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Leinster IFC 1st Round:

posted 19 Oct 2015, 05:15 by Athlone GAA

Leinster IFC 1st Round:

Athlone 3-12 Ballymanus (Wicklow) 0-8

Our Intermediate team qualified for the quarter-final of the Leinster Championship with a 13 point victory over Wicklow runners-up Ballymanus in scenic Aughrim on Sunday.  Despite the scoreline, this was a mixed performance from Athlone, who really only put managed to finally pull away from their game but limited opponents in the final quarter.
After Ray Connellan's opening point had been matched by a Ballymanus free, a goal from a speculative John Stapleton effort that was fumbled over the line by the keeper and two further Connellan points seemed to indicate a comfortable afternoon for the Athlone supporters who made the long journey.  However Ballymanus struck back and were unlucky not score a similar goal of their own when Darren Costello was caught out by a high ball, but luckily Damo Kelly was on the line to deflect the ball over the bar. Two more quick points from the Wicklow men reduced the gap to just two points, before the visitors seized back the initiative and finished the half strongly, with points from two Ray Connellan frees, John Connellan and Paul Bannon giving them a six point lead, 1-7 to 0-4, at the interval.

Ballymanus had the better of the opening stages of the second half and scored three of the first four points, Athlone's score in this period coming from John Connellan, to leave just four points between the sides with 20 minutes to play.  This was a lot closer than the Blue would've liked it to be at this stage and Athlone certainly looked nervous, with a lot of passes finding their opponents rather than their own men.  Fortunately Athlone had enough experience and quality to weather this storm and gradually regained their grip on the game, before finally making it safe when Jordan Marshment emphatically finished a superb move to the net. Ballymanus did get the next score but they had run out of steam as the game entered its final quarter and Athlone finished strongly with points from Mickey Greene and Ray Connellan, then a brilliant Connellan goal after another flowing move, and another point each from the same two players to leave Athlone victorious on a scoreline of 3-12 to 0-8.
Athlone: Darren Costello, Eoin Maher, Damo Kelly, Fergal Murray, Danny Lynam, Noel Mulligan, Tom Egan, John Stapleton (1-0), Paul Bannon (0-1), Stephen Ward, Jordan Marshment (1-0), Danny Reid, Dermot Bannon, Ray Connellan (1-7), John Connellan (0-2). Subs Used: Mickey Greene (0-2), Joe Fallon, Sam Omukoro, Dylan Lynch, Charlie McMickan, Declan Byrne.

Leinster Intermediate Quarter Final
Athlone v O'Hanrahans (Carlow) takes place in Pairc Chiarain on Sunday, 1st November at 2pm
Everyone please come along and support the lads