U21s 2017

U21 Championship Semi-Final
Athlone 1-10 Rosemount-Castledaly 3-12

Our Under 21 team exited the Championship when they were defeated by a strong Rosemount-Castledaly combination in the semi-final played in Rosemount on Sunday morning.

After Richie Greene had opened the scoring with an excellent early point, the home side took control, but poor shooting meant that they still had not got off the mark when Greene added Athlone’s second from a free in the 10th minute.  Rosemount-Castledaly did finally open their account after 14 minutes, and although Josh Beaumont responded with a close-range point, Athlone then fell behind when the hosts scored their first goal.  The sides then exchanged points, with three Rosemount scores being answered by fine points from Danny Reid and Richie Greene, before Kieran Colclough brought the visitors level with two superb strikes from a ’45 and a long-range free.  However Athlone suffered a blow on the stroke of half-time when they conceded a goal on the last play, which meant that, instead of going in to the break on level terms, they trailed by 2-4 to 0-7.

Boosted by their late goal, Rosemount-Castledaly began the second half with a point straight from the throw-in, and they followed this almost immediately with their third goal, after they had turned over the subsequent kickout.  Athlone were shell-shocked by going from being level to trailing by seven points in the space of one minute’s playing time and, despite trying hard, they weren’t able to get back into the match.  Richie Greene did open their second half account from a free, but six Rosemount-Castledaly points, to just one in response from Josh Beaumont, meant that they trailed by 12 as the game entered its final minutes.  To their credit, the Athlone lads kept trying, and added a Beaumont goal and a point from Benny Martin to leave the final score 3-12 to 1-10 in favour of Rosemount-Castledaly. 

Athlone:  Conor Devaney, James Finlass, Matthew Darling, Eoin Fahey, Michael Doolan, Fionn Dowd, Shane Allen, Daniel Reid (0-1), Diarmuid Martin, Kieran Colclough (0-2),  Jack Quinn, Luke Kelly, Josh Beaumont (1-2), Ryan Gaffey, Richie Greene (0-4)  Subs Used:  Mark Egan, Donagh Prendergast, Benny Martin (0-1), Patrick McGettigan, Patrick  Ryan, Sam Omukoro.

U21 Championship Quarter-Final
Athlone 4-6 St Loman's 1-11
Four excellent first half goals, including two in a minute in injury time, paved the way for our under 21s to defeat St Loman's of Mullingar under the Páirc Chiaráin floodlights on Friday, as they emulated our junior and minor teams by qualifying for the championship semi-final, where they will face Rosemount-Castledaly. Athlone opened the scoring in the second minute with a Jack Quinn point, before Josh Beaumont doubled the lead with a deflected effort after a Richie Greene shot had come back off the crossbar.  St Loman's brought themselves level with two points of their own, but Jack Quinn put Athlone back in front with the first goal of the evening, when he finished off a good move with neat finish.  The visitors replied again with a brace of scores to reduce the gap to the minimum, and although Josh Beaumont replied with his second point, the Mullingar men took the lead for the first time with a well-taken goal of their own.  The home side responded to this setback in the best possible fashion, however, when Kieran Colclough finished off another fine move with a powerful shot for his side's second goal.  Another Quinn point, sandwiched between two further Lomans' points, meant that Athlone led by a point as the game entered first half injury time, but they got a huge boost with two goals in the final minute.  First Beaumont fisted home from close range after being set up by Quinn and then Daniel Reid blasted to the net to give the Shannonsiders a scarcely deserved seven point half-tim3 lead, 4-4 to 1-6.

Boosted by their strong finish to the first half, Athlone began the second period well, but were guilty of going for more goals, when points to keep the scoreboard ticking over might have been the more sensible option and instead it was St Loman's who opened the scoring with a couple of points.  Richie Greene did finally open Athlone's second half account with a clever close range finish, but the forwards were not finding the space that they had in the first half.  Fortunately, the home defence was also denying St Loman's any clear scoring opportunities, and both sides added only more point each, Athlone's from a Richie Greene free, in the following 20 minutes.  St Loman's did add two points very late on to reduce the gap to four points, but they were unable to create the goal chance they needed and Athlone held on for the win.

Athlone:  Conor Devaney, James Finlass, Matthew Darling, Shane Galvin, Michael Doolan, Stephen Ward, Shane Allen, Daniel Reid (1-0), Fionn Dowd, Donagh Prendergast, Jack Quinn (1-2), Kieran Colclough (1-0), Josh Beaumont (1-2), Diarmuid Martin, Richie Greene (0-2)  Subs:  Mark Egan, Benny Martin, Sean Dowd, Tadhg Prendergast, Patrick McGettigan.

U21 FC
Athlone 2-16 Tubberclair 1-7

Despite the wet conditions in Tubberclair, Athlone came flying out of the blocks with excellent points from Daniel Reid and Ryan Gaffey in the opening minute, and further points from Gaffey and a Richie Greene free had them four ahead with four minutes played.  The home side then found their feet and dominated possession for the next 10 minutes, but good defending from the Athlone backs, with the full back line especially impressive, restricted them to just one pointed free in this period.  Athlone then re-established control with a long range Kieran Colclough free and a Ryan Gaffey 45, before a brilliant team move set up Richie Greene for the opening goal of the match.  Tubberclair responded well to this setback by scoring the next three points of the game, but a late Ryan Gaffey free gave Athlone a six point half time lead of 1-7 to 0-4.

Daniel Reid almost gave Athlone a dream start to the second half, but was just wide with a powerful goal effort straight from the throw-in, although Athlone were soon on the board for the second period with fine points from Tadhg Prendergast and Shane Allen.  Again, however, the home side responded well and a brace of points left them just two goals behind with 15 minutes to play.  Just as it looked like Athlone could be in for a difficult closing quarter, they regained the initiative and points from Kieran Colclough, Daniel Reid, Ryan Gaffey and Fionn Dowd put more daylight between the sides, before Richie Greene made the game safe with a superb second goal.  Two well-taken scores from Enda Daly and another Gaffey free stretched the lead further, and although Tubberclair had the last word with a late goal, Athlone had done enough to set up a home quarter-final tie against St Loman’s.

Athlone:  Conor Devaney, Eoin Fahey, James Finlass, Shane Galvin, Shane Allen (0-1), Fionn Dowd (0-1), Luke Kelly, Daniel Reid (0-2), Diarmuid Martin, Donagh Prendergast, Josh Beaumont, Kieran Colclough (0-2), Ryan Gaffey (0-6), Tadhg Prendergast (0-1), Richie Greene (2-1)  Subs:  Sam Omukoro, David Cleary, Enda Daly (0-2), Robert Teape, JJ Offorjama, Deba Okodugha, John Duddy.