Minors 2018

​​​​​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. 
Minor Boys Division 1 Quarter Final

Athlone 2-12 Rosemount 0-12

Our minor boys qualified for the Division 1 semi final after a hard fought win over Rosemount on Wednesday evening. Played in pristine conditions, Rosemount started better and were two points up after two minutes, although Athlone soon drew level through frees from Kieran Colclough and Benny Martin. Athlone went ahead then with two quick points from Josh Beaumont and a brilliant outside of the boot point from Martin, but the home side regained the initiative with four points in a row to put themselves 0-6 to 0-4 up, before a Shane Allen free then left just a point between the sides at half time.

Athlone came out fired up in the second half and rattled off five points in the first five minutes - two points from Benny Martin, and one each from Colclough ('45), Sean Dowd and Mark Egan, to just one in response from their hosts.  JJ Offorjama then finished off a brilliant team move to rattle the net to give the visitors a six point lead, but Rosemount battled back with two frees and three points from play, either side of a Josh Beaumont point for Athlone, to cut the deficit to two with five minutes left. Benny Martin put daylight between the sides after being set up by a lung bursting run from impressive full back James Finlass, and Athlone finally made the game safe when Josh Beaumont fisted the ball to the net after being set up by David Cleary.  In what was a superb team performance, every player gave their all for the cause, which was evident in a number of players coming off with cramp at the end.  The lads and management now look forward to a semi final place in the Division 1 championship.

Team and panel: John Duddy, Joe Devins, James Finlass, Patrick Ryan, Donagh Prendergast, Diarmuid Martin, Paddy McGettigan; Shane Allen (Capt.) 0-1 (f), Kieran Colclough (0-2, 1f, 1 '45); JJ Offorjama (1-0), Mark Egan (0-1), Antony Johnson; Josh Beaumont (1-2), Benny Martin (0-5, 1f), Enda Daly. Subs:  Sean Dowd for Daly, Stephen O'Connor for Johnson, Luke Kelly for Egan, David Cleary for Allen. Rytis Liaukivicius, Niall Doolan, Conor Rushe, Aaron Forde, Eamon Martin, Deba Okodugha, Kevin Rowan, Mark Tallon.

Minor Boys Championship Group 1 & 2
Athlone 3-19 Killucan 1-6
The minor boys qualified for the Minor Championship Group 1 quarter-final when they finished the group stage with a comprehensive 3-19 to 1-6 win over Killucan, in what was their third away game out of three in the group.  Enda Daly opened the scoring, followed by a well-struck 45 from Kieran Colclough.  Killucan replied with a free of their own before Josh Beaumont netted his first goal with an easy tap in. A flurry of points from Daly, Beaumont, Colclough (free), and Stephen O'Connor followed, before David Cleary got Athlone's second goal with superb strike into the top corner from 25 yards.  Killucan replied with a point of their own from play, while O'Connor and Benny Martin replied for Athlone on the stroke of half time.

After Kevin Rowan had gotten Athlone off the mark for the second half, Killucan struck for a goal of their own. However, Athlone responded well and Kieran Colclough reeled off three points from play, either side of another Athlone major, the second of the game for Josh Beaumont. Killucan battled gamely and scored 3 points back to back, but Athlone finished strongly with seven points in a row from captain Shane Allen, two frees from Benny Martin, another two from Colclough (1 '45) and one each from David Cleary and Enda Daly.

The win ensured the lads have qualified for the Division 1 quarter-final, which is provisionally fixed for Wednesday 6th of September. Having finished second in the group, they will go in as underdogs against one of the big guns from the other groups, but a similar level of performance from the lads will give them every chance.

Athlone:  John Duddy; Joe Devins, James Finlass, Patrick Ryan; David Cleary (1-1), Diarmuid Martin, Paddy McGettigan; Shane Allen (0-1), Kevin Rowan (0-1); Stephen O'Connor (0-2), Kieran Colclough (0-7, 2 '45, 1f), Sean Dowd; Josh Beaumont (2-1), Benny Nartin (0-3, 2f), Enda Daly (0-3). Subs: JJ Offorjama, Mark Tallon, Donagh Prendergast, Luke Kelly, Rytis Liaukivicius, Eamon Martin, Anthony Johnson, Aaron Forde, Niall Doolan.

