Moanbaun, Athenry, Co Galway
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Athenry B 0 - 2 Kilshanvey A
Goalkeeper Niall Moran/Cillian Howard
Defenders Jack Leech/Eoin Burke/Darragh Bergin/Sean Fitzsimmons/Jack Roche
Midfielders Matthew Deacon/Eoghan Keane/Liam Moran/Liam O’Grady
Forwards Cian Burke/Daniel Regan/Oliver Rabbitte
This game said much about the improvement in this squad of players. Kilshanvey put 6 past Athenry early in the season and it could have been double that. Today a weakened Athenry team attacked Kilshanvey from the off and were unfortunate not to gain the lead. Cian Burke, Daniel Regan and Matthew Deacon had chances and the fear was always there that missed chances would come back to haunt Athenry by the end of the game.Regardless of their missing players, the Athenry game plan was the same one which had carried them to the top of the league;a solid defence which had proved so stingy in the last few games, the strength and hard work of the two Liams in midfield paving the way for the pace and creativity of Eoghan Keane and Matthew Deacon and similarly the pace and strength up front of Cian and Daniel.As this game progressed Kilshanvey came more into the game and the chances evened out.
At half time it was scoreless but Athenry had definitely edged it. The second half was a similar and much more even affair . The game swung from end to end with a mixture of good defending and poor finishing keeping the game on a knife edge but with 15 minutes left it was Kilshanvey who got the breakthrough courtesy of a free kick conceded just outside the penalty box which was curled into the bottom corner.Athenry pressed for the equaliser and had their chances but the more they pressed , the more vulnerable they were to a counter-attack and the inevitable happened tnside the last 10 minutes and the Kilshanvey slotted into the net when left one on one against Niall Moran.
The game ended with Kilshanvey getting the better of a flattering 2-0 scoreline It says much for Athenry and Man of the Match, Eoghan Keane , that they walked off disappointed at this result which also ended up being their last game of the season but it augers well for next season and it would be no surprise to see this bunch of players winning a trophy next year.
MICHAEL BYRNE CUP FINAL, 18TH MAY 2013 @ DROM, SALTHILL DEVON FC
ATHENRY 2 - 1 CORRIB RANGERS
Athenry finished their season in style by lifting the Michael Byrne Cup in Drom in front of a sizeable crowd. This may also have been manager Gabriel Glavins final game with this squad and if so then he can reflect on a management career with much achieved and a sound base for the next incumbent to build on.
Athenrys Gary O’Donnell spurned an early chance to score from close range and Rangers looked decidedly second best for much of the first half with Cathal Fahy, Aaron van Niekerk and Gary Forde well on top in the midfield exchanges. This dominance finally paid dividends on 28 minutes when a Forde free was nodded home by Steven Rabbitte. Rangers began to compete and were awarded a penalty on 36 minutes which was duly converted. The half closed with an Andrew Walsh save, the only time in the half where the Athenry custodian was called into serious action from open play.
Rabbitte and his centre back partner Ronan Killeen continued to be the rock on which much of the Rangers attacks foundered in the second half, with full backs Anthony Conneely and Paddy Quinn instrumental in starting attacks and providing width. Ray Moran battled for everything in midfield but was not moving freely and had to be replaced as the half progressed. Conor Cannon and O’Donnell were a constant threat and Rangers had the bulk of their 4 yellow cards and their 85th minute red card issued as a result of fouls on these two.
The win hinged on a 68th minute penalty decision awarded when a raiding Van Niekerk was bowled over in the box when trying to latch onto a Cannon through ball. Rangers were incensed but Rabbitte showed a cool head and hammered home his second of the game. Indeed he could have had the match ball but side-netted from a corner on 82 minutes. Sub Niall Concannon could also have scored with minutes left and a goal line clearance by O’Gorman on 90mins secured the win.
Unused subs Mark Lawless, Kevin Culkin, Darragh Murphy and Kieran Barrett deservedly collected medals for their important involvement through what has been a demanding season. Mascot for the day was Shane Quinn.
ATHENRY SENIORS INTO THE MICHAEL BYRNE CUP FINAL
Athenry booked a place in the Michael Byrne Cup Final against Corrib Rangers by beating Salthill Devon 5-2 in the semi final. Athenry started well and a Paddy Quinn near post header from a Seamie Crowe corner on 13mins was added to on 31mins when Conor Cannon blasted home from a tight angle. Gary O'Donnell then rounded the keeper on 33mins from Cathal Fahys astute pass but just before the break Salthill converted from a corner to remind Athenry that this would not be as easy as the scoreline made it look. O'Donnell scored his second on 49mins but Salthill continued to compete in midfield and got a deserved second on 68mins and were unlucky to have a third ruled out for offside on 80mins. Athenry finished strongly and O'Donnell claimed the match ball with his third goal as the game went into added time.
U16 Athenry B 3-2 West Coast A
Goalkeeper - Daniel Regan
Defenders - Jack Leech/Eoghan Burke/Con Courtney/Darragh Bergin/Sean Stewart
Midfielders - Matthew Deacon/Eoghan Keane/Liam Moran/Liam O’Grady/Liam Sheehan
Forwards - Cian Burke/Daniel Rooney/Oscar Libucha
Let’s get the negatives out of the way first. Another slow Athenry start saw stand in keeper Daniel Regan, picking the ball out of the net wih only one Athenry player having touched the ball and the sound of the opening whistle still echoing round the pitch.
