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posted 12 Sep 2016, 05:58 by Athlone GAA

Athlone 3-19 Coralstown-Kinnegad 0-10

Our seniors qualified for the quarter-finals of the Championship when their best performance in a long time led an emphatic victory over Coralstown-Kinnegad in a game that also doubled up as our final ACFL Division 1 game.

Playing into the strong wind, Athlone started brightly and, after a brace of points from John Connellan had been cancelled out by two similar scores from their opponents, struck for their first goal when wing-back Tom Egan finished powerfully to the net to round off an excellent move.  Another Connellan point was then followed by Athlone's second goal, when Jack Quinn tapped home from close range after Danny Reid had done well to turn over a short kickout.  These early goals should've been the catalyst for Athlone to push on, but some wastefulness in front of goal meant that they were able to add just two further first half points, from John Stapleton and Danny Reid, while Kinnegad made good use of their limited opportunities to leave just four points between them at break, with Athlone leading by 2-5 to 0-7.

If Athlone had been somewhat wasteful in the first half, the same could not be said of the opening stages of the second period, when, inspired by a superb performance from John Connellan, they struck 10 unanswered points in the opening 15 minutes of the half to put the match well and truly beyond Kinnegad.  Connellan accounted for the bulk of the scores in this period, but he got good support from those around him, especially from the midfielders and half-backs all of whom got on the scoresheet. The only negatives for Athlone in this purple patch were some missed goal chances, but Danny Reid did eventually strike late on for Athlone's third three-pointer, while a couple of points from John Stapleton brought Athlone's total to an impressive 3-19 as they ran out 18 point winners.  The quarter-final will be against Mullingar Shamrocks on the weekend of September 24th-25th, with the exact date, time and venue to be decided.

Athlone:  Conor Devaney, Eoin Maher, Damo Kelly, Fergal Murray, Noel Mulligan (0-1), Paul Bannon (0-1), Tom Egan (1-0), Alan Gaughan (0-1), Jordan Marshment (0-2), Stephen Ward, Matthew Darling, John Stapleton (0-4), Jack Quinn (1-0), Daniel Reid (1-2), John Connellan (0-8)  Subs Used:  Sam Omukoro, Danny Lynam, Andy Lynam, Mickey Greene, David Fagan, Eoin Jordan