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Minor League Div 1: Athlone v The Downs

posted 26 Apr 2014, 09:44 by Athlone GAA

Athlone's minors recorded their second win of their Divison 1 league campaign with a come from behind win against a typically strong and skilful Downs outfit on Wednesday evening, 23rd April, last.

A shaky start saw Athlone concede two goals in the first five minutes but points from Richie Greene (0-3), Aidy Byrne (0-2) and Alex Molloy closed the gap to one point, 2-1 to 0-6, after 15 minutes.  Four unanswered points restored The Downs' advantage to five points but Athlone recovered again and points from Kieran Rigney, Daniel Reid and Richie Greene reduced the gap to two points at the break, 2-5 to 0-9.

Athlone started the second half as they finished the first with a point from Aidy Byrne before Stephen Ward started and finished a superb move to the net to give Athlone the lead.  Another Richie point put Athlone three points clear, but almost immediately The Downs responded with another goal to bring the sides level, 3-5 to 1-11.

A nervous closing 20 minutes looked on for Athlone, but a further Richie Greene point restored their lead, before two Aidy Byrne goals in a minute effectively sealed the tie for Athlone.   The first was an emphatic finish after a superb long crossfield pass from Daniel Reid, while the second was a clever finish low into the corner through a crowd of defenders.  Richie Greene, who was very accurate all night, added another point before Aidy was unlucky not to seal a five minute hat-trick when his rising shot skimmed the crossbar before going over.

Leading now by nine points with 10 minutes to play, Athlone still couldn't relax and Conor Devaney had to make a couple of smart saves before further points from Richie Greene, Daniel Reid and Chris Reid saw Athlone home on a scoreline of 3-17 to 3-7.

Overall, despite a shaky start, this was an impressive performance from Athlone, especially as a variety of factors meant that only 16 players were available.  As well as showing great skill in slippery conditions, all 16 worked very hard and showed great discipline on a night when the lack of subs meant that any black cards would've left the team short-handed.

Scorers: A. Byrne 2-4, R. Greene 0-8, S. Ward 1-0, D. Reid 0-2, A. Molloy 0-1, K. Rigney 0-1, C. Reid 0-1

Panel for Athlone:  Aidy Byrne, Matthew Darling, Conor Devaney, Josh Dolan, Shane Galvin, Richie Greene, Conor Melinn, Alex Molloy, Tadgh Prendergast, Chris Reid, Daniel Reid, Jack Quinn, Kieran Rigney, Jack Ruane, Cathal Stacey,