What followed was magnificent. With a gale blowing and parts of the pitch virtually unplayable because of rain, it was not a match for the artist; it was a game when you called on your tanks and the Athenry tanks rolled over West Coast. It was a ding dong battle from the first minute. Athenry had the wind in the first half but West Coast made the better chances. Daniel Regan proved himself more than just a stand in as he repeatedly came off his line to clear danger, at one stage doing so from only just in his own half. At the other end the West Coast defence seemed to be coping with all that Daniel Rooney, Cian Burke and Matthew Deacon were throwing at them but Athenry maintained the pressure and midway through the first half Athenry forced a corner and another quality Liam O’Grady delivery found an unmarked Sean Stewart in the West Coast box and his bullet header could only be parried into the net by the keeper to bring Athenry level. Athenry started to get the better of things then but knew they needed a lead to take into the second half when they would be facing a rising wind. Athenry got their reward when Daniel Rooney threw himself into an attempted clearance by the West Coast defender and the ball broke for Cian Burke to calmly give Athenry a 2-1 lead which they kept to half time.
Sleeves rolled up, Athenry took to the field for the second half and defended like Trojans. The whole team, at different times were forced into repeated tough tacklng and they weren’t found wanting as attack after attack was repelled and when West Coast were forced into long range shooting they found the unflappable Daniel Regan more than capable and his strong kick-outs against the wind were setting up Athenry’s best chances. West Coast took more risks as they pushed players higher up the pitch to take advantage of the wind and it became end to end stuff. Pressure told and a West Coast corner eluded Daniel Regan and West Coast were able to bring the match level. Time was ticking on and West Coast were pressing for the winner but the defence held firm. The strengthening wind regularly delivered possession to Daniel in goal and he was finding Matthew and Cian regularly to keep the West Coast defence on its toes. With 5 minutes left Matthew Deacon took on the defence and between himself and Cian the ball found its way to Matthew with the keeper nowhere in sight but his shot curled the wrong side of the post. With 2 minutes left , it was deja-vu as Daniel delivered to Matthew and Matthew set off from the right and powered past the West Coast defence , the ball ricocheted around, Cian Burke threw himself at a West Coast clearance, the ball landed at Matthew’s feet 12 yards out and he unleashed a low hard drive past the keeper and into the bottom corner for a famous Athenry victory.
It is impossible to name the Athenry star players as that would mean naming the entire squad but Man of the Match honours were edged by Liam O’Grady who battled and ran for everything in an unaccustomed centre midfield position. 14 Athenry players left the pitch, some bloodied, some limpng but all smiling and with their heads deservedly held high.
U16 Athenry B 2-1 Salthill B
Goalkeeper - Niall Moran/Cillian Howard
Defenders - Jack Roche/Daniel Rooney/Darragh Bergin/Sean Stewart/Kevin Holland
Midfielders - Matthew Deacon/Eoghan Keane/Liam Moran/Jack Leech
Forwards - Cian Burke/Liam O’Grady/Oscar Libucha
Athenry’s pre-match routine was interrupted so they could get some pictures taken before their first home game in their new CPH Plant Hire sponsored kit with Martin Keane of CPH Plant Hire. The team and the club would like to thank Martin for his generous support which is greatly appreciated.
The best way to celebrate the new look would be with the first ever victory over Salthill B but that was a big ask. Athenry, as usual, started slowly and Salthill had the early chances but resolute, last-ditch defending kept the Athenry goal intact. Athenry worked their way back into the game and started creating chances of their own. The pace of Cian Burke and Matthew Deacon was, not for the first time this season, proving to be a big headache for the opposition defence and they were being well found with telling passes from Eoghan Keane, Jack Leech and Liam O’Grady. The Athenry pressure finally paid off when Cian Burke added to his growing reputation with another fine finish for his third of the season. This galvanised Athenry even further and from the restart they tore into Salthill from all areas of the pitch. Difficult chances were created and the Salthill defence struggled to keep Athenry out. As half time approached it looked like Athenry would have to settle for their one goal advantage but Salthill conceded a corner and another pin point delivery from Liam O’Grady was bravely headed into the top corner by Liam Moran for a 2-0 lead which was the way it stayed til half time.
The second half was a much more even affair and both sides had chances to add to the scoreline . Eventually Salthill pressure paid off when a penalty was harshly awarded against Darragh Bergin and for the second game in a row Cillian Howard faced an opponent from 12 yards. Unfortunately , it was the same result as the previous match. Salthill were getting on top now and Cian Burke was asked to sacrifice his goal scoring opportunities and use his speed against the main Salthill striker whose pace was causing the Athenry defence problems. The Salthill chances dried up as Cian finished off a Man of the Match performance by eventually forcing the Salthill man to retreat to his own half. Salthill still had the bulk of the chances, mainly from frees and corners but Athenry have become very strong defensively and battling performances from the entire team up to Oscar Libucha in attack who became the first line of defence saw Athenry get a deserved hard fought victory.
7 UP FOR ATHENRY U15'S !!!
Friday 19th April Result:- Athenry 7 Salthill Devon 0
On a heavy pitch Salthill Devon created three or four chances in the first ten minutes of the game but due to good defending by Athenry and poor finishing from Salthill. Once George White settled into his new position in midfield Athenry started to show good passing skills. After twenty minutes Athenry got their first free kick just outside the box and Odhran Monaghan riffled it in to the left hand corner of the net to give Athenry the lead. Athenry continued their good work and Joseph Gray whipped in a great cross for Aaron Leggett to score a glancing header. From the kick off Athenry pressed forward yet again and Thomas Kelly sent a high ball in from the corner which landed in the back of the net. Immediately after that Athenry were on the attack again and Joseph Gray scored his second goal leaving Athenry ahead by 4 nil at half time.
The second half began with Salthill pressing for a score but Athenry's defenders Daragh Daly and Sean Fitzsimons defended superbly in keeping the ball out. George White in midfield was having a super game winning the ball and passing to the wingers. Joseph Gray yet again made a fantastic run down the right wing and landed a cracker in the back of the net to leave Athenry leading by 5. Despite Salthill's pressing for goal, Athenry kept the pressure on with Joseph Gray sending a cross in which hit the Salthill's defender which resulted in an own goal. Once again Salthill attempted to score but Athenry's defenders made sure they didn't get passed them and once again Athenry kept atacking which resulted in Athenry's 7th goal by Odhran Monaghan.
