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Ladies Junior Championship Semi Final

posted 24 Aug 2016, 10:36 by Athlone GAA

Athlone 1-10 Garrycastle 3-5

Athlone's Ladies' team exited the Junior championship at the semi-final stage after an agonising one point loss to Garrycastle in a thrilling game played in Páirc Chiaráin.  The very strong wind and heavy rain showers made for extremely difficult conditions for football, but both teams played their part in a thriller in which the result was still in doubt until the final whistle, which came after a nail-biting 10 minutes of second half injury time!

 Despite playing against the strong wind in the first half, Athlone got off to  a good start and opened the scoring with a Grace Halligan point, before the visitors took advantage of the conditions and scored 1-3 without reply to open up a five point lead.  Sorcha O'Rourke kept Athlone in touch with her team's second point, but Garrycastle extended their lead with two more points for their own.  It looked then like Garrycastle were going to push and build up a substantial half-time lead, but Athlone finished the half strongly with two points from Grace Halligan and one from Niamh Byrne to leave only a goal between the sides at the interval.

Athlone would've been pleased to start the second half trailing by just a goal after playing against such a strong wind, but they suffered an early blow when Garrycastle struck for another goal to restore their six point lead.  Undaunted, the home team responded with points from Niamh Byrne and Grace Halligan, before Sorcha O'Rourke got on the end of a free to fist to the net to leave just the minimum between them.  It looked at this stage that Athlone had the momentum, but before they could draw level, the visitors scored their third goal to put daylight between the sides again.  As before, Athlone responded well and three Grace Halligan points reduced the gap to just a point as the game entered its closing stages.  However, despite there being almost 10 minutes of injury time played, Athlone were unable to fashion another scoring chance and when the final whistle finally blew, Garrycastle had held on to win on a scoreline of 3-5 to 1-10.