GFA PREMIER DIVISION CHAMPIONS 2017/18
GFA U18 PREMIER DIVISION CHAMPIONS 2017/18
ATHENRY FOOTBALL CLUB
Moanbaun, Athenry, Co Galway
THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE OF
JUVENILE 2016/17 MATCH REPORTS
ATHENRY UNDONE BY SOFT GOAL
U13 Premier League - Mervue United AFC 2, Athenry FC 1,
Little separated these sides, but the "black cat" was with Mervue this morning in Fahy's Field!
Athenry started exceedingly well, and controlled matters totally in the first half, which culminated in a Cathal Lally turnover, who played a beautiful ball onto the right wing to Adam Molloy who accelerated past his man and struck a sweet drive into the net. 1-0 Athenry half time. The second half opened evenly, and a corner kick taken by Mervue's Josh O'Connor made it all the way into the Athenry net.
Not less than one minute later an innocuous back pass with little or no danger around, hit a bobble and trickled to the Athenry net making it
2-1 to Mervue. Athenry battled valiantly, with one or two half chances before the end, the best falling to Daire Mc Carthy, his drive past the left post went narrowly wide. Athenry should feel very aggrieved today, working so hard and being for much on the game the better side, and yet have no points to show for their efforts. However sport can be cruel sometimes! These young men have a quick opportunity in Moanbaun next Wednesday night to overturn today's result, this match probably deciding the destination of the U13 Premier League, between the leagues two highest ranked teams. The positives for Athenry from today should auger well for Wednesday night, and Mervue will not be savouring their next visit to Moanbaun. Please come out and support us in this vital league match. Onwards and upwards!
ATHENRY KEEP MOMENTUM GOING
U13 Premier League - Maree Oranmore FC 1, Athenry FC 3,
Athenry were given a stern test yesterday evening in Moanbaun, trailing 1-0 at half time, against an Oranmore team which were superior in the first half. Oranmore came to win, and they set about the task admirably, with some excellent passages of play. Oranmore leading at half time were met with a more determined and steely Athenry approach in the second half, Glenn Kelly striking initially followed by two quality goals by Finiann Coughlan. All told, the star of the night was Cian Flannery, hard hitting and competent in his distribution, closely followed by the hard working Finiann Coughlan. Overall, this was an outstanding team performance coming from behind to secure victory. Grit, determination and courage the order of the day, such characteristics seen in abundance when the need was most greatest. Mervue on Saturday morning in Mervue Please come out and support us!
FINNIAN BRACE NOT ENOUGH AS HOSTS SCORE LAST MINUTE PENALTY
U13 Premier League.
Cregmore/Claregalway FC 2-2 Athenry FC
A good performance by Athenry might not have received its just rewards yesterday evening, but a valuable point was secured against a resolute Cregmore team. Athenry struggled in the early exchanges, without conceding any chances to Cregmore, and gradually crept into the game. Mid way through the first half a through ball by Daire McCarthy was neatly slotted home by Finiann Coughlan. Some five minutes later, a long ball by Cian Flannery was met with an interchange between the same two players, Finiann Coughlan hitting the net for the second time. Athenry opened the second half conceding a needless goal, but from there to the end of the game Athenry created a myriad of chances from play and corners, but regrettably none were converted ! Missed chances can be costly, and so it proved to be. In the last moments of the game and to their admirable credit Cregmore squeezed a penalty duly thumped to the Athenry net. 2-2. Kick off, final whistle blown !
Athenry fought hard, Dean Collins, Glenn Kelly, Darragh Fahy, Daire McCarthy, Eoghan Burke, Colm Sweeney, Dylan Quirke all to the fore, but star performer tonight was Finiann Coughlan with two well taken goals.
Onwards and upwards ! Next game Kiltullagh !
DAIRE & DARRAGH CAP OFF EXCELLENT TEAM PERFORMANCE
Galway Hibernians 1-4 Athenry FC
x2 Daire McCarthy x1 Liam Kelly x1 Adam Molloy
U14 Championship Final (Eammon Deacy Park, Sat 15th April 2017)
Athenry weathered a thorough examination of their credentials today, coming from behind to win the Cup. Athenry started well, and a few missed opportunities early on, chances that they might have regretted later on in the game. Hibs opened the scoring, from an uncleared corner kick, which bobbled around the Athenry penalty box, until it was toe poked to the net. Questions being asked of Athenry, playing against a strong breeze and defending the town goal. Some excellent tackling and defending by Alex Keogh, Finnian Coughlan, Colm Sweeney, Darragh McNeilis, Eanna Brady and Cian Flannery kept the Hibs onslaught at bay. An Athenry attack towards the end of the first half brought about the equaliser, a little bit of opportunism by Daire McCarthy, a cheeky chip from the edge of the area, an audacious goal to level matters. 1-1 at half time. In the second half, Hibernians controlled the early exchanges, but forays down the wings by Darragh McNeilis, Ronan Jennings and Glenn Kelly kept Athenry in it and a corner resulted from Athenry's efforts. Glenn Kelly sent in a beautiful cross, met by Daire McCarthy 's head which rocketed to the net. Athenry in the driving seat now, Liam Kelly running onto a through ball, and with two defenders with him, dismissed both of them, with a cool finish to the net. In the final minutes, the icing on the cake with Adam Molloy placing a neat chip over the Hibs keeper. Truly there wasn't much between the two sides, but Athenry had a little more craft to prize the openings when required. A first bit of silverware for this group, and well deserved, and great to see Athenry captain Liam Kelly collect the Cup. Everyone played their part today Jack Farrell, Conor O'Farrell, Sean Rice with two players away Flo Gomes and Richard Stoker. Ronan Jennings, Finnian Coughlan, Cian Flannery all excellent today, but man of the match goes to the tireless Darragh McNeilis, just pipping Daire McCarthy with his brace of goals.
