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No Student Night Joy For Athlone

February 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Monday 27th February 2012. Leinster Senior Cup
UCD 3-2 Athlone Town. Belfield Bowl

Athlone Town travelled to Belfield with just 13 players on Monday night for the 2012 Leinster Senior Cup tie against UCD.
Despite giving away possession easily on a number of occassions, Town battled hard and held their own in the first half to go into the break on a scoreless draw.

With the second half just underway, Athlone got the rub of the green when they were awarded a penalty after Jason Hughes was fouled inside the area. Up stepped Kevin Williamson to take the kick but Ger Barron guessed right to palm the ball back towards the spot. From the resultant rebound, Williamson was quickest off the mark to slot the ball home past the flailing Barron.

Towns lead lasted just about 2 minutes when a defensive mix up allowed the ball go to Paul O’Conor who calmly slotted the ball past Scott Gaynor in the Athlone goal. Gaynor was called into action a number of times and bravely saved at the feet of Graham Rusk to keep the sides level.

Athlone finally came undone with 20 miutes remaining when Robbie Benson got on the end of a free kick to score from close range header against his former club. Not long after that Athlone were dealt the killer blow when centre half Tommy Barrett put the ball into his own net to make it 3-1 to the students.

Despite the setbacks, Athlone didnt lie down and kept battling away with Brian McCarthy, Garvan Broughall and Mark Sherlock all having chances before the former St Peters striker Sherlock broke the offside trap to score Athlones second.
Alas the goal came in the final minute of play and so the game ended 3-2.

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Jason Hughes shields the ball away from Robbie Benson

Click Here For More Photos From UCD v Athlone Town

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Rovers Down The Town

February 20, 2012 Leave a comment

Saturday 18th Feb 2012. Preseason Friendly.
Sligo Rovers 3-0 Athlone Town (The Showgrounds)

Athlone Town got a good workout on a cold wet Saturday evening in the Sligo Showgrounds with new signing Ross Kenny donning the captains armband for the preseason friendly. Recent signings Brian McCarthy and Garvan Broughall also made the starting line up along with ex Salthill goalkeeper Bernard Power.

The rest of the starting lineup had a familiar look with Mark Sherlock and Noel McGee leading the attack while Kevin Williamson, Brian Gill and Jason Hughes joined Broughall across the middle of the pitch. Paul Danaher partnered McCarthy in the centre of defence with Damien Rushe moving back to a right full position with Kenny on the left.

Despite the final scoreline, Town had plenty of chances with Mark Sherlock and Garvan Broughall coming close on a number of occassions.

Half way through the 1st half, Rafeal Creato opened the scoring for the home side when he reacted quickest to the ball rebounding off the crossbar to tap home from close range. Mark Sherlock caused problems for the Sligo defence and had a few pot shots fly just wide of the post before the break.

In the second half Rovers became more dominant however Gary Rogers was called into action twice in quick succession to save at the feet of Garvan Broughall.

Town held on and battled hard but with 15 minutes to go, and with hailstones pounded down, Sligo substitute Pascal Millian sent a lightning bolt of a shot into the top corner of the net leaving Power with no chance in the Athlone goal. As spectacualr as his goal was, Millian set about an acrobatic somersaulting celebration to match it!

Five minutes later Danny North rounded things off for the home side to finalise the 3-0 victory.

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Brian Gill slides in to take the ball away from Gavin Peers

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Next Stop – Croke Park

February 20, 2012 Leave a comment

Saturday 18th February 2012. All Ireland CLub Semi Final
Garrycastle 1-11 … 1-09 St Brigids. (Pearse Park, Longford)

Garrycastle booked their place into the All Ireland Club final with a narrow victory over close neighbours St Brigids at Pearse Park.

With just over 10 kilometers seperating both clubs, the tie had an added edge to it as East met West in a Shannonside derby… and with both clubs traditionally sporting the same colours the stand was a sea of green and red.

With the scores remaining close throught the first half, St Brigids took the upper hand when they were awarded a penalty. Karol Mannion made no mistake from the spot to aid the Connacht champions to a 2 point lead at the break.

Garrycastle came out for the second half all guns blazing and after Dessie Dolon sailed over a point, they got their deserved reward when James Dolan fired the ball into the back of the net to reverse the 2 point advantage into Garrycastles favour.

The Westmeath side were dealt a blow with 15 minutes remaining when midfielder David O’Shaughnessy was sent to the line with a second yellow card. Brigids made the numerical advantage count straight away to pull back a point but the 14 men battled hard to block every attack and in the final stages they regained their 2 point advantage to set up a St Patricks Day final tie against Crossmaglan in Croke Park.

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Patrick Mulvihill keeps hold of th eball under pressure from Senan Kilbride and Darren Dolan

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Goals Galore As Monksland Advance In Cup

February 12, 2012 Leave a comment

Sunday 12th February 2012. Paddy Cotter Cup Round 2.
Monksland Utd A 6-5 Mullingar B. (Cushla Park, Monksland).

Monksland United edged Mullingar Athletic out of the Paddy Cotter Cup by the odd goal in eleven in a Sunday afternoon goalfest at Cushla Park.

A hat-trick from Robbie Connaughton, with added goals from James Keegan, Steven Flynn and Shane Dunning was just about enough to send the home side through to Round 3 in a hard fought game.

The game was a somewhat heated affair and with 5 minutes to go until half time, and Mullingar winning 3-2, Monkslands Kevin Murray was upended by a rash sliding tackle from behind which resulted in the game being delayed for close to half an hour while the sides awaited the arrival of an ambulance.

From the resultant free kick Monksland enginereed an equaliser with James Keegan heading home from close range on the stroke of half time.

Monksland extended their lead in the second half with Connaughton adding to his first half brace to bag a hatrick before Stephen Flynn and then Shane Dunning both scored from close range.

At 6-3 Monksland looked to be cruising but as the end drew near Mullingar stepped up a gear and when Johnny Keegan was left all alone at the back post he made no mistake from a yard out. Monksland keeper Aaron Shine then pulled off two point blank saves before substitute Rory Maloney found a hole in the Monksland defence and pulled another goal back to make it 6-5.

Alas for Mullingar the goal also signalled the full time whistle much to the relief of the home side.

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Hat-trick scorer Robbie Connaughton clashes with Mullingar goalkeeper Joe Martyn

Click Here For More Photos From Monksland Utd v Mullingar Ath

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