JUVENILE MATCH REPORTS 2015/16 SEASON
COUGHLAN SCORES AGAIN AS O'FARRELL SAVES THE DAY
Under 12 Premier Athenry FC 1-1 Bearna Na Forbacha
Athenry played excellently last night in what proved to be an entertaining game for the last game of the season. Some excellent passages of play by Athenry with Adam Molloy and Eoghan Burke on the wings, and with Daire Mc Carthy, Andre Cronnolly and Daire Gilhooley working steadily up front. A number of half chances created, but none converted. The Athenry backs of Cian Flannery, Colin Jordan and Finnian Coughlan were in control all night at the back, blocking out any Bearna forays. Athenry huffed and puffed but they couldn't make a break through, and an excellent free from Bearna saw them lead going into the last ten minutes. Athenry 's determined attitude finally saw reward, with a beautifully floated free kick by Finnian Coughlan into the corner. The hard working Colm Sweeney was denied in the closing minutes on two occasions, Ross Mc Guinness hit the upright , but it was Conor O'Farrell who was the hero of the hour with a brilliant reflex save from close range in the closing minutes. Undoubtedly Colin Jordan man of the match tonight this man gone from strength to strength all season. Overall, maybe Athenry deserved to shade this one, but it was not to be. A fourth place finish in the premier league, is no mean finish, and all augers well for the future of these young men.
FORMIDABLE FLANNERY ISN'T FAZED
Billy Fitzgerald Under 12 Premier
Athenry FC 3, Knocknacarra 1, In Athenry - Moanbaun
Athenry's reputation for good football was further enhanced, with a comprehensive victory today. The passing was crisp from the start, with some excellent team interplay. Some 15 minutes elapsed, and a sweet ball put in from the left by Adam Molloy taken down and swept to the bottom corner by Daire Mc Carthy. Colm Sweeney and Eoghan Burke looked at home in midfield against a much lauded opponent's pairing, but it was the Athenry duo who controlled matters. Twenty minutes gone, and a second ball despatched from the left wing was volleyed to the net by Daire Mc Carthy. The third Athenry goal was an excellent through ball, which was latched onto by Finnian Coughlan who smartly rounded the keeper and stroked the ball home. Athenry were in control, but Knocknacarra suddenly found a rhythm, and towards the latter end of the first half saw them score from a corner. The second half saw Athenry deal with some constant pressure early on with Conor O'Farrell, Cian Flannery, Colin Jordan stretched on occasion. Athenry steadied up for the latter end to hold out for a well deserved victory. The manner of the win was satisfying, good goals from good football. Everyone played a part today, but man of the match (where it was very hard to pick one today) to Cian Flannery who was a rock in the defence, (albeit he made another valiant attempt to handle the ball, until one Brendan Burke uncharacteristically yelled "what are you at Cian ?!!!!!"). Great to Darragh Mc Neilis today out with injury. Well done lads, Bearna next Saturday.
Having beaten Knocknacarra in the corresponding fixture away last week we knew Knocknacarra would be up for this match. Athenry started the brighter with two quick goals going 2-0 up after 10 minutes. The first goal came from a Colm Sweeney through ball to Daire McCarthy who coolly finished to the bottom corner. The second came from a Finnian Coughlin shot that deflected into the air and landed at the feet of Daire who sent it to the back of the net. Athenry’s pressure paid off again 5 minutes later when Colm played a long ball to Daire who headed onto Finnian who dummied and rounded the keeper to make it 3-0. Knocknacarra started to come back in to the game and got a reward after a few mistakes at the back to go 3-1 just before half time. The second half in truth was dominated by Knocknacarra possession and only for heroic defending the score line would have been different but remained goalless. We had our own chances in the second half but mainly had to soak up Knocknacarra pressure. The brilliant defence of Conor O’Farrell, Cian Flannery, Thomas Carr, Darragh Fahy(Colin Jordan) kept a talented Knocknacarra attack at bay while the midfield of Adam Molloy, Colm, Eoghan Burke broke up and created all match. Colin Jordan was very assured when he came on as were Thomas Fleet and Darragh Gilhooley. Andrew Cronnelly worked hard and had the ball in the back of the net only to be ruled offside. Finnian and Daire caused problems up front all match. Pleasing team performance difficult to pick an individual out except Daire McCarthy with six goals in the two matches and Cian Flannery who was immense in keeping Knocknacarra out in the second half and he gets the man of the match on this occasion. The injured Darragh McNelis played his part on the side-line shouting on his teammates. Onwards and upwards.
