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ACFL Div 1

posted 20 May 2019, 14:54 by Athlone GAA

Athlone 3-7  The Downs 1-8

Our seniors kept their hopes of avoiding relegation from Division 1 of the All-County league when they defeated The Downs in a damp Páirc Chiaráin on Friday evening.  The win leaves Athlone two points behind Shandonagh in the table with one round of fixtures to play, with Athlone due to travel to Shandonagh for their last game, which is scheduled for the weekend of June 9th.

 A bright start had Athlone leading by 0-3 to 0-1 through points from Ryan Gaffey, Shane Allen and a Richie Greene free, and things got better when Jordan Marshment was fouled as he burst through on goal for a penalty that was converted by Kieran Colclough.  The Downs responded well to this setback, however, and outscored the home side by four points to one in the second quarter, with Athlone’s only score in this period coming from wing-back Eoin Maher, to leave just two points between the sides at the break, 1-4 to 0-5 in Athlone’s favour.

 The visitors started the second half as they had ended the first and brought themselves level with two scores from play, although Richie Greene put Athlone back in front almost immediately with a super score.  It looked good for the hosts when Ryan Gaffey followed this up with this side’s second goal, when he slotted home the rebound after a Shane Allen shot had been saved, but The Downs replied with a goal of their own to leave just the minimum between the sides again.  Fortunately, Athlone were able to utilise a strong subs’ bench in the second half and it was one of these, Sean Dowd, who doubled their lead with an excellent point from distance, before he combined with another sub, Jack Quinn, to bundle home the third goal from close range and give his side some breathing space.  A fisted point from Quinn, after he had worked hard to create the opportunity for himself, put Athlone two goals to the good with 10 minutes remaining.  The Downs applied plenty of pressure in the closing stages as they tried to salvage something from the game, but a resolute Athlone defence restricted them to only one further point, as Athlone held for their second win of the campaign on a scoreline of 3-7 to 1-8.

 Athlone:  Paul Bannon, Daniel Lynam, Matthew Darling, James Finlass, Eoin Maher (0-1), Diarmuid Martin, Fergal Murray, Jordan Marshment, Danny Reid, Ryan Gaffey (1-1), Shane Allen (0-1), Mark Egan, Richie Greene (0-2), Kieran Colclough (1-0), Donagh Prendergast Subs Used:  Damien Kelly, Josh Beaumont, Sean Dowd (1-1), John Stapleton, Jack Quinn (0-1).