Well done everyone! Great day out!
JENNINGS ROCKET CAPS OFF BRADY'S DAY
U14 League Championship
Athenry FC 6, Tuam Celtic 0,
x3 adam molloy, x2 ronan jennings, eanna brady,
A vital League game was met with the requisite response, a convincing win for Athenry u 14s. A spirited Tuam side, came looking to put themselves in with a shout of winning the league tonight, but they met a side not willing to be brushed aside ! From the outset Athenry showed the necessary resolve, and set up a platform for the win. Quick passing and running off the ball was rewarded with an Adam Molloy hat trick! A corner quick was headed to the net by Eanna Brady, making it 4-0 at half time. The second half saw Athenry playing with the wind, where Ronan Jennings bagged two, one of them a screamer worthy of winning Goal of the Month on Match Of The Day ! Overall this was a brilliant team performance, everyone playing their part, with some great passages of play. On a day when Adam Molloy went on a scoring spree, today's Man Of The Match is undoubtedly Eanna Brady, an excellent defending display capped off with a headed goal to close out the game. Well done lads !
NINA SCORES HAT TRICK IN THE SUN
U12 Girls Premier
Athenry FC 4, Knocknacarra 2,
x3 nina bodamer, leah joyce
A battling victory, but the Athenry team were under pressure from the start from a good Knocknacarra team. Knocknacarra went ahead from a long-range effort that was struck well and finished in the top corner despite Ava O’Neill’s brave efforts. Athenry equalized from a well driven corner from Leah Joyce that Nina Bodamer converted to the net. Athenry then went ahead shortly afterwards with a well struck shot from Leah found the corner of the net. The sides were back level only a minute later when a well worked corner earned Knocknacarra the equalizer and that’s how they went in at half time. Athenry came out stronger in the second half and kept Knocknacarra at bay while working good chances themselves. Nina Bodamer was lively and scored two superb finishes on the counter attack to give us a 4-2 victory. She had been thwarted on a number of occasions by an excellent Knocknacarra keeper. Emma, Ruby, Leah, Eadaoin covered great ground and snuffed out attacks, Alannah, Sadbh, Shauna and Amy kept things solid at the back, Ava performed very well in goals keeping us in the match but special mention to Nina Bodamer (player of the match) for 3 cool finishes. An enjoyable good natured game in the sunshine.
SAVIO SALVO SINKS COLGA
GFA under 13 division 2
Athenry B 5-0 Colga FC
x2 savio marques, mathew bane, jack foley, shane quinn
Last game of the season and a great performance to top off a great season!!!
Today's result secures a minimum finish of 3rd in the division which is the least the lads deserved for the way they played and behaved themselves all season.
Athenry started brightly and were ahead within a couple of minutes when Mathew Bane latched on to a through ball and neatly put it past the Colga keeper. The Athenry defence were in full control all evening with Evan McCrossan, Kian Kilkenny, Shane Fox, Shane Quinn, Ronan Barret and Thomas fleet all combined well to ensure Colga's chances were kept to a very minimum. Midway through the half jack Foley got on the score sheet which he deserved for all his hard work up to that point and shortly before half time Shane Quinn blasted a third goal in to give us some breathing space going into the break.
The second half brought chance after chance with Mikey Kelly, Colin Jordan, Conor Wilson, Sean Orlando, Luke Morgan and Thomas Carr all coming close but Savio Marques was the next to score and he got a second shortly after that to crown off a great evening.
Every player on the team played a huge part in this win and showed huge levels heart and commitment. It's been a fantastic journey this season and it's been a pleasure for all the coaches to watch the lads develop as players and it gives us huge hope going into under 14 next season.
LAST MINUTE GOMEZ GOAL A CAUSE FOR CELEBRATION
U14 League Championship
Athenry FC 2-2 Galway Hibernians
liam kelly, flo gomez
In the brilliant sunshine in Bohermore, it was a story of little and large. Athenry started lively, against a hugely physical Hibs team. The stronger and taller Hibs boys, were busy, but Athenry were clever in their approach with some quick passing moving the ball around the Park. A long range free by Colm Sweeney, was headed to the net by nearly the smallest man on the pitch Liam Kelly. The poacher outfoxing two Hibs defenders ! A soft free, was driven to the net by Hibs some five minutes later to level matters mid way through the second half. Hibs got on top coming to the latter end of the first half, and were rewarded with a well taken goal short of half time. Athenry regrouped at half time, and set about finding the equaliser. They huffed and puffed, but could not blow the Hibs defence away. Perseverance pays though, and in the last minute of extra time, Daire McCarthy to Liam Kelly to the biggest member of our team, electric Flo Gomez ! Goa.....aaaalllllllll!!!! Gomez the hero!!!! Finishes 2-2, a result that looked unlikely but well deserved for the grit and determination shown by all Athenry heroes , full of heart and spirit. Roll on the next game , on a day that a draw feels like a win ! I hope little and large keep the habit up !