DOUBLE HATRICKS SCUPPER RANGERS
U15 Athenry 7 V 4 Corrib Rangers Date: 23/03/13 Venue: Westside
Athenry travelled to Westside to take on Corrib Rangers in their sixth league game of the season and they didn’t disappoint. Athenry opened the scoring 10 minutes into the game with a cross from Thomas Kelly which fooled the keeper to leave an open goal for Oliver Rabbitt to put Athenry into the lead. Athenry then let their lead slip with poor defending from a corner and found themselves behind against the run of play but Athenry kept focused with good attacking play. Corrib Rangers’ defence was weakening when Oliver Rabbitt grabbed his second goal of the game to put the teams level at half time.
Athenry continued playing good football with excellent attacking play down the right by Joseph Gray. Athenry then took the lead to make it 3-2 with Nyiko Mbekwa scoring with an unfortunate error by the Corrib Rangers’ keeper. Athenry then stormed into a 5-2 lead with two quick successive goals from Nyiko to complete his hat-trick. Corrib Rangers then came back to make it 5-3 but Athenry didn’t disappoint and continued to play good attacks with Thomas Kelly down the left combining with Sean Fitzsimons to give Athenry a 3 goal lead. Corrib Rangers did not give up hope and with an excellent through ball to score their fourth to make it 6-4. Credit to Corrib Rangers they kept on pressing but it was Athenry’s counter-attacking football where Olive Rabbitt chipped the keeper from 25 yards to score the goal of the game and complete his hat-trick.
Scorers: Nyiko Mbekwa – 3; Oliver Rabbitt – 3; Sean Fitzsimons 1
Goalkeeper Niall Cannon
Defenders Aaron Collins,, Sean Fitzsimons, Darragh Daly, Liam Sheehan
Midfielders Joseph Gray, Louis O’Hara, Aaron Leggett, Thomas Kelly
Forwards Nyiko Mbekwa, Oliver Rabbitt
Subs Briain Doherty, Owen Davey, Oisin Cooley
RABBITTES PERFORMANCE UNABLE TO SAVE THE DAY
One of the most notable achievements this season was the u12's march to the Connacht Cup semi-finals and on Saturday the team travelled to Mervue in a bid to reach an elusive final. Missing four regulars for a variety of reasons the team made light of this in the opening half with stand-in keeper Patrick Rabbitte particularily impressive under the high deliveries. Others to catch the eye were Ethan Flaherty, Eoin Lawless, James Bartley and Brandon Lee. However Mervue struck for the crucial opening goal 9 minutes after the break and Athenry were under constant pressure thereafter. They did manage to attack with purpose at times and both Lee and Lawless had shots saved. In the final minute of the game Mervue scored a second to put the result beyond doubt. Managers Gerry Treacy and John Donoghue can be proud of their teams efforts especially with so many key players missing.
U15's WIN IN THE NIKO OF TIME
The u15's progressed in their Shield competition, winning 4-2 away to Cregmore in damp misty conditions. The game started with a high tempo and both teams had chances before the Athenry keeper was shown a yellow card for denying a goal scoring opportunity for Cregmore. The game went on and Athenry got the first goal through an excellent through ball and a great finish. Cregmore came straight back into the game with a sluggish goal through poor defending by Athenry. Cregmore rallied on and got another goal just before half time . Athenry started well in the second half creating chances with an equaliser 15 minutes into the second half. Not long after Athenry took the lead to make it 3-2 and the game was rounded off with a fourth goal from Athenry to see them into the next round of the Shield.
Goal scorers; Niko Mpekoa 2; Aaron Leggett 1 and Oisin Cooley 1.
FLEET FOOTED DEACON A REVELATION FOR ATHENRY u16B's
Barna B 2 Athenry B 2
Goalkeeper Niall Moran
Defenders Ian Haverty / Jack Roche / Eoin Burke / Liam Moran
Midfielders Matthew Deacon / Eoghan Keane / Jack Leech / Darragh Bergin
Forwards Cian Burke / Liam O’Grady
It was hard to decide at the end of this match whether it was a point gained or two points dropped but in the circumstances it certainly felt like the latter. It was a cold, wet, windy day and Athenry only had the bare 11 players so the pressure was on from the start and worse was to come as Cian Burke came into the game recovering from flu and he had to leave midway through the first half so the 10 men were up against it.
Athenry took the lead courtesy of Liam O’Grady who became the team’s top scorer for the season by pressurising the Barna defence and keeper and after a couple of blocked clearances he finished coolly. Barna equalised against the run of play and as they were going into the second half with a strengthening wind behind them the signs were ominous.
As the game progressed, Athenry were playing good constructive football with the midfield dominating on all sides. Darragh Bergin was holding solid and Jack Leech and Eoghan Keane were playing the sole striker Liam O’Grady through and supporting well. Matthew Deacon, debuting at right midfield was a revelation, terrorising Barna with his pace, strength and intelligent passing. Athenry’s play was rewarded when a good attacking move fell to Jack Leech who fired the ball into the top left hand corner of the net.
As the half progressed the wind increased to a gale and the Athenry defence were magnificent in their efforts to maintain their team’s lead. All looked to be worthwhile heading into injury time when a soft free kick was conceded on the far right of the pitch from which Niall misjudged the flight of the ball in the howling wind and it flew into the net and immediately after taking kick off the final whistle was blown.
Athenry heads were down in the dressing room after but there was much to be proud of , not least the Man of the Match performance from Matthew Deacon which bodes well for the rest of the season.