Minor League Division 1
Athlone 3-13 St. Mary's Rochfortbridge 1-10
It's 5 league wins (and 2 in the space of five days) on the spin for the minor boys as they saw off a battling St. Mary's Rochfortbridge on Sunday evening. The home side got off to a good start and early points from Luke Kelly, Josh Beaumont (2), and Sean Dowd saw them lead by 4. Rochfortbridge pulled the game back level with 4 points of their own. A point each from Shane Allen and Enda Daly put Athlone ahead again before a bullet of a goal from Josh Beaumont after a clever through ball from Mark Egan.  Rochfortbridge responded with a point before a fortuitous OG gave Athlone breathing space at half time with the score 2-7 to 0-5.

Rochfortbridge were first off the mark in the first minute of the second half before a well worked point by Josh Beaumont was followed by a brilliantly taken goal from Mark Tallon after good work from Diarmuid Martin. This was followed by points from Mark Egan and a Luke Kelly free. The away side responded again with 2 points of their own, followed by a well taken penalty goal (almost saved by Rytis Liaukevicius in the Athlone nets). Athlone closed out the game with 2 points from Luke Kelly and another from Josh Beaumont to leave the final score 3-13 to 1-10.
Best for Athlone were Luke Kelly, Josh Beaumont and Donagh Prendergast. The lads play their last league game of the season at home to Rosemount on Thursday (18th May), with a lot of lads carrying injuries, the strength of the squad will be fully tested. However, 3 U16's, Eamon Martin, Andrew Beaumont, and Michael Byrne, stepped up to the plate in this game and would not look out of place in the level above their age.

Athlone Team: Rytis Liaukevicius; Joseph Devins, James Finlass, Patrick Ryan; Donagh Prendergast, Paddy McGettigan, Anthony Johnson; Diarmuid Martin, Luke Kelly (0-5); Enda Daly (0-1), Josh Beaumont (1-4), Sean Dowd (0-1); Mark Egan (0-1), Mark Tallon (1-0), Shane Allen (0-1). Subs: Eamon Martin, Andrew Beaumont, John Duddy, Aaron Forde, Michael Byrne.

Athlone 2-20 Coralstown-Kinnegad 2-9

Our minor boys got their fourth league win in a row when they defeated Coralstown-Kinnegad in a game played in perfect conditions in Kinnegad on Wednesday evening last.  The home side who started the stronger with three early scores (while Athlone squandered four goal opportunities!), but Athlone eventually found their scoring boots and points from Donagh Prendergast, David Cleary and Luke Kelly had them level after 15 minutes. A very fortunate goal from a long range free from Kieran Colclough, followed by a ruthless finish by Josh Beaumont, settled the away side and four points, one each from Cleary and Mark Egan and two frees from Colclough, to three in response from the hosts left the half-time score 2-7 to 0-6.

Kinnegad scored a fortunate goal of their own within 30 seconds of the restart to pull themselves back to within four points, but Athlone replied with six points in five minutes to make the game safe. These included some brilliant scores from Enda Daly, two from Diarmuid Martin (one after making a fantastic catch), another from Colclough, and two brilliant points from Josh Beaumont after winning his own turnovers. A brace of points each from Mark Egan and Shane Allen stretched the lead even further, and despite a late Kinnegad flurry that yielded a quickfire 1-2, Athlone finished strongly with another point from Beaumont, a great effort off his left by Donagh Prendergast, and a third from wing-back by David Cleary to put the seal on a good evening's work.

The game finished 2-20 to 2-9, with 1-18 of Athlone's total coming from play.  However, Athlone will be disappointed with 13 wides and some sloppy passages of play, so there is plenty that needs to be worked on in training.  When the game was in the melting pot, there were some fine displays from Colclough in midfield (who gave an exhibition of high fielding), David Cleary, Joe Devins, and the ever-dangerous Josh Beaumont, while it was also good to see Sean Dowd back in blue after a long lay-off from injury. However man of the match goes to Patrick Ryan who made three courageous blocks and kept Kinnegad's danger man on the inside line quiet all game.