ITS A GRAY DAY FOR VISITORS
U17/18 Youths Championship sunday 15th Jan 2017
Athenry FC 3-2 Mac Dara
x1 Aaron Leggett
x1 Mathew Treacy
x1 Mathew Gavin
First game of 2017 for Youth A and it was the biggest game to date; they took on Mac Dara in a top of the table clash. Both teams started well, Athenry had a few early shots but nothing came from this. Mac Dara scored with their second chance of the game, ball lost in front of the back line and the number nine broke to put the ball past Louis Gray in goals. This goal seemed to wake Athenry and they began to create more chances, a long ball up the pitch and Aaron Leggett was left one on one with the Mac Dara goalkeeper, Aaron kept his nerve and made it 1-1. Mac Dara then came back strong and looked to finish the first half strong and that’s what they did, getting their second from a corner. It was clear to see that Mac Dara were strong in the air, they had a height advantage on most of the Athenry players. Just before Mac Dara added the second Louis made a super save to tip one over the bar. Mac Dara’s second had come just five minutes before half time, a good corner was met by the away team’s tall centre back, and a setback Athenry didn’t need so close to half time.
A positive team talk and Athenry started strong in the next half. Athenry seemed to have shaken off the set back of conceding so close to half time; Athenry then made it 2-2 when Captain Matthew Tracey headed nicely into the corner of the net from a good cross. The game got more physical as the half when on, the away team with several tough challenges but the Athenry players kept their heads and continued to look for their third goal. Athenry got their third from Matthew Gavin after a shot/pass from Dali fell to Matthew who slotted the ball into the net. Athenry then put Jason Gorham on for Dali, Jason went into midfield and worked well with Odhran and Elliott all three players showed great fight with some decisive tackles and positive play. The game got to boiling point after a few tough tackles but the Athenry men kept their heads and looked to finish the game strong and see the game out for a huge win. Mac Dara could have got their third but couldn’t get past Louis who made some more brilliant saves. A big win for Athenry puts them top of the championship good start to 2017.
Squad: Louis Grey, Matthew Tracey, Martin Cullen, Daniel Grealish, Liam Egan, Elliott Langan, Odhran Monaghan, Adam Kelleher, Dali Mbongo, Aaron Leggett, Matthew Gavin, Daniel Kinneen, Gary Moscarelli, Chris Allen, Ronan Bergin, Evan Loughnane, Donnachadh McCarthy and Jason Gorham.
Goal scorers: Aaron Leggett, Matthew Tracey and Matthew Gavin.
Man of the Match: Louis Gray.
LAWLESS, DJ MAKES IT FOUR FROM FOUR
GFA Youth Division 1
Athenry 3-1 Moyne Villa
Report Fri 13th Jan 2016
This was the first game back for our Youth B team and they continued their impressive start to the league with another win, making this four wins from four games this season. Athenry started with a 4-3-3 formation, Athenry controlled most of the early first half action. It didn’t take long for Athenry to take the lead; a kick out from captain DJ Somers found its way to Cillian Lawless who slotted the ball under the keeper to make it 1-0. Moyne Villa could only shoot from distance and nothing looked like it would trouble the Athenry defence on the cold evening in Headford. Athenry’s first corner created their second goal; a lovely cross from Morgan Leggett found the head of Cillian Lawless for his second for the game. Athenry were unlucky not to add third when Szymon had a goal disallowed for off side after some excellent build up play. Before the end of the first half DJ was called into action and made two fine saves to keep the game 2-0 Athenry at half time. The second half was mostly like the first, Athenry controlled large parts of the game they got their third goal from Morgan Leggett after an assist from Dylan Walsh. Villa got a goal back from a penalty and had one or two more shots but couldn’t get past the Athenry keeper and defenders. Athenry were unlucky not to add to their lead but in the end Athenry finished the game on top. A great start to 2017 for Mike Noone and Roger Leggett’s men.
Squad: DJ Somers, Chris Burke, Cyprian Drozozal, Ryan Mcneils, Ryan Collins, Ronan Leahy, Morgan Leggett,Cillian Lawless, Dylan Walsh, Dara Noone, Szymon Slowiek, Darren Jennings, Liam Rock and Adam Pomphrett.
Goal scorers: Cillian Lawless x2 & Morgan Leggett.
Assists: Dj Somers, Morgan Leggett & Dylan Walsh.
CAPTAIN LIAM EARNS THE PLAUDITS
Under 14 Premier Tuam Celtic 2-4 Athenry FC
A brilliant display by our u14's today in a hard earned top of the table clash in Tuam. Athenry played delightful fare in the first half, moving the ball quickly and efficiently from defence to attack, from left to right and up and down, and Celtic could do very little to counteract it. Athenry pressed and pressed and it paid dividends with the lion hearted and tenacious Darragh McNeilis tearing into and toppling the Tuam six foot tall keeper, and tapping the ball into an open net! Liam Kelly and Adam Molloy were causing problems for Celtic up front, with a constant supply of good quality balls coming from Finiann Coughlan, Daire McCarthy and Glen Kelly. It was a razor sharp pass from Glen Kelly that put Liam Kelly through who finished to the net. Not soon after a chase down by Liam Kelly, had Athenry three ahead at half time. To their credit Celtic came out fighting in the second half, and an early corner was walloped to the Athenry net. Athenry were under pressure for the next fifteen minutes where Tuam overran the Athenry midfield with extra men and their sheer physicality! However Athenry kept their nerve and a break away by Liam Kelly was calmly finished to the net. Tuam gleaned a consolation goal from a penalty at the end, where an Athenry player who shall remain nameless, played some basketball in the penalty area! All in all, a very satisfactory result, which takes our u14's to the top of the table for the Christmas break! Good team display and performances all round, but man of the match today goes to the captain of the day Liam Kelly! Onwards and upwards !