HAVERTY'S HEROICS UNABLE TO SAVE ATHENRY U16B's
Athenry B 0 Kilshanvey A 6
Goalkeeper Niall Moran
Defenders Ian Haverty / Jack Roche / Liam Moran / Sean Stewart
Midfielders Daniel Rooney / Darragh Bergin / Eoghan Keane / Jack Leech / Daniel Regan
Forwards Matthew Deacon / Cian Burke / Liam O’Grady / Oscar Libucha
Athenry went into this game in good heart after their opening League win of the season but knowing little of the opposition who were in the League for the first time but had a good opening game win themselves. It soon became apparent that Kilshanvey were serious title contenders this season, physically big and strong and good on the ball. Despite this Athenry gave a good account of themselves and did not deserve to be on the end of a six goal beating. Yet again Matthew and Cian showed they were a threat to any team and gave a solid defence a few scares. Athenry’s defence performed manfully as usual, Sean Stewart, Liam Moran, Jack Roche and Ian Haverty putting their bodies on the line time and again to protect Niall in goal. Unfortunately the pressure told, Niall was beaten on 4 occasions in the first half despite Athenry’s best efforts.
The second half was a repeat of the first, the team working hard but unable to match a stronger outfit, particularly in midfield where Kilshanvey were able to dominate, particularly in the air.
Athenry’s cause wasn’t helped when moments after using their last substitute, Cian Burke picked up an injury and was unable to continue. Two goals conceded in the second half was a better indication of the difference between the teams and was still more than the defence deserved for their efforts. Sean, Liam and Jack were outstanding but Man of the Match was undoubtedly Ian Haverty who didn’t miss a tackle all day and was to be seen continuously driving out of defence with the ball looking to set up play further up the pitch. The signs are still good for the season ahead.
THE KEANE/BURKE SHOW PUT BARNA U16B's TO THE SWORD
Athenry B 3 Barna B 1
Goalkeeper Niall Moran / Cillian Howard
Defenders Ian Haverty / Jack Roche / Eoin Burke / Liam Moran / Sean Stewart / Kevin Holland
Midfielders Eoghan Keane / Jack Leech / Darragh Bergin / Daniel Rooney / Cian Burke / Daniel Regan / Kevin Lyons
Forwards Matthew Deacon / Cian Burke / Liam O’Grady / Oscar Libucha / Kevin Lyons
It’s been a long time since Athenry opened the season with a win but this was an impressive way to start the campaign. Indeed it could have been easier. But it wouldn’t be Athenry without the usual sleepy start and almost from the kick off Barna had the ball in the net with a long range shot that the keeper couldn’t get to. It was all Athenry from then on with good football in midfield and up front where Matthew Deacon and Cian Burke broke the defence repeatedly ably supported by Jack Leech and Eoghan Keane. It was Matthew who squared the game with an alert finish after a good through ball left him with the goalkeeper to beat.
Half time was approaching with Barna wondering how they were still in the game but they went into the interval a goal behind after an early candidate for goal of the season. Cian Burke bore down on goal but was shepherded into the right hand side of the penalty box by the Barna defender. Cian turned and lifted the ball over the defender straight into the path of the onrushing Eoghan Keane who volleyed an unstoppable shot, first time, past the Barna keeper.
This was no more than Athenry deserved and they started the second half as they ended the first with chance after chance. Cian Burke, Daniel Regan and Matthew Deacon were all thwarted by a fine display by the Barna keeper but this season Athenry have strength in depth and were able to bring on a strong substitute in Liam O’Grady who put the result beyond doubt with a fine finish after a good team move.
It ended up being a very good start to the season but pride of place went to Man of the Match Eoghan Keane capped by his magnificent strike.
Bring on the season.
KILBARRACK EDGE OUT ATHENRY IN FAI JUNIOR CUP
Athenry exited this seasons FAI Junior Cup at the last 32 stage when losing 2-1 to last years finalists Kilbarrack Utd on Sunday. Weather conditions were far from ideal but both teams played constructive football and ultimately the unavailability of Seamie Crowe (injury), Gary Forde and Gary Delaney (both suspended) was a burden too much for Athenry to bear. A fine Andrew Walsh double save on 13mins was followed on 18mins by a Cathal Fahy shot which was parried by the Kilbarrack keeper. Both sides had lengthy periods of possession but neither goal was seriously threatened thereafter and it was goalless at the break. Five minutes into the second half Athenry attacked on the right flank and a low cross was handled by a slipping Kilbarrack fullback in the area. Alan O'Donovan dispatched the resultant spot kick and Athenry were good value at this point for their lead. Conor Cannon fluffed a chance to double the advantage on 73mins and Cathal Fahy was narrowly wide a few minutes later. However Kilbarrack continued to threaten and when Athenry failed to clear a corner on 82mins the Kilbarrack no 9 nodded home at the far post to level the tie.
Extra time opened with another Walsh save from the same player and Kilbarrack were now dominant. Their substitute midfielder was narrowly wide as the second half of the extra time started and with 6 minutes remaining a crisp passing move was finished to the Athenry net by another sub and Athenry had no response. Athenry manager Gabriel Glavin was philosophical at the end. "It is no disgrace to exit at this stage to a quality team like Kilbarrack and I cannot fault the effort of my lads on the day. Not having Seamie and the Garys was the difference in the end and we still have the league, Connacht Cup and Michael Byrne Cup to play for. The FAI Junior Cup will just have to wait!"
CANNON BLOWS OLBC AWAY
A great weekend and a great result with the 1st teams victory over OLBC on a hard-fought 2-1 scoreline which earned them a place in the next round of the FAI Junior Cup.
The match started well for Athenry with Conor Cannons 3rd minute cross deflecting off an OLBC player into the net and things got even better when Conor slotted home a low Gary Forde centre on 11 minutes. Defending this lead proved to be tricky as OLBC found their rythm and Athenry did well to get to the break without conceding considering Gary Fordes dismissal to a harsh 2nd yellow card on 43 minutes.
