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Intermediate Championship: Athlone v Tubberclair

posted 12 Aug 2015, 08:47 by Athlone GAA   [ updated 12 Aug 2015, 08:52 ]
11th August 2015,

IFC Athlone 0-16 Tubberclair 1-07  

Athlone made it three wins from three in the 2015 Intermediate Football Championship following a deserved win over Tubberclair in Hogan Park, Moate on Tuesday evening last. The win however came at a cost with goal keeper Conal Sheeran removed from the pitch on a stretcher having sustained a serious knee injury following an innocuous looking challenge late in the second half. We wish Stretch well in his recovery and hope to see him in sky blue sooner rather than later.

The game started in a low key manner as the crowds were still making their way in for the early throw in and it was Tubberclair who raised the first white flag with a fine point from midfield. This would be the only time that Athlone were behind in the contest and following a five minute “settling in” period the Blues finally registered their first score with a 45 from Noel Mulligan. The teams then traded points before a Ray Connellan free and a sweet point from John Egan put Athlone two in front. The rest of the half was a tense affair as scoring chances went a-begging for both sides with Tubberclair guilty of some poor placed ball misses. At the half time whistle each team had tacked on two further points each to leave the score 0-06 to 0-04.

Whatever was said in the dressing room at half time seemed to have the desired effect on the Athlone lads as they hit the ground running and tacked on four quick-fire points within five minutes of the restart. Two scores from play from Ray Connellan (fist) and John Stapleton were book ended by two frees from the deadly accurate boot of Noel Mulligan. This left six points between the teams and seemed to knock the stuffing out of the Tubberclair lads. However a well taken score from the Tubberclair corner forward seemed to rouse them but just as their confidence seemed to be returning, Jordan Marshment grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and kicked a hat-trick of points of the highest quality, one from the right, one from the left and one from dead centre. The contest was effectively over at this point as there was eight points between the teams and Athlone were dominating possession. It was at this point, however, that Conal sustained his injuries and the sight of their stricken colleague as he received prolonged attention from the medics seemed to knock the lads off their stride and when play resumed they were very lucky not to concede a goal, only for Darren Costello to make his first meaningful contribution by parrying a shot out for a 45 that was duly dispatched over the bar. Two more frees from the ever reliable Noel Mulligan were followed by the only major of the game as a loose ball from the advancing Athlone half back line was launched in to the Athlone square where the ball was bundled to the net as the exposed full back line back tracked. A final free from Noel brought his personal tally to six points and left the final score 0-16 to 1-07. Overall, there were many positives to be taken from the game, particularly the second half display where the lads notched up ten points but the lads will know that there will have to be improvements as they enter the business end of the championship.

The Athlone team on the night was: Conal Sheeran, Eoin Maher, Damien Kelly, Fergal Murray, Daniel Lynam, Noel Mulligan (0-6, 0-5f, 0-1 ’45), Matthew Darling, John Stapleton (0-1), Paul Bannon, Stephen Ward, Jordan Marshment (0-4), John Egan (0-1), Ray Connellan (0-4, 0-2f), Jack Quinn & Charlie McMickan. Subs used: Darren Costello for Conal Sheeran.