CREGMORE HANDED THE OPENER AS FAHY GAINS DRAW
Billy Fitzgerald U12 Premier
Cregmore Claregalway FC 1, Athenry FC 1, In Cregmore
A local derby that ended in stalemate! Cregmore scored from the penalty spot mid way through the second half, conceded from what can only be described as "self infliction"! Some Athenry players reckon it's Gaelic football we're playing, ....the ball has been handled so much this season, a habit that the lads better break soon as it's causing the team to leak unnecessary goals and subsequently points.
Cregmore had the better of the exchanges for most of the first half, without really threatening the Athenry goal, save the penalty. A beautiful move along the left side of the field involving Coughlan, Molloy, McCarthy and Fahy saw Athenry gain the equaliser, with Fahy toe poking to the net. The second half was a much brighter affair for Athenry and two clear cut chances were badly wasted. Cregmore began to exert serious pressure for the last ten minutes, but Athenry defended valiantly. Overall, a share of the spoils was probably just about right, even if it is admitted that Cregmore played the better football on the day. A quality game, with few chances at either end.
O'FARRELL & SWEENEY STAND TALL IN TEAM PERFORMANCE
Billy Fitzgerald Under 12 Premier - Athenry FC 1, Salthill Devon 0,
Scorer: Daragh McNelis, In Athenry - Moanbaun
It has been a long time coming, but this was our best team performance all season. The team needed points in the league, and Athenry got them today, albeit hard earned! Athenry bossed the game for most of the first half, and despite a number of half chances they couldn't find the net. A beautiful long range cross field ball from right to left by Daire McCarthy to the busy Finian Coughlan, with another quick interchange between the two, with Finian Coughlan then pulling it back on the end line to the edge of the box, to the in racing Daragh McNeilis who finished to the top right hand corner. A super team goal !!!!!! The defence were excellent today, Cian Flannery, Eoghan Burke and Tom Carr, with the tough tackling Colm Sweeney neutralising anything in a blue and white strip!
At times Devon were on top, and Athenry were lucky not to concede early in the second half from numerous corners. But as the second half wore on Athenry had a number of chances to close out the game but didn't press home the advantage. It very nearly cost them, with a Devon penalty in the closing minutes, but goalie Conor O'Farrell becoming the hero of the hour with a brilliant penalty save! While all the Athenry players battled extremely hard, the man with the most spirit today was undoubtedly Colm Sweeney. Lads,a great team win, well earned and deserved, everyone man of the match today.
LEGGETT HAT TRICK STEADIES ATHENRY NERVES
Galway FA Under 18 Championship 01/11/2015
Ramblers 3, Athenry FC 5,
Having played two Cup games so far this was the first league game of the season for the youth team. It was a beautiful day with the sunny shinning and the wind at bay. Both teams were up for the game as they got ready to start the game.
Much to the surprise of the Athenry lads Ramblers found themselves two nil up in four minutes with both goals coming in similar fashion. Ramblers went straight for the jugular carving their way through the middle to finding the back of the net twice. Athenry heads didn’t drop they attacked on numerous occasions but couldn’t find the target. Aaron Leggett switched to the right hand side and caused a lot of problems for the Ramblers defence beating the wing back many times with some smart runs off the shoulder. Athenry played the ball around a bit better midway through the half. Niko Mpekoa and Odhran Monaghan both having half chances to score but it was Aaron who came closest hitting the back post after another great run down the right. Ramblers started to come back into the game having a couple of chances from corners but Niall Cannon in goal made some important saves to keep his side in the game. Ramblers left winger had a few tricks up his sleeve as he looked to take on Liam Sheehan every time he got the ball. It wasn’t long before Liam got booked for a late tackle on the winger. Once again another Ramblers corner but this time cleared away by Donnachadh McCarthy to Odhran who took one look up and played the ball to the feet of William Fouere who seemed to have been fouled as he went to take his shot. Half time came with the score still 2-0 Ramblers.
After a brief team talk the sides took to the field again. Athenry came out with a more direct approach. All kick outs where sent long in search of a goal. It wasn’t long before Aaron got on to the end of a kick out from Niall, showing good strength holding of the defender as he rifled the shot into the back of the net. Game on. Five minutes later a Ramblers attack once again coming through the middle resulted in a goal to make it 3-1. With confidence dropped at the back and plenty of time still left in the game Thomas Kelly and Matthew Loughnane came on for Declan Joyce and Liam. Moving Sean Fitzsimons back into centre back. It was by this time Oliver Rabbitt came into the game controlling the lads in front of him as Athenry could not afford to concede another goal.
