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U21s qualify for County Final

posted 23 Sep 2013, 01:46 by Unknown user
Athlone v Mullingar Shamrocks
Athlone U21s qualified for their 2nd consecutive county final when they defeated Mullingar Shamrocks in an extra-time thriller under the Páirc Chiaráin lights on Tuesday last.  On a miserable night for football, Athlone made light of the tricky underfoot conditions and dominated throughout to lead by 0-13 to 1-5 with just two minutes remaining, but some late nervousness allowed Shamrocks to score a quick-fire 1-2 and force extra-time.

Athlone were understandably deflated at the beginning of extra-time and two quick Shamrocks points had them looking the most likely winners.  However Athlone’s defence showed great character and discipline to limit the visitors to only more point in the period while two Brian Gill frees kept the difference to a minimum at the turnaround, 0-15 to 2-10.
The second period saw Athlone gradually re-assert their dominance and a superb Stephen Ward point brought them level with five minutes remaining.   Substitute Patrick Melinn’s physicality caused problems for the tiring Shamrocks full-back line and he had a hand in setting up two points for the Byrne brothers to put Athlone 0-18 to 2-10 ahead with time almost up. 

A final Mullingar attack saw Melinn unluckily red-carded and the resulting free pointed to reduce the gap to a point again, but Athlone won the subsequent kick-out and comfortably held on to possession for the final minute to win by 0-18 to 2-11 and qualify to meet St. Loman’s in the county final.

Scorers: Brian Gill 0-8, Ray Connellan 0-4, Seamus Byrne 0-2, Glenn Costello 0-2, Aidan Byrne 0-1, Stephen Ward 0-1.
Panel: Dermot Pigott (Captain) Stephen Ward, Ray Connellan, Luke Dully, Jordan Marshment, Jay Boland, Glenn Costello, Daniel Lynam, Michael Duddy, Brian Gill, Patrick Melinn, Dylan Lynch, Eoin Maher, Andrew Lynam, Aidan Byrne, Matthew Darling, Seamus Byrne, Shane Galvin, Conal Sheeran.