Athlone:  John Duddy, Joseph Devins, Diarmuid Martin (0-2), Patrick Ryan, Paddy McGettigan, Shane Allen (0-2), David Cleary (0-3), Kieran Colclough (1-3), Luke Kelly (0-1), Niall Doolan, Mark Egan (0-3), Donagh Prendergast (0-2); Josh Beaumont (1-3), Enda Daly (0-1), Eamon Martin  Subs used:  James Finlass, Mark Tallon, Rytis Liaukevicius, Sean Dowd.

Minor Boys' League Division 1
Athlone 3-14 Shandonagh 0-15

The minor boys got their third league win on the spin away to Shandonagh last Thursday evening.  On what was a perfect evening for football, Athlone got off the mark when Eamon Martin got the first of his three goals, but Shandonagh replied with four straight points and Athlone didn't score again until the 19th minute with a Benny Martin free. Eamon Martin got his second goal from close range soon after and Athlone finished with points from Shane Allen, Paddy McGettigan and another free, leaving it 2-4 to 0-6 at HT.

The second half saw  brilliant display of football with the sides producing 20 scores between them.  Five of Athlone's 1-10 in the second half came from the boot of Benny Martin, with the other scores coming from Allen, Enda Daly and David Cleary. Eamon Martin's hat-trick goal was a real poacher's finish and was a result of a great turn over from Mark Tallon and being set up by his brother Diarmuid.  Athlone finished the strongest but were made to earn their win by the home side. Three excellent saves from John Duddy, along with a solid display by the full back line of Joe Devins, Paddy Ryan, and the excellent James Finlass kept Athlone in the game at times.

Athlone:  John Duddy, Joseph Devins, James Finlass, Patrick Ryan, Patrick McGettigan (0-1), Shane Allen (0-3), David Cleary (0-1), Anthony Johnson, Diarmuid Martin, Niall Doolan, Benny Martin (0-7), Donagh Prendergast, Deba Okodugha, Enda Daly (0-2), Eamon Martin (3-0)  Subs:  Mark Tallon, Aaron Forde, Kevin Cleary, Conor Rushe, Rytis Liaukevicius.
Minor League Division 1

21/2/2017- Pairc Chiarain

Minor League Division 1:
Athlone 1-9 St. Loman's 0-6

The minor boys got their first league win of the season at home to St. Loman's in poor conditions last Tuesday evening. The first score of the game was hard to come by and didn't come until the 10th minute from a Lomans' free. A superb solo score by Mark Egan got the home side off the mark. This was followed by a point by Lomans and a free for Athlone, scored by Kieran Colclough. Colclough continued his 100% record from penalties in the 20th minute when he slotted to the corner of the net to raise the only green flag of the game, the penalty coming after a foul on JJ Offorjama.  Enda Daly then got on the scoresheet to leave it 1-3 to 0-3 at half time. 

Athlone played with the aid of a strong wind in the second half and put 3 great scores on the board, one from Colclough, and two, one off each foot from the skilful Benny Martin. However, to their credit, Lomans battled hard and scored 3 fine points of their own. Colclough, Martin and Egan rounded off the scoring to leave Athlone victorious on a score of 1-9 to 0-6.

John Duddy was superb in goal, pulling off a string of fine saves. James Finlass and Shane Allen held things together at the back, while JJ Offorjama and Luke Kelly were a constant thorn in the side of the visitors' defence.  This was a hard fought win and the management of Eoin Jordan, Fergal Murray and Eamon Martin will be happy to get the first win of the season under their belts, although they know there is a huge amount of work to do with this talented squad.

Team:  John Duddy, James Finlass, Diarmuid Martin, Patrick McGettigan, David Cleary, Shane Allen, Niall Doolan, Kieran Colclough (1-3), Anthony Johnson, Mark Egan (0-2), JJ Offorjama, Donagh Prendergast, Luke Kelly, Enda Daly (0-1), Benny Martin (0-3) 
Subs used: Aaron Forde, Joseph Devins, Kevin Cleary, Deba Okodugha, Patrick Ryan.