Athenry’s attackers through caution to the wind and began to attack with more intent. 30 minutes remaining Oisin Geoghegan came on for Niko in the centre the park and got straight into the action. Another kick out found Aaron and once again found the back of the net, 3-2. Aaron then brought the best out of the keeper after a great run from Oisin down the right whipped in a perfect cross only for Aaron’s header to be saved from close range. In search of a hat trick and the equaliser Aaron looked for every ball playing as a striker now pushing William back to midfield. Chasing after every ball Oisin was rewarded when he forced their centre back into making a bad pass that came to the feet of Aaron just outside the box and with one touch hammered the ball home.
Ten minutes to go William picked out a perfect pass to Odhran, with a great touch made space for himself and a composed finish to take the lead. Not long left in the game there wasn’t thought of parking the bus and again Odhran popped up on the right hand side of the box to slot home his second. 5-3 the final score.
Overall this was a shaky performance by Athenry. Aaron stole the show as Man of the Match. Oisin proved his worth in his half an hour on the pitch. Ryan Keating once again had a very good game. Next up is Oranmore in two weeks.
ATHENRY'S FOUERE GOALS NOT ENOUGH
FAI Youth Cup Mervue Utd 4-2 Athenry 25/10/2015
An inspiring performance and two goals from William Fouere, wasn't enough to prevent Athenry exiting the FAI Youth Cup in their away game against Mervue United. Athenry set up with an attack minded 4-3-3 formation with Oliver Rabbitt and Aaron Leggett providing sublime service to the front three throughout the game while both full backs Ryan Keating and Liam Sheehan looked to overlap and create width when their team was in possession.
The opening stages showed both teams trying to enforce their dominance on the game with neither team doing so successfully although both teams creating half chances. Mervue did take the lead however through great counter attacking play. Athenry tried to find their way past a compact defence when the attack broke down and Mervue won the ball. They played the ball direct with pace and purpose. They moved the ball down the right wing where they crossed the ball to find a free man in the box. Niall Cannon made a great save but had no chance on the follow up.
Athenry heads did not drop however with them enjoying most of the chances for the rest of the first half. Oliver Rabbitt had the vision to spot the run of Niko Mpekoa and picked him out with a long through ball but Niko only managed to force a save from the Mervue keeper. Mervue's tactics were to send in early crosses trying to find the late runs of the advanced midfielder but Athenry's defence dealt well with Niall Cannon claiming crosses with composure, Declan Joyce and Donnachadh McCarthy clearing the balls in the air with help from Sean Fitzsimons. Both wide attackers, Niko and Joseph Gray, showed great stamina to get up and down the pitch not shying from their defensive duties.
Both teams had fantastic chances to score the next goal of the game; having received the ball from Aaron Leggett, Niko could only shot the wrong side of the crossbar. Minutes later Mervue missed a great chance to make it two nil when their player, in a one on one situation, put his chipped effort wide. However, it was Athenry who found the equaliser they deserved through William. Declan played a deep free kick in the opposition box which resulted in Aaron Leggett hitting the post. Mervue failed to clear their lines, Athenry won the ball, worked it to William, who smashed it in off the crossbar. The half ended with a Mervue corner being cleared off the line.
Athenry continued their hard work and good play after the break and quickly took the lead through William once again. Ollie played another great over the top ball to find the striker who took the ball into his stride and kept his cool to chip the keeper to make it 2-1. Athenry soon threw away the lead however, through sloppy defending. The Mervue striker found his way past the defence and finished off a one on one with the keeper firing low into the far corner. Athenry's good attacking played continued despite the setback and a good combination of passes resulted with Niko playing through Aaron on the left side of the box. He managed to round the keeper but his outside of the boot effort was stopped on the line by the last defender.
The match headed into the final ten minutes with neither team wanting to lose out on a place in the next round. It was a failed clearance in the Athenry box that determined the victor of this affair when a low ball was fizzed across the box, should have been dealt with but found the Mervue striker who passed it to his teammate to tap it in to take the lead for his team with only five minutes remaining.
Athenry felt they deserved a result out of this game so they pushed men forward in search of a goal but having committed too much Mervue cleared the ball and found three of their attackers bearing down on goal with only one defender and the goalkeeper left powerless to the goal that sealed the win for Mervue seeing them progress to the next stage, winning 4-2.
A disappointing day for the young Athenry team who left everything out on the pitch and felt their overall play on the day was not showed the final result.
BACK FOUR PERFORMANCE COMPLIMENTS SWEENEYS GOALS
U12 Connacht Shield Athenry 2 Shiven Rovers 1
Athenry secured a great win in Newbridge, with two goals from Colm Sweeney.