CONNACHT CUP 3rd ROUND AHASCRAGH U18 0 ATHENRY FC 1
courtesy of Ahascragh FC
AHASCRAGH JUST FALL SHORT AFTER HEROIC EFFORT
A disappointed feel in the dressing room after the game but boy god these lads can be damn proud of themselves after today and season they have just gone through . Athenry one of the best teams in Galway and probably Connacht started with a flourish and had two quick chances not long into the game. But our lads settled quickly and had chances of there own, colin molloney and dara cunningham coming very close to opening the scoring. Athenry then scored from a corner kick and to be fair it was a well taken goal. Luke conncanon (motm performance) worked hard on the wing and sent in a few dangerous crosses towards the end of the half which caused havoc in the Athenry defence. Alex duke and tommy brehony (our midfield engineers) won so much possession for us through out the game. The second came and our lads were coming more and more into the game with dara burke setting up a number of attacks. Micheal fogarthy came close to equalizing after our best move of the day after a great piece of play from brehony molloney, duke and fogharty. Athenry were denied their second on three occasions by our super keeper micklilin fogarty, who has got better game by game through out the season. Tony Finn came on and worked hard till the end as did john dolphin. And again like all season our back line were magic again today....darra dowd and kevin dowd cleared many a dangerous ball today and ivan smith and jamie kennedy put in huge shifts also. And so the final whistle went on our first season and what a season it was, the end of this one but it's only the beginning in truth. Well done Athenry and the best of luck in the rest of the competition. So that's it lads just want to say how proud of ye we are for what ye have achieved and accomplished this season, we started as individuals but we ended up as a "TEAM" .
MOLLOY HAT TRICK PUTS GLOSS ON THE KELLY SHOW
Under 13 Premier Athenry 6-1 Knocknacarra
A tale of two halves, where Athenry were complacent in the first half, and turned around in the second half and were like a team possessed! Athenry started brightly and had a number of chances before scoring, a superb team goal with Daire McCarthy, Darragh McNeilis, Adam Molloy all involved and a quality finish to the net by Finnian Coughlan. Athenry laboured for most of the second half and were duly punished shy of half time, conceding a soft but well taken Knocknacarra goal. Despite Dylan Quirke's best efforts he could not keep it out. The lads re-grouped for the second half, and with much more intensity and quality passing, the chances began to roll! Adam Molloy opened his account with a well taken chip, followed by two more efforts from the supply route of Finiann Coughlan, Daire McCarthy, Darragh Fahy, Darragh McNeilis and Glenn Kelly. We were treated to a bit of magic by Glenn Kelly towards the midway stage of the second half, a twist and turn followed by a fine strike to the top right hand corner which any premiership player would be proud of it! Finiann Coughlan completed the scoring with a fine effort at the latter end of the game, finished to the roof of the net.
Overall, a good effort by all, which takes us to the summit of the u13 table for Christmas! The real question of course is, will we be there at summer! Whether we are or we aren't it'll be great fun trying !!!!! Man of the match today was the hard working and prolific hat trick man Adam Molloy, who was hard to separate today from the skillful Glenn Kelly. The goals just pipping Glenn to the accolade!
Great team performance from all, each playing their part! Quirke, O'Farrell, Lawless, Treacy, Collins, Sweeney, Flannery, Fahy, McCarthy, Coughlan, Kelly, McNeilis, Gilhooley, Cronnelly Molloy and McCoy.
Finally, the u13 SFAI National Cup draw was made at weekend, last 32 in Ireland, and we have been drawn against St Mary's Cork, a long trip to Cork for these boys in mid January, a game all our young boys are looking forward to! Finally a word of congratulations to Glenn Kelly who had a fine game for the interleague team yesterday in Athlone, even if the Galway side didn't get past the winning post, beaten 2-0 on the day. Onwards and upwards !!!!!!!
FLANNERY STRIKE NOT ENOUGH IN THE CUP
U14 Connacht Cup Athenry 1, Abbey Rovers 2,
An afternoon game in Moanbaun saw Athenry's interest in the Connacht Cup diminish, but not without a fight! Athenry passed fluidly in the first half, and were much the better footballing team and were rewarded for their efforts with a goal from an unusual source, one Cian Flannery, a cross turned to the net by the reliable defender. The half was coming to an end and with Athenry in possession and on the attack, a stray pass broke to an Abbey Rovers player inside the half way line, who finished it to the roof of the net, a devastating blow just before the end of the half! The second half saw Athenry under pressure, and the physical presence of the Abbey players was beginning to show. After a few half chances, a speculative high cross by Abbey with ten minutes to go was finished by an unmarked Abbey midfielder in the penalty area to the Athenry net. Abbey now in the driving seat soaked up Athenry's pressure, and while Athenry huffed and puffed all they could manage was a Darragh Fahy drive on goal. That's the way it ended, a disappointing end to our cup run. Back to the league in two weeks time, and much improvement is needed, if we are to capitalise on a promising start to the league campaign. Thanks to all the parents who provided the refreshments for the travelling Ballinamore team. Man of the match was Darragh McNeilis, well assisted by Colm Sweeney, Cian Flannery and Daire Mc Carthy. Onwards and upwards !
