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JFC Sec B: Athlone v Killucan

posted 8 Jun 2015, 05:05 by Athlone GAA   [ updated 8 Jun 2015, 05:06 ]
5th June Pairc Chiarain 
Junior Football Championship   
Athlone v Killucan 

Athlone’s Junior men continued their impressive start to their Championship campaign when they accounted for Killucan at a chilly Páirc Chiaráin on Friday night.  Missing a few regulars because of other commitments, the home side fielded the classic Junior lineup of youth and experience, with an age gap of 20 years between some of the players, but were in control from the off and will feel that they should’ve won by a margin greater than the eventual 13 points.

The men in blue and white seized the initiative right from the throw-in and were on the scoreboard after only 20 seconds, with a magnificent long-range point from the youngest Athlone player on view, 17 year old Daniel Reid.  This was followed by a superb goal by another debutant, Gary Murphy, who gave notice of the electrifying debut that was to follow when he blasted to the net after a good move.  The same player then got Athlone’s next score, which was sandwiched between Killucan’s opening two points, to leave the Shannonsiders leading by 1-2 to 0-2 after a very open first five minutes.

After this frenetic opening, the Athlone defence tightened up considerably and, with Reid and Declan Byrne on top in midfield and ably supported by the hardworking half-back and half-forward lines, laid the foundation for the inside forwards to get the scores that put the game almost out of the visitors’ reach before half-time.  Firstly, the experienced Joe Fallon tapped over a point from a free, then the lively Murphy raised another white flag after a good team move.  Fallon added another from play, followed by two more from Murphy, before Alex Molloy completed Athlone’s first half scoring with another nice point from distance.  The home team should’ve been out of sight by this stage but unfortunately some complacency and over-elaboration meant that they didn’t have the scores on the board that their dominance deserved and Killucan gave themselves a lifeline on the whistle they tapped in a goal from close range, to leave the half time score Athlone 1-8 Killucan 1-2.

Buoyed by their late goal, Killucan started the second half brightly and reduced the gap to five points after a minute of play.  Murphy restored the six point lead but this was answered almost immediately by a pointed Killucan free.  That was as close as the North Westmeath men got however as Athlone used their wind advantage to exploit the space of the large Páirc Chiaráin pitch and put the game beyond their opponents.  Frees from Joe Fallon (0-2) and Alex Molloy stretched the lead to eight points, before Murphy was the victim of a high tackle in the area in an incident that saw the visiting centre-half back red-carded.  The full-forward dusted himself off to coolly place his penalty beyond the keeper and finish the game as a contest midway through the half.  To their credit, Killucan kept going at the Athlone defence who worked well together as a unit to restrict the visitors to just three more points, while at the other end, further points from Eoin Jordan, Cathal Joyce, Murphy again and two from the evergreen Fallon left Athlone the victors on a final scoreline of 2-17 to 1-7.

Athlone:  Darren Costello, Eoghan O'Reilly, Gary Quinn, Conor Melinn, Michael O'Daly, Andy Lynam, Eoin Jordan, Daniel Reid, Declan Byrne, Shane Kilroy-Glynn, Emmet Collins, Alex Molloy, Joe Fallon, Gary Murphy, Cathal Joyce

Scorers: Gary Murphy 2-6, Joe Fallon 0-6, Alex Molly 0-2, Daniel Reid 0-1, Eoin Jordan 0-1, Cathal Joyce 0-1
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