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SFC Semi Final

posted 18 Oct 2016, 05:28 by Athlone GAA


Athlone 1-6 Tyrrellspass 1-8    


Our seniors’ bid to reach the senior championship final for the first time since 2003 came undone in cruel fashion when a late Tyrrellspass goal denied them what would’ve been a famous victory in a low scoring, but absorbing, clash in Cusack Park on Sunday.


Tyrrellspass opened the scoring with a superb point in the opening 30 seconds, but Noel Mulligan brought Athlone level with a free after Jack Quinn had been fouled.  Tyrrellspass were the stronger team in the opening period, but due to a succession of bad wides and two fine saves from Conor Devaney, they were unable to add to their total before John Connellan his account with a typically excellent point.  Tyrrellspass did eventually get their second score in the 20th minute, but Athlone got a major boost soon after when Sam Omukoro fisted a lineball to the net for the game’s opening goal.  There was still time for another Tyrrellspass point before half-time, but Athlone would’ve been pleased to go into the dressing room with a two point lead after being under pressure for most of the half.


With the slight aid of the elements, Athlone needed a good start to the second half to try to put some daylight between the sides, but instead it was Tyrrellspass who had the better of the early exchanges and three points from frees from Ger Egan to just one in response from Danny Reid (a brilliant solo score) had them level after 10 minutes of the half.  To their credit, Athlone didn’t panic and restored their two point lead with points from frees from John Connellan and Joe Fallon, with his first touch.  Another Tyrrellspass free reduced the gap again, but an excellent John Egan point restored Athlone’s two point advantage as the match entered its final five minutes.  With the game finally poised, the Shannonsiders were then dealt a major blow when the influential John Connellan was blackcarded after a mistimed tackle on Ger Egan. The county forward had received a yellow card in the first half so the black card led to a red and left Athlone a man short for the final minutes.  Unfortunately for Athlone, the extra man was to prove a factor as the game entered injury time, when a patient Tyrrellspass move led to Denis Glennon setting up Val Sizychas for the lead goal.  Athlone did get a chance in their next attack when they won a free after a Tyrrellspass player received a black card for a rugby tackle, but the ball was turned over from the free and Tyrrellspass were able to play keep ball for two minutes before tapping over what looked like the insurance score.  There was still time for one final Athlone attack however and a sweeping move led to a last gasp goal chance, but county goalkeeper Darren Quinn pulled off a fine save to deny Mickey Greene and Tyrrellspass hung on to win on a scoreline of 1-8 to 1-6.

Athlone:  Conor Devaney, Eoin Maher, Damien Kelly, Fergal Murray, Noel Mulligan (0-1), Paul Bannon, Tom Egan, John Stapleton, Jordan Marshment , Stephen Ward, Jack Quinn, John Egan (0-1), Daniel Reid (0-1), Sam Omukoro (1-0), John Connellan (0-2)  Subs Used:  Matthew Darling, Mickey Greene, Joe Fallon (0-1).