Leinster Minor Club Championship Semi-Final
Athlone 4-07 Fenagh (Carlow) 0-18 (AET)
Well done to our minor boys who have qualified for the Leinster minor club final with a dramatic one-point extra time win over Carlow champions Fenagh in Carlow on Sunday. The lads showed great heart to come from three points down in extra time to steal it at the death with a Sean Dowd goal.
Fenagh were first off the mark with two frees, as Athlone struggled to find their rhythm in the early stages, but well-taken Shane Allen goal after an incisive team move got Athlone on the scoresheet. Benny Martin then raised their first white flag, before the same player got Athlone's second goal with a neat finish after another flowing move. The Carlow champions recovered from those setbacks with another brace of points, but another Benny Martin point, followed by a third excellent goal, this time finished off by Josh Beaumont, put Athlone seven points clear. This scoreline flattered Athlone as Fenagh were having plenty of possession and they found their shooting boots to kick four unanswered points to reduce the gap to a goal, although Athlone had the final say of the half when Mark Egan fisted over to leave his side ahead on a half-time score of 3-3 to 0-8.
Fenagh started the second half as they had the first, with two points halving the deficit, but Kieran Colclough's customary '45' and a Beaumont point from a powerful shot that struck the crossbar kept daylight between the sides. However, the strong Carlow side continued to battle and kicked four points in a row to bring themselves level, with Athlone receiving a further blow in this period when substitute Eamon Martin was harshly sent off. Just when it looked like Athlone were in deep trouble, Shane Allen lifted the siege with an inspirational score, but the 14 men were unable to hold out and Fenagh forced extra time with point from a close range free with the final kick in normal time.
Athlone were understandably deflated at being caught at the death and, with extra time being only five minutes per half, Fenagh looked the more likely winners as they started the additional time with three quick fire points, although a Sean Dowd point from a free with the last kick of the half kept Athlone in touch. The momentum switched again in the after the mini-break as Athlone dominated possession, but three poor wides meant that they still trailed by two as the game entered its final minute. To their credit, however, they never gave up and one final attack saw Sean Dowd get on the end of a beautifully floated ball from Enda Daly to flick the ball to the net to send the players and supporters in blue and white wild with delight. There was still time for more drama as team captain Shane Allen received a black card for a 'professional' foul, but the free was overturned when the fouled Fenagh player got a straight red card for retaliation and Athlone held on to win by the narrowest of margins, 4-7 to 0-18.
While Athlone will feel they did not play as well as they can do, they showed great character to keep going against a skilful and physically strong Fenagh side. On the day, James Finlass, Paddy Ryan, and goalkeeper John Duddy were excellent for Athlone, while the full-forward line of Benny Martin, Stephen O'Connor and Josh Beaumont looked dangerous every time they got on the ball. Athlone now face Kildare side Clane in the Leinster minor final next Saturday, December 9th at 3pm in Eire Óg GAA Club in Carlow town so hopefully a large crowd will make the journey and support the lads in this important game.
Athlone: John Duddy; Niall Doolan, James Finlass, Patrick Ryan, Anthony Johnson, Diarmuid Martin, Paddy McGettigan; Kieran Colclough (0-1), Shane Allen (1-1); JJ Offorjama, Luke Kelly, Mark Egan (0-1); Josh Beaumont (1-1), Stephen O' Connor, Benny Martin (1-2) Subs: Eamon Martin, Sean Dowd (1-1), David Cleary, Enda Daly, Rytis Liaukivicius, Aaron Forde, Mark Tallon.
AGM takes place in the Clubhouse on Monday, 11th December at 8pm. Please return all nominations/motions before Thursday 7th December. All members are encouraged to attend.
Christmas Party for our younger members takes place in the Clubhouse from 4-6pm on Saturday 9th December. Games, Face Painting, Colouring Competitions and a visit from Santa Claus. All members very welcome.
There was no winner of this week's €1,650 jackpot.
The numbers drawn were 6-8-19-22
There were 3 match 3 winners
The Corncrake c/o R Daly
Karen Healy c/o M Daly
S. Barkey c/o P Devaney
Next week's lotto jackpot will be €1,800
Athlone GAA Bingo:
Bingo takes place in the Clubhouse every Thursday at 8.30pm. Loads of cash prizes. Everyone Welcome.
Vote of Sympathy:
The Lowry Family, Tubberclair.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anam.