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Ladies Division 4 League Final

posted 6 Jun 2017, 14:36 by Athlone GAA
Athlone 1-11 St Joseph’s 3-6

Athlone ladies’ team suffered an agonising loss in the division 4 league final when they were defeated  by St Joseph’s by a single point after a thrilling (if nerve-wracking!) game in Tang on Sunday evening.

Athlone got off to the worst possible start when St Joseph’s scored an excellent goal in the first minute and, although Emma Carey opened Athlone’s account soon after with a fine point, the Streamstown girls were stronger in the opening stages as Athlone looked nervous and two points from frees stretched their lead to four after ten minutes.  They almost got a second goal soon after but Aoife Temple pulled off a great save to deny them and instead three well-taken points from Kelly Brill, Cathy McGettigan and Chloe Moran reduced the gap to just a point.  Athlone were now on top but were a little bit anxious in front of goal and were unable to find an equaliser, and instead St Joseph’s doubled their lead with a point on the break.  A good score from the returning Lorna Mulvihill brought Athlone back to within a point again, before it looked like the Shannonsiders had snatched the lead just before the break when Kelly Brill forced the ball home after a goalmouth scramble, however the goal was harshly disallowed.  Athlone did have the final say of the opening period when Lorna Mulvihill evened things up with the last kick of the half and they would have been pleased to be going in on level terms after their slow start.

Athlone started the second half as they had ended the first when Chloe Moran gave them the lead for the first time, but they were dealt a hammer blow soon after when St Joseph’s struck two goals in quick succession.  Chloe Moran responded with a fine solo point to keep Athlone in touch, but St Joseph’s were buoyant after their two goals and they added three more points to lead by seven with 10 minutes remaining.  To their credit, the Athlone girls refused to throw in the towel and after another Lorna Mulvihill point, they won a penalty.  Unfortunately, however, Katie Henshaw’s placed effort went agonisingly wide of the post with the keeper beaten, but even after this setback, Athlone refused to give up and Nadia Molloy reduced the gap further with a point.  Athlone did finally get the goal they deserved with a superb strike from Brionna Geoghegan, and with lots of time added on due to several injuries, they kept piling on the pressure in search of a late winner.  Brionna Geoghegan was unlucky to have a powerful free blocked on the line and, although the same player then added a point from a free to reduce the deficit to the bare minimum, there was no more time for Athlone to find an equaliser and St Joseph’s had hung on to win by the narrowest of margins, 3-6 to 1-11.

This was a heartbreaking defeat for the Athlone women who will feel that they did not reach the high level of performance that they did in earlier rounds of the league, but still came agonisingly close to winning the game.  However the team have made great progress this year under the management team of Alan ‘Murph’ Mullen, Johnno Kinahan and ‘Aunty Sheila’ Buckley-Byrne, and with huge numbers attending every training session and the great team spirit shown by the girls in the clubhouse after the game, they can look forward to the championship with confidence.

Best wishes to Emma Carey for a speedy recovery from the injury she suffered during the game.

Athlone:  Aoife Temple, Shauna Moylan, Katie Henshaw, Caoimhe Mannion, Lil Stuart-Trainor, Alannah Reynolds-Duignan, Kasey O’Neill, Cathy McGettigan (0-1), Eimear O’Rourke, Emily Henshaw, Lorna Mulvihill (0-3), Niamh Byrne, Kelly Brill (0-1), Emma Carey (0-1), Chloe Moran (0-3)  Subs Used:  Brionna Geoghegan (1-1), Nadia Molloy (0-1), Ally Mahon.