RUBY IS ATHENRY'S JEWEL
U12 Girls Premier
Cregmore 6 Athenry 2 - x1 Ruby Mullen, x1 Leah Joyce
Player of the match Ruby Mullen
Athenry were missing some key players today due to confirmation mass but the team battled well without them. Athenry opened the scoring through a great shot from a tight angle from Ruby Mullen. Cregmore equalised soon afterwards but Leah Joyce put us back in front with a similar finish to Ruby. We thought it might be our day. Cregmore equalised however shortly befor half time with the sides going in level at 2-2. In truth Cregmore dominated the second half and scored 4 goals which were very well finished and little the keepers could do to stop. It really was a story of two halves. Athenry had their own chances but were not clinical enough. A battling performance with some nice football giving us promise for the next match when hopefully we will have all the troops. Great performances from everyone but player of the match went to Ruby Mullen.
MAN OF MATCH NATHAN MARSHALS DEFENCE TO VICTORY
5/11/16 Athenry B 4-2 Oranmore B
Athenry Team:Goalkeeper Alex Keogh
Defenders Andrew Coffey/Jack Burke/Sean Rice/Nathan Jarvis
Midfielders Jack Farrell/Liam Kelly/Marcus Roldan/Eoin Lydon/Diarmuid Tuohy/Alan Kelly
Forwards Martin Fahy/Richard Stoker/Ivan Power
A patchy performance didn’t stop Athenry from emerging victorious from this game and sitting on the heels of the division leaders. They were a bit slow into their stride and Oranmore had opportunities to take advantage of this but the Athenry back four are starting to have a settled look about them so Jack Burke, Nathan, Andrew and Sean, with Alan providing defensive support from midfield were able to restrict the Oranmore front line to half chances which Alex had no trouble with. Slowly the Athenry midfield started to impose themselves on the game and create chances. Marcus and Diarmuid are still settling into the squad but started linking nicely with Martin and Richard up front and Liam is a menace to any opposition on the left flank. Athenry’s first genuine opportunity resulted in a goal with Liam and Marcus involved before setting Richard away who provided his trademark cool finish. This was a small bit against the run of general play as the ball had spent more time in the Athenry half than the Oranmore half and so it continued after the goal but with the same result. The Athenry defence were able to contain the Oranmore forwards but the Oranmore backs couldn’t live with the pace of Richard and Liam in particular so with Martin, Diarmuid and Marcus taking every opportunity to put the ball behind the Oranmore back line, it was only a matter of time before Athenry increased their lead and Richard duly provided almost a carbon copy of his first goal. It was noticeable that every time Athenry moved the ball quickly through midfield a chance was being created.
The pattern continued in much the same manner and before half time, a Jack Burke free kick from the left was dropped in the box and Liam was on hand to snap up the opportunity.Athenry were in the groove now and Oranmore were unable to change the course of the game and the half time score was almost given an even healthier look when Richard yet again escaped from the Oranmore defence only to see his shot come back off the bar. Half time saw the introduction of Jack Farrell, Ivan and Eoin The changes in personnel saw little change in the game but ended with a scoreline which flattered Oranmore who fared little better in front of goal than they did in the first half until an Athenry defensive clearance dropped to the Oranmore centre back who fired a hopeful shot forward which bounced over the advancing Alex’s head and into the net. It is a measure of the quality of Alex’s keeping that any rare mistakes are greeted with surprise by defence and opposition alike.
Athenry quickly re-established their 3 goal cushion when Sean and Ivan released Liam down the left and his run into the box was brutally cut short by the Oranmore centre back who deservedly received a yellow card. Liam seems well used to picking himself up in the penalty box and slotting away a penalty which he did yet again here. Athenry were starting to feel the effect of the relentless pressure that they had heaped on Oranmore throughout the match and Oranmore had the advantage in the dying minutes and with almost the last kick of the game, a free kick on the edge of the Athenry box was driven into the Athenry goal as the defensive wall was still being assembled, something to learn from for the future. The quality of Athenry’s attackers was the difference between the two sides and Richard and Liam with 2 goals apiece deserved the accolades they received but it is very encouraging for the rest of the season to see how compact the Athenry defensive unit are starting to look, barring a couple of simple mistakes, this was another clean sheet performance. Credit is due to Sean, Jack and Andrew as well as Alan who is settling well into the holding midfield role but Man of the Match went to Nathan for a second successive solid performance.
It is a shame that the momentum will be lost now with the next game not being until January but Athenry can go into the new year satisfied on a job well done so far.
TWO SHANES MAKE A POINT !
Galway FA under 13 division 2
Ramblers 2 Athenry B 2
The Athenry B side went to play the league leaders today and had their best performance of the season!
We went there with a plan and stuck to it rigidly which frustrated a good ramblers team who seemed to have been scoring for fun all season so far. Athenry were unlucky to go in at half time one down after a goal that was scored very very late into injury time!