OLBC pressed hard for a goal and it duly came on 65 mins via a close-in finish that gave impressive keeper Andrew Walsh no chance. Controversy then surrounded a penalty incident on 78mins which was awarded to OLBC after Gary Delaney handled on the goal line to earn instant dismissal. The OLBC penalty taker struck the crossbar and netted the rebound but this was ruled out as nobody else had touched the ball and Athenry survived the remaining minutes.
EASY WIN FOR ATHENRY IN THE CUP
Athenrys Premier League team reinforced their status as cup specialists when easily defeating Renmore Utd 5-0 to advance in the FAI Junior Cup. Conor Cannon headed home on 13 minutes and a cracking Cathal Fahy strike just before the break gave the home side a comfortable lead with a second Fahy goal on the resumption killing the game as a contest. Further scores from Anthony O'Donnell and Benny Lawless added to the win and Athenry on this form are a team that other fancied sides will want to avoid in the next round. A notable feature of this cup tie was the poor level of home support with the visiting fans in the majority. All the Athenry teams, especially this First team that has brought so many honours to the community, deserve better support. This was a high standard game and at free admission was particularly good value!
ATHENRY FC MATCH REPORTS ARCHIVES PRE 2011/12 SEASON
March 6th 2010 Athenry V Barna B
Athenry 4 - Barna 1
Scorers for Athenry:
Steven Coleman 1 (penalty) Ronan Byrne (2) David Mangan (1)
Goalkeeper - Conor Pokall
Defenders - Conor Gavin, Declan Egan, Mark Kilkelly, Michael McNellis
Midfielders - Jamie Cronin, Steven Coleman, Ronan Byrne, Stephen Callahan, Andrew Lynskey
Forwards - David Mangan
Subs:- Shane Ward John McGough, Cathal Murphy, Cathal Moran, Aaron Van NieKerk
Barna B U13 Team came to Athenry for an early kick off time at 10am. It was a lovely morning but the cold weather the previous night meant the ground was fairly greasy on top. About ½ ways into the first half Barna was judged to have fouled Athenry in the box and Athenrys newly appointed Captain Steven Coleman took and scored the penalty giving Athenry the first goal of the match. From then on Athenry seemed to be in control of the match with Barna’s no 3 doing a great job of marking Athenry’s forward David Mangans run on goal.
Even so when Ronan Byrne put two goals away for Athenry there wasn’t any real danger of a comeback by Barna. David Mangan finally got his goal for Athenry to make it 4 nil before Barna getting and scoring a penalty of their own shortly before full time. The final score was Athenry 4, Barna 1 after a competitive and sporting performance by both teams.
31/01/10 Under 14 Premier League
Athenry 0-1 Moyne Villa
• Goalkeeper: Darragh Murphy
• Defenders: Darragh Keane (Shane Ward), Shane O’Reilly, Dermot O’Hallaron, Darragh Conlon.
• Midfielders: Thomas Hennelly, Ciaran O’Dwyer, Darragh Rohan, Darren Kelly (Aaron Van Niekerk)
• Strikers: Mark Donnellan (Ronan Byrne), Aaron Osborne.
Athenry began a crucial league match with their usual 4-4-2 formation seeking to gain a valuable 3 points against an on form Moyne Villa. Athenry came out victorious when the two teams previously met last season and were hoping for a similar result. The game started evenly as the ball travelled from one end of the field to the other with both teams exchanging chances.
Moyne Villa began to pick up the pace of the game and had a lot of possession but too little avail as the Athenry back line held strong. Darragh Keane controlled the left flank throughout the game whilst the ever fantastic Dermot O’Hallaron and highly reliable Shane O’Reilly commanded the centre of defence with Darragh Conlon working hard on the right as usual.
But, with about ten minutes to go until half time Moyne Villa found the back of the net due to a rare mix up between the Athenry back line, the Villa striker finishing well.
Athenry then controlled the later parts of the half especially in the middle of the park with Darragh Rohan winning plenty of possession in the air whilst Ciaran O’Dwyer battled well throughout the game as usual both in defence and going forward.
Darren Kelly and Thomas Hennelly were on the wings both exchanging passes well with new strike force Aaron Osborne and Mark Donnellan.
Half time came with Athenry trailing by a goal.
Gerry Kilkenny’s Half time talk once again had a big impact on the Athenry team who also had a change in tactics. Ronan Byrne coming on to replace Mark Donnellan.
The second half started like the first with the game ebbing and flowing with neither team creating many chances.
Villa spurned many free kick chances as they were unable to find a way past the ever-present Darragh Murphy in goal.
23/01/10 Athenry V Kilshanvey Utd
Athenry 3 – 1 Kilshanvey
Goalkeeper - Conor Pokall
Defenders - Declan Egan, Steven Callanan, Shane Ward, Mark Kilkelly
Midfielders - Aaron Van NierKierk, Ronan Byrne, Cathal Murphy, Conor Gavin, Steven Coleman
Forwards- David Mangan
Subs: John McGough, Patrick Briggs, Cathal Moran, Jamie Cronin, Andrew Lynskey
Scorers: David Mangan, Cahill Moran, John McGough
After a frosty night Kilahanvey U13 travelled to Athenry for a first time encounter. There was some question whether the ground had thawed enough before the 11 O Clock kick off but the referee had no objections. The game was hard fought but was scoreless for a long time until Athenry finally went ahead. A second followed shortly after as Kilshanvey seemed to be knocked by the first goal. Athenry got a bit carried away and started to move forward too much allowing Kilshanvey to catch them on the hop and the score was 2 to 1.Kilshanvey kept the momentum going so the 2 to one advantage that Athenry had didn’t seem enough, but when Athenry scored for the third time having settled down to basic football that seemed to kill of the game. That’s how the game ended. There was a bit of friction at times between the players but overall the game as played in a fair and competitive manner.
