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Athlone v Rochfortbridge

posted 8 May 2017, 14:52 by Athlone GAA
​​​​​ACFL Division 1

Athlone 3-9 St Mary’s, Rochfortbrige 2-12  

Athlone’s senior team travelled to Rochfortbridge to play St Mary’s in the sixth round of the league and needed an injury time point from Matthew Darling to rescue a scarcely deserved draw and preserve their unbeaten start to the season.

Despite starting against the strong wind, Athlone began brightly and Jordan Marshment converted a second minute penalty after full-back Damo Kelly had been fouled at the end of an incisive run.  Mickey Greene followed up with a point from a free, but that was as good as it got in the opening stages as the hosts settled and, using the conditions to their advantage, raced into a 1-6 to 1-1 lead by the 20th minute.  A fine solo point from Danny Reid brought Athlone back into the game, before Jack Quinn goaled from close range to reduce the deficit to a point.  St Mary’s responded immediately with a second goal of their own and a point from a free to restore their five point advantage, although the visitors had the final score the half with a point from Shane Kilroy-Glynn leaving the half-time score 2-7 to 2-3 in favour of the home side.

As in the first half, it was the team playing against the wind that had the better start and St Mary’s almost had a third goal early on, but Conal Sheeran did well to push a powerful effort over the bar.  Paul Bannon opened Athlone’s second half account with a brilliant point from out near the sideline, and when Mickey Greene finished a superb move involving John Stapleton and Jack Quinn to the net, it looked like Athlone had finally found their rhythm.   They were dealt a blow soon after when Stephen Ward was sent off, but two more excellent points from Jordan Marshment and Paul Bannon pushed them into the lead at the ¾ mark.  The initiative was passed between both sides in the closing 10 minutes and two further Rochfortbridge points were answered by similar scores from Danny Reid and Mickey Greene, before another brace gave the home team a one point lead as the game went into injury time.  Fortunately for Athlone, there was still time for one more attack and a patient move led to Matty Darling calmly stroking over the equaliser with the last kick of the game.  Despite salvaging a draw, this was a patchy performance from Athlone and they will be hoping for an improved showing in their next outing, which is against neighbours Tang in Páirc Chiaráin this Friday, May 12th, at 7.30pm.

Athlone:  Conal Sheeran, Daniel Lynam, Damien Kelly, Fergal Murray, Matthew Darling (0-1), Jordan Marshment (1-1), Shane Kilroy-Glynn (0-1), John Stapleton, Stephen Ward, Tom Egan, Jack Quinn (1-0), Eoin Maher, Mickey Greene (1-2), Paul Bannon (0-2), Daniel Reid (0-2)  Subs Used:  Eoin Jordan, Fionn Dowd.