Again the lads heads didn't drop and they were level from a Luke Morgan goal within a minute of the restart and were 2-1 ahead a few minutes later when Mathew Bane finished off a well worked move.
It stayed that way for almost the remainder of the match until again they were unlucky to concede another injury time goal!
It was a great display from a team that seems to be improving with every game and they have a lot to be proud of from this game.
Today's MOTM Shane Quinn and Shane Fox who were very solid in defence.
Special mentions:Evan McCrossan, Shane Fox, Cian Kilkenny, Conor Wilson, Shane Quinn, Mikey Kelly, Thomas Carr, Thomas Fleet , Colin Jordan, Luke Morgan, Jack Foley, Mathew Bane, Conor Ryan , Savio Marques, David Donoghue and Sean Orlando.
TEAM PERFORMANCE FROM TOPS TO BACKS WINS IT
Under 13 Premier
Salthill Devon 2, Athenry 3,
A fast flowing game from the start, Devon hit the front five minutes into the game. A needless freekick on the left hand side conceded by Athenry, was severely punished when it was rifled to the net. Game on. To be fair Athenry still very much rocked, showed composure and began playing some lovely intricate passing play, turning the Devon defenders with some excellent through balls. Glenn Kelly, Daire McCarthy and Darragh Fahy had various passes slotted through to Finiann Coughlan, Adam Molloy and Darragh Gilhooley but the Devon defence stood firm. Finally the break through came, a quick one two between McCarthy and Coughlan, and slid through to Glenn Kelly who didn't have to be asked twice and the ball struck cleanly and sweetly to the left of the keeper. The hard working Adam Molloy was causing problems for Devon, hassling and causing a general nuisance in the heart of Devon's defence!
The direct running Molloy won a corner, which was duly taken, and in the ensuing melee in the box, up popped Colm Sweeney to calmly sweep the ball to the far right hand corner. Athenry capped the half off with a third goal, and a through ball by Daire McCarthy saw Adam Molloy slot to the net. Athenry had other chances before the half's end, and probably should have capitalised more with their constant pressure.
The second half was hard running back and a story of some excellent defending particularly on the wings with Dean Collins, Darragh McNeilis, Darragh Gilhooley, new debutant Dion Long, Cian Flannery and Colm Sweeney had their moments, but special mention to Conor O'Farrell the goalkeeper making two excellent saves, when the need was greatest. Truth told Athenry squandered a number of chances in the second half, but it was a win undoubtedly deserved. A lapse in concentration in the middle, saw Devon ghost through for a consolation score near the end. This finished a very good outing for Athenry on the day. As Athenry performances go, this was a good team league outing
and Molloy, McNeilis, McCarthy, Kelly, Fahy and Collins will be hard pressed to put in better displays this season. Well done all round to a fine collective effort, and to our two reliable u11s , Senan Treacy and Dylan Quirke ......onwards and upwards ! It's Gurteen, Sligo next Saturday!
Girls U12 Division 1
Athenry B 2-2 Colga B
Scorers: Clodagh Burke & Ciara Coffey Player of the match: Kealigh Joyce
Spirited display by the Athenry U12 girls in coming from a goal down to equalise and certainly having the better chances to win the match towards the end. Athenry started off brightly and went ahead through a great finish from Ciara Coffey. Colga equalised just before half time. In the second half Colga went ahead through a great finish to the top corner against the run of play, very little the keeper could have done to stop it. Athenry battled well after going down and eventually got what they deserved when Clodagh Burke poked the ball over the line to equalise. Athenry had the better chances at the end but it finished 2-2 and it would have been a shame for either side to lose in this close and fairly played match. Thanks to Colga FC for a great match, parents from both sides enjoyed it. Cora Sweeney and Ciara Cunney were great in midfield and in goals, Rhiannon Gorton, Jasmine, Sophie and Kealigh Joyce were stubborn in defence letting very little past them, Clodagh Burke, Aideen and Isabel Sunderland battled and created in midfield, forwards Ava, Ciara Coffey made life difficult for the Colga backs. Having thought long and hard about player of the match it has to go to 6 year old Kealigh who captained the team after a very late call up!
U13'S CUP EXPLOITS FIVE ALIVE!
SFAI National Cup Athenry FC 5, Corrib Celtic 0,
While the scoreline might be flattering to Athenry, this was a tight affair, with some excellent passages of play by both sides. The tempo of the game was high from the start, with both sides trying to steal an edge in the early exchanges. Corrib missed an early chance, but a break from Athenry after ten minutes on the left was parried by the Corrib keeper to be tapped to the net by the vigilant Adam Molloy. The second came from a set piece, crossed, knocked on at the near post, to be finished to the net by the in rushing Colm Sweeney. It stayed that way until the second half, when Finiann Coughlan lobbed the keeper to make it three - nil. A well orchestrated drill from the training ground, was calmly headed to the net to make it four by Andrew Cronnolly. Finally, a fine solo effort by Adam Molloy was thumped to the net five minutes from the end to complete the scoring. Overall, this was a steady team performance, the centre back pairing of Colm Sweeney and Cian Flannery and goalkeeper Conor O'Farrell dominating the Corrib attack, the hardworking pair of Darragh Fahy and Daire McCarthy shading the exchanges in the middle of the park with flashes of guile and speed on the wings from Darragh Mc Neilis, Glenn Kelly, Dean Collins and Darragh Gilhooley. An enjoyable morning's football, that takes Athenry into the next round.