The first came early in the first half with some marvellous one two's between the Daires, Darragh Gilhooley, Daire Mc Neilis and Daire Mc Carthy before Sweeney, stroked the ball to the Rovers net. Athenry were under pressure late on in the half, giving away a number of needless free kicks. The second half Athenry were patient, and a neat through ball from Daire McCarthy, saw Sweeney calmly chip the keeper for his second. The platform for this win was the solid back four of Conor O'Farrell, Cian Flannery, Eoghan Burke and the ever improving Finian Coughlan. A great team performance where all players played their part, so roll on the next round of the Connacht Shield.
DEAN'S HAT TRICK ORDER OF THE DAY!
Match Report: Galway FA Under 16 Division 1 venue -Doughiska Park
Merlin Woods FC 3-5 Athenry B
An excellent game of football when after three minutes in Dean Treacy ran on to a long kick from Shane Quirke and dinked it over the keeper to score his first of the day. Minutes later Merlin Woods persistence drew them level and after another five minutes they went ahead through a penalty. Then a glorious move from a long kick by Shane Quirke saw Adam Pompret cross it to Dean Treacy for his second goal of a pulsating game of football. Then within just a few minutes after a quick throw in from Christian Mullen to Matthew Lacey saw him play the ball across the goal for an ever lurking Dean Treacy to score a well deserved hat-trick which made it 3-2. With the half coming to a close it was left to Adam Prompet who just before the break from a long kick out made it 4-2.
The game got much better for the visitors in maroon as within another 10 minutes in the second half it was left to Matthew Lacey to secure the points as he stroked home from a through ball to make it 5-2. With the game entering its latter stages it was Merlin Woods who put on a lot of pressure on Athenry in the last 20 minutes but only managed to score one more goal. Great result for the win. Well Done Lads
LALLY LASHES HOME TO SEAL WIN
Athenry U16’s A 3 - 2 Oranmore
Scorers:Daniel Kinneen, Declan Lally, Dylan Walsh
Defenders:Christopher Burke, Daniel Kinneen, Cillian Lawless, Cillian Burke
Midfielders:Elliott Langan, Ronan Leahy, Nathan Healey, Darren Jennings, Dylan Walsh, Strikers:Declan Lally
Subs:Szymon Slowiak, Morgan Leggett, Liam Egan, Cyprian Drozdzal -
Athenry’s U16’s first league game of the season, after a strong pre-season their confidence was high for the game against Maree/Oranmore. The U16’s have been training hard and have been putting in a huge amount of effort in pre-season.
The match kicked off at 7:00pm, with a large number of support for the home team, Athenry had great control of the ball in defence and midfield but found it difficult when in the last third of the pitch, Maree/Oranmores’s defence was fast paced and easily beat Athenry to the ball many times, their attacks were fast, often catching Athenry on the counter but centre backs Cillian Lawless and Cillian Burke easily diffused the situation’s, both teams got plenty of chances but were unable to find the back of the net.
Around 15 minutes in Darren Jennings was fouled on the edge of the box directly in front of goal, all of the players swarmed at their chance to take the free, but Daniel Kinneen stepped up to the plate, with the combination of team mate Nathan Healey’s tactic of blocking the goalies view and Daniel’s powerful strike the keeper could not see the ball in time as it shot by his side into the back of the net from a low drilled free. The lad’s heads were held high but maybe too high as Maree/Oranmore quickly returned an equaliser from a corner where the ball had dropped in the box and there were too many bodies around the ball as goalkeeper Diarmuid Somers saved the first shot only to have the rebound hit the back of the net. The teams went in level at half time.
After the interval and a pep talk from the new manager there were three changes made. Morgan Leggett, Liam Egan & Cyprian Drozdzal all came on. Athenry went on to the field eager to gain the lead, once again the game was end to end action and the players were getting anxious as the time was running out, with 20 minutes to go Athenry took the lead for a second time as Declan Lally played an outstanding cross to the front post where Dylan Walsh attacked with great precision and put the ball in between the posts, again after tip off Athenry conceded a replica of the first goal from a corner where the box was too crowded and the ball was not cleared quick enough, the ball returned to the centre spot once again. Both teams you could see were anxious to win as harder challenges and bad decisions were being made by the players, 5 minutes from time Nathan Healey with a counter attack ran the ball towards the corner but found a pass through to Declan Lally where nobody was between him and the keeper, Declan did well to stay composed and slotted the ball in the bottom corner to win the game, a well-deserved result for the lads with it ending Athenry 3 Oranmore 2.