U14's Athenry Suffer Defeat To Strong Westport Side
On a damp Sundays afternoon Athenry under 14s set out to play a strong Westport side in the Irish cup.
Athenry were on hot form after wining two games on the bounce Vs Craughwell and Knocknacara. The team was as follows
Goalkeeper: Darragh Murphy
Defenders: Darragh Conlon, Shane O’Reilly, Dermot O’Hallaron, Darren Kelly
Midfielders: Ronan Byrne, Darragh Rohan, Ciaran O’Dwyer, Darren Daly
Strikers: Thomas Hennelly, Aaron Osborne
The game started poorly for Athenry as they were caught on the counter attack down the left wing inside the opening minutes and the Westport Right winger scored an exquisite goal from a tight angle leaving Darragh Murphy with no chance.
Minutes later Athenry found themselves 2 down due to a very similar goal to the first.
They were then dealt a further blow when Thomas Hennelly was substituted due to injury inside the opening 10 minutes, Andrew Collins his replacement. Athenry finally woke up and got to grips on the game and controlled the later parts of the first half. Ciaran O’Dwyer and Darragh Rohan battling well in midfield with Ronan Byrne and Darren Daly working hard on the wings. What could be described as clumsiness from the Athenry Defence led to Westport having many frees on the edge of the area but the ever fantastic (and in my opinion man of the match) Darragh Murphy was called into action several times to deny the Westport team further goals. Half time came and the score was 2-0 and a fair reflection on the game so far. Athenry would need to start the second half like they ended the first to have any chance of getting back in this game. It looked a bright start for several minutes but then Westport hit. 3 Goals in quick succession turned a tight game into a thrashing and left Gerry Kilkenny and Doc with no other choice than to introduce Simon Brody, who had been sick before the game. He didn’t show this though and put in a great performance. Darragh Keane was also introduced to tighten up the back line which looked very shaky throughout the game. With 25 minutes or so to go Athenry gained control and had some fantastic chances which weren’t converted. Darragh Conlon was switched from right back to striker to provide a more attacking force and add some pace up-front. Westport tried to take advantage of this but was denied by some defenders in specific including Darren Kelly and Shane O’Reilly who battled well throughout the game. Athenry were awarded a free-kick which Aaron Osborne swung in with fantastic pace and accuracy. Dermot O’Hallaron was on the end of it and finished well to give Athenry some consolation. The full time whistle went and Westport were worthy winners of this encounter. Westport are a team that are expected to go far in this competition. Athenry on the other hand can now concentrate on their Connacht cup encounter in two weeks time, the draw to take place soon. Athenry will need to make some signings in the January window if they are to improve their season.
31/10/09 U13'S INVOLVED IN CLASSIC
Athenry 8 - 9 Salthill Devon on penalties
Goalkeeper - Conor Pokall
Defenders - Cathal Murphy, Declan Egan, Steven Callanan, Michael McNellis
Midfielders - Shane Ward, Aaron Van NierKierk, Ronan Byrne, Martin Ward Jamie Cronin
Forwards - David Mangan
Subs:John McGough, Patrick Briggs, Cathal Moran, Conor Gavin,Stephen Coleman, Mark Kilkelly
U13 Athenry lined out against U13 Salthill Devon B on Saturday 31st October. Having beaten them in this competition at U12 level but having been beaten by them in the U12 first division league. After their meetings last year we knew that this was going to be a great match but had underestimated how exciting it would turn out to be. Athenry opened the scoring, with Salthill equalising and then going one up a short time later. Athenry fought back against a well structured Salthill side and eventually David Mangan forced his way through for his and Athenrys 2nd goal with full time looming. The score at full-time stayed at 2 all so the teams were going to have to go to extra time.
During extra time Salthill went ahead with Salthill Number 11 causing all sorts of problems for Athenry as he had for the whole game. One of Athenrys most valuable players Shane Ward had to come off due to injury, but even after this big loss to the team Athenry continued to push forward and with seconds left on the clock got a free outside the box. Steven Callanan sent in a beautiful searching ball just in front of the goalies reach and when Aaron Van NierKierk got his head to it, the score was 3 – 3. The final whistle blew. It had come to penalties. Athenry thought that luck was still with them but when the referee judged that a save by the Athenry Goalie had to be retaken and one of Athenry penalties sailed over the bar they knew that they weren’t having it their own way. However, Aaron Van NieKierk in goal for Athenry pulled off a great save and forced sudden death. Athenry luck finally ran out though when the Salthill Goalie saved one of Athenry penalties and then Salthills final penalty taker scored theirs.
U13's Athenry 4 V 3 Maree/Oranmore Date: 10/10/09
Scorers David Mangan (3), Patrick Briggs
Goalkeeper Ciaran Devaney
Defenders Steven Callanan, Michael McNeilis, Mark Kilkenny, Declan Egan
Midfielders Shane Ward, Ronan Byrne, David Mangan, Conor Pokal, Aaron VanNieKerk, Martin Ward
Forward Ronan Byrne
Subs Cathal Moran, Cathal Murphy,Conor Gavin,John Mcgough, Patrick Briggs, Thomas Ward,
A hat trick from David Mangan and a late winner from Patrick Briggs saw Athenry progress through to the next round of the league cup. In an end to end match both teams fought hard gain the upper hand, trading goals all the way through the match. The game started well for the home team after a set piece corner from the left by Steven Callanan was converted by David Mangans brilliant run and header in the early minutes. Athenry seemed to sit back and were punished after some hard work and pressure from Maree/Oranmore brought the desired results, at first equalising with some neat interplay and taking the lead when a nice through ball sent there striker through to neatly finish in the corner. Only hard work by the defence and some brave goalkeeping from Ciaran Devaney, as well as a little bit of luck, kept Athenry in the game. Shortly before half time, Devaney was injured when he came out and blocked bravely at the feet of the Maree/Oranmore striker; having to be substituted, with Shane Ward taking the responsibilities between the sticks. Athenry equalised after a brilliant run by Arran VanNiekirk took him into the box, where he was stopped illegally, the ref pointed to the spot and David Mangan stepped up to convert powerfully into the bottom corner. Both teams went in at half time with a lot to think about.