MORAN SOLID AS ROCK AS FOUNDATION BUILT FOR COMEBACK
22/10/16 U15 Athenry B 3 Loughrea A 3
Athenry Team:Goalkeeper Alex Keogh
Defenders Andrew Coffey/Jack Burke/Colm Moran/ Diarmuid Tuohy/Nathan Jarvis
Midfielders Martin Fahy/Jack Farrell/Liam Kelly/Marcus Roldan/Sean Rice/Alan Kelly
Forwards Aaron Cunningham/Richard Stoker/Ivan Power
More games like this and we will have to build a stand for the amount of fans that will come to watch. This was a long way from the previous match against Barna. Loughrea took to the pitch looking a formidable outfit and set about Athenry from the off. Aaron and Richard played very well but were living off scraps. Jack Farrell, Liam and Martin were camped in their own half, defending manfully but the plaudits went to Alan, Andrew, Nathan, Colm and Captain Jack who simply did not know when they were beaten. When a Loughrea forward beat an Athenry defender, he came up against another one and if he beat him then the first defender was at him again. Athenry know that if they can restrict the opposition to long range shots, then it will take something special to beat Alex and he was as solid as ever. It was a heroic performance from start to finish. Athenry went in 2-0 down at half-time but unquestionably, if they had defended the way they did against Barna, the game would have been over. The players put in the same amount of effort but the difference was the organisation provided by Jack Burke, encouraging those around him, ensuring Loughrea players were marked and frustrating them with well drilled defensive lines when free kicks were conceded which saw a string of offside decisions.
The second half saw Diarmuid making an impressive debut in place of Andrew and Marcus holding the midfield in place of Alan but there was little change in the pattern of play as Loughrea continued to batter against the Athenry wall without success although a couple of excellent close range saves from Alex were needed to maintain the 2-0 scoreline. Gradually the Loughrea juggernaut was running out of steam and Athenry’s footballing skills came to the fore. Ivan and Richard’s intelligent movement started creating spaces in the Loughrea back line which were exploited by the passing and running of Marcus, Jack, Sean and tormentor in chief Liam and after a nice passing move involving Jack and Richard, it was Liam who supplied the ball which allowed Ivan to live up to his name by powering a shot into the net despite a strong, one-handed save from the Loughrea keeper.
And so the game turned and Athenry seemed able to play the ball through the Loughrea back line with ease and moments later that was exactly what happened when Liam latched on to another perfect pass to slot the ball past the Loughrea keeper. The turnaround was complete when Liam picked up the ball and put another perfect pass through for Richard to make a difficult chance look easy by placing the ball inside the far post with the game in injury time.
The last twist in this extraordinary game came with Loughrea grabbing an equaliser with the whistle in the referee’s lips. Emotions were in turmoil at the end, delight at the comeback but dismay at dropping 2 points so late in the game. Loughrea are undoubtedly Athenry’s greatest opposition to winning this league but a valuable lesson was learned about playing against physically strong teams as Athenry now know that a quick passing game through midfield and beyond the opposition defence will allow their forwards and wide men to use their superior skill and pace to create chances.
It would have been easy to pick Jack Farrell, Richard and especially Liam as Man of the Match but on a day when there were many contenders, it is important to remember that it was the defence that kept Athenry in the game for so long and Jack Burke and Nathan can consider themselves unlucky not to be selected but they were just pipped by Colm who frequently found himself defending against two opponents as Liam chased the game ahead of him but on each occasion, he was able to keep them away from the goal long enough to allow his defensive partners to get into position. This squad of players are learning fast and can look forward to a successful season.
TEAM EFFORT REWARDED AS McCROSSAN KEEPS THEM OUT
Galway FA Under 13 Division 2 (22nd oct)
Athenry B 3-1 Kinvara
The Athenry under 13 'B' team came up against a decent Kinvara side in Raheen this morning. In the first 10 minutes Kinvara were strong and could easily have been one up after hitting the crossbar. The Athenry lads stayed strong and their efforts were rewarded when Conor Wilson latched on to a save from the Kinvara keeper and calmly put the ball in the back of the net. Soon after Jack Foley's persistence paid off and he got on the score sheet. 2-0 up at the break but Kinvara came out strong in the second half and got a goal back from a corner. Mikey Kelly settled the nerves soon after with a well taken goal to give Athenry a bit of breathing space again and Evan McCrossan pulled off a great save to stop Kinvara getting back into the game. 3-1 it finished which was a great result on a difficult morning.
A great team effort overall and to be honest it is impossible to single out one player as the MOTM because every player dug deep and did what was asked of them.
Special mentions: Evan McCrossan, Cian Kilkenny, Thomas Carr, Ronan Barrett, Shane Fox, Shane Quinn, Mikey Kelly, Thomas Fleet, Conor Wilson, Luke Morgan, Mathew Bane, Jack Foley, Conor Ryan, Sean Olando and Colin Jordan.
