daniel Reid (0-5), Shane Allen (0-1); JJ Offorjama, Sean Dowd (0-1), Anthony Johnson; Benny Martin (0-2), Tadhg Prendergast, Donagh Prendergast (0-1). Subs: Mark Egan (0-1) for Johnson, Luke Kelly for T Prendergast and Niall Doolan for Cleary.