Athenry had a lot more purpose about their game, playing some lovely passing football. They took the lead when again through a set piece corner, David Mangan converted from a Steven Callanan corner, finishing this time with a neat volley past the keeper, and giving him his hat trick. Maree/Oranmore applied more pressure from this point on and some sterling play by the Athenry defence kept them in the lead. However a mix up at the back allowed Maree/Oranmore in to get the equaliser with a few minutes left. This set up a nail biting finish, with both sides getting corners and applying pressure from end to end. Maree/Oranmore nearly took the win near the end when ex-Athenry player James went close with a header. Almost immediately Athenry got a corner at the far end and were rewarded when the ball found its way to Patrick Briggs in the box after John McGough’s deep corner, and he kept his head to finish well past the keeper. From then on it was all Maree/Oranmore, and only some safe hands from Shane Ward and some last gasp defence from the rest of the team, allowed Athenry to progress to the next round. Athenry deserved the win and have given themselves a few things to think about before next week’s match against Corrib Celtic.
05/10/09 HENNELLY HAT TRICK ENOUGH FOR U14'S
On a warm October evening Athenry set out onto the pitch to play local rivals Craughwell in an important league match. Three points would be crucial for either team. Athenry began with Darragh Murphy in goal as usual. A changed back line saw Darragh Conlon at right back with Andrew Collins starting on the left. The Centre backs remained the same as the previous game against Knocnacara which was Darren Kelly and Dermot O’Halloran. The midfield saw Simon Brody start on the right as usual with Ciaran O’Dwyer and Darragh Rohan in the middle of the park and Darren Daly slotting into left mid and was today’s captain. Aaron Osborne and Thomas Hennelly were upfront.
The game started lively for Athenry which saw plenty of chances fall to the attackers but none were converted. The Athenry defenders were fantastic with Andrew Collins and Darragh Conlon tackling well on the wings while Dermot O’Hallaron and Darren Kelly cleared the lines well. Athenry were caught out on the counter attack which saw Craughwell Captain Conor Lally pick up the ball in midfield and slot a great through ball to the Craughwell attacker who took his chance fantastically firing into the roof of Darragh Murphy’s net. While the goal came against the run of play Athenry made several attempts to find an equalizer before half time but failed to do so. Aaron Osborne once again worked his socks off in a preferred attacking role. A sense of panic had crept into Athenry’s play prior to half time.
At half-time the managers Gerry and Doc pointed out the pitfall of being over confident going into a game. They urged the team not to panic and to have confidence in their own ability. A revived Athenry began the second half with Darragh Rohan slotting a fantastic through ball which cut the Craughwell defence and Thomas Hennelly was on hand to tap it in. Minutes later Rohan and Hennelly combined again and Hennelly put Athenry in front. Craughwell then went up a gear and ran a tired Athenry team ragged. A Conor Lally free kick from 25 yards brought out a fantastic save from Athenry keeper Darragh Murphy. Murphy dived brilliantly to his right and tapped the ball around the post. Chances then fell to the Craughwell right winger Matthew Freaney who couldn’t find a way past Darragh Murphy.
Late in the game Athenry captain Darren Daly was booked for leaving the pitch to have a drink of water. Apparently against the rules, but under harsh circumstances Daly was shown a yellow card. Darren took it on the chin and went onto play a great game. A rule not many players were not aware of but will know for the future. The Craughwell centre midfielder then slotted a great ball to the attacker who found himself in a great position but Darren Kelly was on hand to knock the ball away for a throw in. Fresh legs were needed with Darragh Keane coming on to replace Andrew Collins and Ronan Byrne replaced Darren Kelly. Both would have a big impact on the final result.
Craughwell were then caught on the counter with a Darragh Murphy kick out which fell to Ronan Byrne who slotted a great through ball to Hennelly who’s shot found the back of the net and he completed his hat-trick. Oisin Mac Fhionnlaoich came on before the end also. Special mention to Athenry central defender Dermot O’Hallaron who was once again outstanding. The final whistle went and Athenry were jubilant about their win.
29/09/09 U14'S WIN 2 NIL V KNOCKNACARRA
U14's Athenry started with a 4-4-2 formation with Darragh Murphy in goal as usual.
Darragh Conlon slotted in for his first game in left back and judging by performance the first of many.
Darren Kelly slotted into centre back in the absence of Shane O'Rielly and Dermot O'Hallaron and Darragh Keane were also in backs. The midfield was the same as the game against Corrib Celtic which was Simon Brody, Ciaran O'Dwyer, Darragh Rohan and Ronan Byrne on the left. Thomas Hennelly and Aaron Osborne Were upfront. The game started lively with Athenry having most of the chances in the first half. Aaron Osborne being denied by the Knocknacarra keeper who got back to his line very quickly after a fantastic Aaron Osborne lob. Ciaran O'Dwyer slotted a great ball through to Thomas Hennelly who was also denied.
The second half started like the first with the ever fantastic Dermot O'Hallaron giving a great ball over the top which put Aaron Osborne through on goal. Aaron shrugged off a defender well and was then brought down by a defender. A penalty was awarded and Aaron dusted himself off and got up to take it. He slotted it home and Athenry took the lead. Minutes later a Knocknacarra defender was penalised for calling "my ball" and an in-direct free-kick was awarded from 25 or so yards out. Ciaran O'Dywer laid it off to Thomas Hennelly who took his free well for his first goal of the season. Knocknaccara then increased pressure but Athenry held out for their 2-0 win.
