ACFL Division 1:
Athlone 4-8 Shandonagh 1-17
Our senior team will play in Division 2 of next year’s All County Football League, after being relegated following a draw with Shandonagh in their final league game, played in Shandonagh on Sunday morning. Athlone needed to beat their hosts to stay up on the head to head rule, but in the end a 63rd minute equaliser condemned them to the second tier of the league in 2020.
Athlone got off to an ideal start with a free from Kieran Colclough from their first attack, but scores were hard to come by in the edgy opening minutes and it took until the eighth minute before Ryan Gaffey doubled his side’s lead, before Colclough gave his side a huge boost with a fine solo goal. Gaffey added his second to put his side six points up after 15 minutes and things were looking good for the visitors, but they then surrendered the initiative as Shandonagh struck four quick-fire points followed by a well-taken goal to take the lead with five minutes remaining in the half. Athlone struggled to respond to this setback and three further points before the break gave Shandonagh a half-time lead of 1-7 to 1-3.
After being under the cosh for the second quarter, Athlone took advantage of the break to regroup and they were level within two minutes of the restart, through a pointed free and superb goal, both from Colclough. They then went agonisingly close to grabbing a third goal, but Gaffey’s close range effort went just wide of the post. Shandonagh took advantage of this reprieve to regain the lead, but Gaffey made up for his miss with two excellent scores to put his ahead by a point. Josh Beaumont did get his side’s third goal when he beat the keeper to a speculative ball from John Stapleton, but Athlone were unable to build on this and three consecutive Shandonagh points reduced the lead to the minimum again. Wing-back James Finlass lifted the siege with a rare score and when Gaffey fisted to the net to finish off a slick move, Athlone led by five with 10 minutes remaining and looked set to grab the win needed to ensure their top-flight participation in 2019. However, a determined Shandonagh side refused to accept this and they hit four points in four minutes to bring themselves back to within a point with time almost up. A free which would’ve brought them level appeared to be drifting wide, but they kept the ball in play and won another free in front of goal, which was tapped over to bring the sides level, which meant Athlone had to find a winner to stay up. It looked like they had done that 90 seconds into injury-time when John Stapleton swung over a super point after a patient move, but Athlone failed to close the down the resultant kickout and the home side worked the ball into the scoring zone, before striking the crucial equaliser that sealed the draw they required in stay in Division One, whilst sending Athlone down in the process.
Athlone: Conal Sheeran, Daniel Lynam, Tom Egan, Matthew Darling, Eoin Maher, Diarmuid Martin, James Finlass (0-1), Jordan Marshment, John Stapleton (0-1), Ryan Gaffey (1-3), Shane Allen, Donagh Prendergast, Josh Beaumont (1-0), Benny Martin, Kieran Colclough (2-3) Subs Used: Sean Dowd, Paul Bannon, Damien Kelly.
Boys U10 St Lomans Tournament
Well done to our u10s boys who competed in the U10 St Loman’s Tournament last weekend. With three great wins in the group stages the lads topped their group and progressed to the cup semi-final where they met a strong St Lomans side. The boys were unlucky to come out on the losing end in what was a great game of football. Every player showed great sportsmanship and commitment and were a credit to their club and their parents. The future is bright for this group of players.
U14 Division 1 League – Athlone 2-11 Millmore Gaels 0-09
Our final league game in Ballymore proved to be our toughest challenge to date. A win for either side would see them progress to the league final. Athlone started the game well and were 3 points to the good midway through the first half, however Millmore hit back and finished the half very strong and went in at the interval 2 points up on a scoreline of 0-08 to 1-03. The second half proved to be Athlone’s best 30 minutes of the year to date. Some fantastic defending limited Millmore to just one point in the second half and this proved to be the backbone to a great victory. The all-important second goal came 15 minutes from time and proved to be the score that put the tie to bed. This was a superb display and sets the lads up for a league final appearance versus St Lomans on Saturday 15th June at 2pm in Cusack Park. Best of luck in the final and all support would be greatly appreciated.
U12 Go Games v St Josephs
The Athlone U12 boys played St. Joseph’s on Wednesday the 29th May. It was a very sporting game and both teams played well. Our lads played with the support of a very strong wind in the 1st half, and went in at the break a few points up. The wind died down in the 2nd half and it made for more entertaining free flowing football. It was a great team performance throughout the game, where Gary Prendergast played well in goals with excellent kickouts, Philip Heavey was prominent in defence where he was always in front of his man and creating opportunities when in possession. Cillian Donlon showed well in attack and his distribution of the ball was excellent in creating scoring opportunities for team mates. The team was as follows: Gary Prendergast, Rory McMickan, Aaron Hardiman, Shane Killian, Jack Larkin, Philip Heavey, Darragh Lough, Adam Casey, Kyle Mahon, Conor Lough, Senan Snow, Cillian Donlon, Joshua Ukatu
A big congratulations to Southern Gaels U14s who made it all the way to the all-Ireland final in their Division in the U14 Hurling Feile last weekend in Cork. Unfortunately luck was not on their side in the final, however this is an amazing achievement and everyone at Athlone GAA club wish them all the best for the future.
Kellogs Cul Camps 22-26th July in Athlone GAA
Have your registered? If not register at gaa.ie/kelloggsculcamps Places are filling up fast.
The Kellogg's GAA Cúl Camps for boys and girls age 6 to 13 takes place in Athlone GAA from Monday 22nd- Friday 26th July. It's an action-packed and fun-filled week of activity which revolves around maximising enjoyment and sustaining participant involvement in Gaelic Games. Each child gets club gear including jersey, backpack and training top. Cost €60 for 1st child; €55 for 2nd child; €45 for 3rd and subsequent children. Also pick up a promotional pack of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes or Rice Krispies in stores now and enter the competition to win €5,000 worth of kit for the club.
Football for boys and girls age 4-12 takes place every Sunday morning from 11.30-12.30 in Pairc Chiarain. New players of all abilities very welcome, first year is free and bring a friend for fun, fitness and friendship. Any queries contact Joe Fallon at 086 8846731
Gaelic for Mothers & Others is back on Monday nights from 8-9pm. Ladies of all abilities and none very welcome. Come along to Pairc Chiarain to get fit and have some fun. Any queries contact Joan at 087 6493941
Our club gear including training tops, tracksuits, jerseys, shorts and socks is now available online at www.athlone.gaa.ie Any queries contact Teresa Small at 087 6799472.
There was no winner of this week’s jackpot of €2,850
The numbers drawn were 2, 6, 22, 25
There was 2 match 3 winners: Conal Murray c/o Amby: Nathan & Chloe Duffy c/o L. Roper
Next week’s jackpot will be €3,000
Bingo takes place in the Clubhouse every Thursday at 8.30pm Loads of cash prizes. Everyone welcome.