The Downs 5-11 Athlone 4-8.

The minors faced a tough first outing of the year away to last year's beaten minor finalists The Downs. However it proved to provide a good workout for both teams on a crisp Sunday morning. Josh Beaumont scored a fine individual point to get Athlone off the mark. The Downs settled into the game with 3 points in a row before two quick-fire goals from David Cleary and a clinical Beaumont finish put Athlone in command. The Downs finished the half with 1-2 sandwiched between a Mark Egan free. Shane Allen ensured Athlone went into half-time level with 2 incredible blocks near the end of the half.

The second half proved to be a goal fest!  Some poor defending mixed with fortuitous finishing saw the Downs net 4 goals. However, Athlone responded with 2 quality majors of their own; the first a ruthless individual effort from Mark Egan, the second a great penalty finish on the stroke of full time from Kieran Colclough. The game finished 5-11 to 4-8. Athlone's second half points coming from Benny Martin, Josh Beaumont (2) and a great score from Donagh Prendergast. The game leaves this talented squad with a lot of work to do but they showed some glimpses of promise for a successful season ahead.

Team: John Duddy, Paddy McGettigan, Diarmuid Martin, Joseph Devins, Niall Doolan, Shane Allen, David Cleary (1-0), Luke Kelly, Anthony Johnson, Donagh Prendergast (0-1), Mark Egan (1-1), Kieran Colclough (1-1), Josh Beaumount (1-3), Enda Daly, Benny Martin (0-1).
Subs used: Aaron Forde, Kevin Cleary, Rytis Liaukevicius, Declan McCormack.

Minors 2016 - Mentor Eoin Jordan

Athlone Minors v Shandonagh
The minors bowed out of this years Division 1 championship on Wednesday last after defeat to Shandonagh. Having topped their group with convincing wins over Milmore Gaels, Garrycastle and Shannon Gaels, the lads were hopeful of progressing further in the competition. However they got no reward for topping group 2 and suffered a double blow, first being drawn away from home, and second drawn to play a physically strong Shandonagh side. The home side settled quickest and were a point up when Sean Dowd and two points from the inspirational Daniel Reid put Athlone 2 in front; the second score coming after a one-handed catch off a John Duddy kick-out and a mazy solo run. Certainly the score of the day! Benny Martin also registered a score before Shandonagh split the Athlone defence with a pacy move and well taken goal. This left the half-time score Shandonagh 1-3; Athlone 0-5. 

The returning mark Egan was introduced at half time and his pace added another threat to Athlone's attack. The sides went point for point for the first 15 minutes in a fascinating battle. Athlone points coming from Benny Martin, Reid, Donagh Prendergast and Egan. However with 12 minutes to go Shandonagh struck a hammer blow by scoring a goal on the counter attack. Athlone, to their credit, never gave in. However the physicality of the Shandonagh side had started to show at this stage and they cancelled out each Athlone score with one of their own. The final score was Shandonagh 2-12; Athlone 0-12. This game was tighter than the score suggests; Shandonagh can be grateful for some fine goalkeeping and their own crossbar for keeping Athlone goal shots at bay. The Athlone panel will only lose 5 players next year. If the current players continue to show the desire and commitment from this year, they will go a long way to bringing home the clubs first minor title since 1993, one that is well over-due in Pairc Chiarain.

Team: John Duddy; James Finlass, Diarmuid Martin, Paddy McGettigan; Robert Teape, Eoin Fahey (0-1), David Cleary; Daniel Reid (0-5), Shane Allen (0-1); JJ Offorjama, Sean Dowd (0-1), Anthony Johnson; Benny Martin (0-2), Tadhg Prendergast, Donagh Prendergast (0-1). Subs: Mark Egan (0-1) for Johnson, Luke Kelly for T Prendergast and Niall Doolan for Cleary.

