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Westmeath Boys U14 Féile Final

posted 19 May 2014, 13:27 by Athlone GAA
Westmeath Boys U14 Féile Final
Sunday, 18th May 2014
Athlone 5-10 Mullingar Shamrocks 2-8

Fresh from their semi-final victory over Garrycastle, Athlone travelled to Mullingar to take on the local Shamrocks side in the Féile Final in Cusack Park.  Again a large crowd turned out to support the lads which was great to see and definitely gave the lads a lift, in what was a virtual home game for their opponents.

Athlone started the brighter and put the first two points on the board through Thomas Roper and Donagh Prendergast.  Shamrocks then took control and scored a quickfire 1-2 to lead by a goal.  Athlone responded immediately with an equalising goal from Josh Beaumont before points from Josh, Kevin Rowan and Donagh Prendergast put them three points clear.  Josh Beaumont then added another point with an outrageous scissors kick, before Mullingar responded with a point to leave the half-time score Athlone 1-6 Mullingar Shamrocks 1-3.

Three points is not much of a lead in football and so it proved when Shamrocks scored an equalising goal in the first minute of the second half.  Another point straight from the kick out put them ahead and it looked like they had seized the momentum.  Not for the first time in the game though, Athlone had other ideas and Josh Beaumont fired over a point to level things up again, before Shane Allen goaled to restore Athlone’s three point cushion.  Athlone had the bit between their teeth now and only a superb double save from Mullingar’s excellent keeper kept out Josh Beaumont.  However this was only a temporary reprieve as Shane Allen again found space inside the full-back line to score his second goal and put Athlone six points clear.  The same player was unlucky not to complete a hat-trick when he slammed an effort off the bar, before being hauled down illegally in the square just as he was about to pull the trigger again.  Thomas Roper buried the resultant penalty to the net and Athlone led 4-7 to 2-4 midway through the half.

To their credit, Shamrocks refused to yield and continued to put the Athlone defence under a great deal of pressure.  However, the entire Athlone defence and midfield defended as a unit and with great discipline to deny Shamrocks any space within the Athlone half, while goalkeeper John Duddy ably dealt with any high balls that were dropped into the square.  Shamrocks were restricted to just two points in this period, which were cancelled out by breakaway scores from Shane Allen and Kieran Colclough, which meant that Athlone lead by 4-9 to 2-6 with just five minutes left.

Mullingar needed goals at this stage but Athlone’s defence, now augmented by the cavalry from the half-forward line, never lost their shape or discipline and restricted Shamrocks to just two more points, with the Athlone goal never put in any real danger.  Instead Athlone took advantage of tiring Mullingar legs to add another point from Thomas Roper, before Josh Beaumont took put the seal on a great performance with a superb goal following a lung bursting run from inside his own half to leave the final score Athlone 5-10 Mullingar Shamrocks 2-8.

This really was a deserved win for a great bunch of lads who put in superb performances in every round of the competition.  They combined teamwork and commitment with skill and flair and will be worthy Westmeath representatives at the National Féile finals.   Credit must go their mentors Dobsey Prendergast, Liam Downes, Joe Finlass and Niall Cleary who had the lads so well prepared and who have instilled a great sense of camaraderie throughout the panel.  Well done all and roll on the finals!

Panel:  Shane Allen, Andrew Beaumont, Joshua Beaumont, Michael Byrne, Kevin Cleary, Kieran Colclough, Sean Comber, Enda Daly, Joseph Devins, Niall Doolan, Patrick Doyle, John Duddy, James Finlass, Conor Glennon,  Anthony Johnson, Rytis Lapaityte, Eamon Martin, Killian O’Sullivan, Deba Okodugha, Donagh Prendergast, Thomas Roper, Kevin Rowan, Conor Rushe, Patrick Ryan