Aaron Van Niekerk came on for Ronan Byrne
Mark Kilkenny for Thomas Hennelly
Shane Ward for Darragh Keane
Andrew Collins came on for Simon Brody
Darren Daly came on for Ronan Byrne
5/9/09 U13's Athenry 7 V 0 Renmore
Venue: Renmore Scorers: David Mangan (2), Aaron VanNikierk (3), Ronan Byrne (2)
Goalkeeper Conor Pokall
Defenders Steven Callanan, Michael McNeilis, Mark Kilkenny, Declan Egan
Midfielders Andrew Lynskey, Shane Ward, Ronan Byrne, David Mangan, Jamie Cronin
Forwards Martin Ward
Subs Cathal Moran, Cathal Murphy, Aaron VanNeNierk, Ciaran Devaney, Patrick Briggs
The U13's squad got their new personalised kits just before the match started. Athenry won the toss and our Captain Ronan Byrne chose to play with the brisk breeze. David Mangan opened the scoring for Athenry with an opportunistic goal in the first few minutes before the match settled into a to and fro tussle for the following 20 minutes during which time Renmore’s best chance of scoring came off the crossbar. With the introduction of fresh legs by Athenry and some injuries for Renmore Athenry began to dominate the game. In the 2nd half, the quality of Athenry’s passing and through balls took a weakened Renmore apart. It certainly was a game of two halves. Hopefully Athenry can build on the quality of play shown in this match.
Mon April 27th 2009 U14's Corrib Celtic 5, Athenry 1
Athenry: Damien Gruchot, Cian R Kelly (Tom Hennelly 35mins), Gary kilkelly, Dermot O’Halloran, Paul Eagle,Luke Tuohy, Oisin McLoughlin, Niall Egan, Aidan Higgins, Mark Lawless, Aaron Osborne (Kevin Walsh 60mins)
Subs not used: Adam Ray.
After an initial solid opening few minutes the Athenry concentration levels slipped and Corrib had a shot saved by the post and a header over from a corner, it was no surprise when Corrib finally scored on the break when a low cross wasn’t dealt with and the ball was blasted to the roof of the net. This setback seemed to galvanise Athenry for a period and while they rarely threatened the Corrib goal they dominated the possession stakes. However on 18mins Corrib scored again and they scored a third on 29mins with the Athenry spirits flagging.
Athenry went with 3 across the back in the second half and the performance improved, they deservedly scored on 44mins when the Corrib keeper failed to hold a speculative Luke Tuohy angled volley. With the new formation and the effort to play a high offside line the defence was always edgy and Corrib broke through to score on 60 mins. A rushed clearance on 65mins by the Athenry netminder led to a fifth for Corrib, although it must be recorded that Damien had a very solid and promising overall display. Others to impress with their efforts were Gary Kilkelly, Dermot O’Halloran and Paul Eagle. Luke deserved to be on the scoresheet for his efforts and shaded the MOTM award over Damien and Dermot. Mark Lawless and Niall Egan were as usual full of industry. Oisin McLoughlin became more involved in the attacks towards the end of the game and Aidan Higgins improved after switching wings with Luke. Aaron Osborne was unlucky with a couple of efforts and the recent busy spell on 3 age levels took its toll. Cian Kelly was sacrificed in the second half to make room for Tom Hennelly, both players gave a good account. Kevin Walsh made a contribution as a late sub.
While it was disappointing that the team failed to mirror their earlier display against the same opposition, there were enough positives to remain optimistic for the future. Other results on the night mean the team remain in the Premier league next season and few gave them a chance of survival before this season started. A few more friendlies will give fringe players the games they need to gain confidence and experience. Early season form helped the team survive in the u-14 Premier league and early season form will again be important in the season to come.
09/12/08 U14'S RESUME WINNING WAYS
Athenry 2, Colga 1.
After a comprehensive league defeat, it was important that the u-14s got back to winning ways. This was achieved in a good-tempered friendly against Colga in Athenry on Saturday, the first of hopefully many such games this season.
Both teams were positive from the start and the game was entertaining viewing for the sizeable (mostly Colga) contingent on the line. The teams were evenly matched and both defences worked hard to contain the attacking movements and protect their goals, both goalies had to advance quickly at times to collect and the game moved quickly from end to end. It was noticeable as the half wore on that Colga were becoming more dominant in midfield, Athenrys tactic of rotating 2 subs was unsettling the team and it was no surprise when Colga went ahead on 25 mins when one of their strikers had room to advance on goal and Adam Ray was helpless to prevent the strike.
This turned out to be Colga’s last clear chance of the half, they forced some corners but Athenry have improved in defending set pieces and give little away. Niall Egan now changed to centre back to partner Dermot O’Halloran and this allowed Patric Evason to influence the midfield exchanges with Aaron Osborne and Oisin McLoughlin ably assisting. Paddy Hannon was constantly threatening on the left wing and he slipped a pass to the on running Tom Hennelly on 31 mins, Tom slotted firmly home from a tight angle for a deserved equaliser. Indeed Mark Lawless and Cian R Kelly were unlucky not to add to this before the break.
Athenry rested the fullbacks for the first few minutes of the second half and the refereering duties were now taken over by Des Glynn. Again teams looked to build quick attacks, Athenrys twin defensive pairing of Egan, and O’Halloran was immense. Evason now went to left full and launched a lot of perceptive mid-range and long balls forward. Full credit to the Colga midfielder who was smacked with a full-force Evason free kick, the lad never flinched when all on the line felt the blast!
Aidan Higgins and Gary Kilkelly both came back on to wing positions during the half and were instrumental in the winning goal. A ball from Higgins was slipped deftly through the forward line and with the Colga defence dragged out of position Kilkelly was left with time and space and he duly drove to the top corner. This goal came on 60 mins and from there to the finish Athenry were comfortable, particularly with Paul Eagle solid at right full and the midfield working hard.