Athlone 3-16 Garrycastle 2-8

Our minor team qualified for the knockout stages of the Division 1 championship when they recovered from a wasteful opening half to defeat neighbours Garrycastle in the second round of the group stage, played in Garrycastle on Monday evening.  This game had been rescheduled as a mark of respect to the late Dermot McManus so our thanks to Garrycastle for facilitating this change at short notice.

Despite having most of the early possession and opening the scoring with points from Joseph Offorjama and Aaron Forde, Athlone were wasteful in front of goal and trailed a more economic Garrycastle side by 0-3 to 0-2 after 10 minutes.  Three quick points from Danny Reid and Benny Martin (0-2) should’ve settled Athlone, but they continued to squander good scoring opportunities and added only one more point, a free from Benny Martin, in the final 18 minutes of the half.  Fortunately for Athlone, the defence did an excellent job in marshalling Garrycastle’s attack in this period so, despite their profligacy, the visitors still led at the break on a scoreline of 0-6 to 0-5.

After Garrycastle had drawn level early in the second half, Athlone got a major boost when Danny Reid got on the end of a long ball to finish coolly to the net for his side’s first goal and this was quickly followed by another Benny Martin point.  Garrycastle did strike back with their own first goal but Athlone had finally found their shooting boots and six excellent unanswered points between the 40th and 50th minutes put some daylight between the sides, although Athlone did need a great block from Shane Allen not to concede a second goal in this period.   Two brilliantly taken goals from substitute Deba Okodugha added a further gloss to the scoreline and, despite the hosts closing the scoring with a fine goal of their own, Athlone had done enough and ran out winners on a score of 3-16 to 2-8.

Athlone:  John Duddy, James Finlass, Diarmuid Martin, Patrick McGettigan, , Robert Teape, Eoin Fahey, David Cleary, Danny Reid (1-2), Shane Allen (0-2), Joseph Offorjama (0-1),Sean Dowd (0-3), Donagh Prendergast, Benny Martin (0-7) Aaron Forde (0-1), Anthony Johnson  Subs:  Deba Okodugha (2-0)

Minor League Division 1
Athlone 4-8 Moate All Whites 1-10
Moate started the stronger and had two points on the board before Tadhg Prendergast opened Athlone’s account with a fine solo score.  Another Moate score was answered by Prendergast after a fine team move, before Athlone took the lead for the first time when a strong run from Danny Reid set up Ben Troy who goaled from close range.  Prendergast almost added another goal soon after when his goalbound effort was deflected over the bar by the visitors’ keeper, but Athlone did raise their second green flag when the younger Prendergast brother Donagh finished off another excellent move.  The home side were well on top at this stage and a point from Shane Allen and two from Benny Martin, the second a sweetly-struck outside of the boot effort, stretched their lead to nine, although Moate pulled back a point to leave Athlone leading by 2-6 to 0-4 at the break.

An early second-half Moate point was cancelled out by a similar score by Shane Allen, before Tadhg Prendergast seemed to put the game beyond the visitors with Athlone’s third goal, after he had been released by a superb through ball from David Cleary.  Any hopes that this would be end of the visitors’ challenge were quickly dispelled, however,  when they scored two excellent points followed by a goal from a rebound after Aaron Forde had made a good save from the initial effort.   Two more quick points reduced the gap even further and, following a five minute blitz, Athlone’s lead had been whittled down from eleven points to four.  A difficult final quarter looked on for the hosts but they regained control and a great run from Deba Okodugha set up Benny Martin for another well-taken goal.  This fourth goal took the sting out of the visitors’ comeback and the final 10 minutes were quiet on the scoreboard, with only one further point added by each side, Athlone’s coming from a Tadhg Prendergast free, meaning that the home side ran out winners on a scoreline of 4-8 to 1-10.

Athlone: Aaron Forde, Deba Okodugha, Diarmuid Martin, Patrick McGettigan, Anthony Johnson, Eoin Fahy, David Cleary, Danny Reid, Robert Teape, JJ Offorjama, Tadhg Prendergast (1-4), Donagh Prendergast (1-0), Ben Troy (1-0), Benny Martin (1-2), Shane Allen (0-2).  Subs used: Josh Beaumont, Michael Doolan, Kevin Cleary