McCARTHY HEADED GOAL GLOSSES OVER PERFORMANCE
Galway FA Under 13 Premier
Kiltullagh 0-1 Athenry
In Kiltullagh Referee: Mike Walsh
A beautiful morning for football, saw Athenry creep past the post in Kiltullagh! Most of the first half was fairly pedestrian, with the odd bit of sparkle shown by both sides. Athenry had three spurned opportunities with Finian Coughlan, Glenn Kelly and Adam Molloy hitting the target, but not really troubling the keeper. Indeed, Kiltullagh came closest from a quick counter attack from an Athenry corner, but a good saving tackle by Cian Flannery relieved the danger on the Athenry lines. Just short of half time, Athenry won a corner, which was delivered into the box, and headed to the net by Daire McCarthy. The second half Athenry deserved to be further ahead, but the finishing today had much to be desired ! Opportunities fell to many, but the conversion rate was poor. Athenry were fortunate at the death, when Athenry conceded a needless penalty only to see it come off the crossbar, and walloped to safety by the steady and reliable Dean Collins. Overall, Athenry deserved their victory in this derby match, with the ever improving Darragh McNeilis and Finnian Coughlan coming back to themselves after long periods on the sidelines. Great to see Conor O'Farrell and Daire McCarthy back too today after missing games from a head on collision between the two of them, causing them to miss recent matches. A determined and spirited display by Athenry, defenders, midfielders and attackers doing their bit, which keeps the momentum going in the league, and a valued soccer score line, a 1-0 win.
FAHY MAN OF MATCH AS BIT O' ORANGE JUST ABOUT SHADE IT
01/10/16 Athenry B 3-4 Barna B
Goalkeeper Alex Keogh
Defenders Andrew Coffey/Jack Burke/Colm Moran/ Sean Rice/Nathan Jarvis
Midfielders Martin Fahy/Jack Farrell/Liam Kelly/Marcus Roldan
Forwards Aaron Cunningham/Richard Stoker/Alan Kelly
Athenry were unlucky to, at least, not get a draw here. This side is still coming together and the coach is learning about his players too. There was an imbalanced look about the starting 11 and it showed as Barna launched wave after wave of attack .The score was quickly 2-0 but it could have been more if it hadn’t been for Alex. This was not the Barna comprehensively beaten by Athenry last season, confirmed by the Barna coach who admitted that they had added 3 strong players since the teams’ last meeting.
Colm, Andrew, Nathan and Sean all defended well, breaking up attacks but as a unit they looked vulnerable. Athenry settled a bit as the half wore on and came more in to it and towards the break the game was on again as Alan won the ball strongly and the ball was played through to Richard whose finish was too good despite the best efforts of the Barna keeper.
A reshuffled Athenry side came out in the second half and were immediately on the front foot looking for the equaliser. Liam, Jack, Richard, Aaron and Marcus combined to create chances but with the whole team pressing high, a long Barna clearance sent their forward clear to make it 3-1. Athenry continued to put the Barna defence under pressure and a number of frees were conceded by Barna, one of which from 35 yards out was sent into the top corner by goal a game Jack Burke.
Jack was not celebrating for long after a ridiculous refereeing decision saw a penalty awarded against him when a Barna shot from less than a yard hit his arm. Alex went the right way but couldn’t keep the spot kick out. The quality football was still being played by Athenry but went unrewarded until Liam found himself one on one with the Barna keeper who stopped him scoring by hitting him so hard that he almost somersaulted into the goal himself. Liam picked himself up and showed great composure in slotting home the penalty. Athenry pushed hard for the equaliser but time ran out and Barna hung on for the victory.
After a shaky start Athenry again showed what they are capable of and know they are capable of achieving great things in this division. The plaudits in this game were mainly for the attacking forces as Liam caused Barna problems time and again, Richard’s well timed runs were unlucky not to be rewarded with more goals and Jack Farrell was yet again provider-in-chief, ably assisted by newcomer Marcus who showed the Spanish ability to retain possession. Man of the Match though went to Martin Fahy who is proving to be a great all-rounder, tackling back to win the ball when necessary, rarely misplacing a pass and showing great intelligence in seeing opportunities to create chances, noticeably when sneaking up on the right to collect a simple free kick when the whole defence were pulled to the left waiting on the cross-field ball .
It’s Loughrea next and now that the coach knows his players a bit better, the team that starts the match will ready to hit the ground running.
DEAN IS MAIN MAN AS ATHENRY STROLL IT!!!
KSFAI U13 Cup Athenry FC 4, Tuam Celtic 1,
x2 Molloy, x1 Gilhooley, x1 Fahy,
Athenry travelled to Tuam this morning with one thing in mind, getting to the next round, which they did with a fine performance. Commanding from back to front all through, the lively Adam Molloy ran onto a through ball by Daire McCarthy, and the confident Molloy netted his first after 15 minutes, which was followed by a highly accomplished finish from Darragh Gilhooley who chipped the keeper from 30 yards, ....a splendid finish for this young man ....some ten minutes later . At half time a two goal lead can be a dangerous cushion, but Athenry started well in the second half and a exchange of passes between Finnian Coughlan and Darragh Fahy, saw Darragh Fahy stroke the ball past the Tuam keeper for a third Athenry goal effectively killing the game. Five minutes before the end, up popped the hard working Adam Molloy for his second goal of the day. On the games death, a well struck free kick by Tuam found the bottom corner, for their consolation goal. Overall, the Athenry defence were strong all through Conor O'Farrell in goal, for Colm Sweeney, Cian Flannery, Dean Collins and Darragh McNeilis marshalling all Tuam could put before them. Great to see the two Darragh's, Gilhooley and Fahy getting on the scoresheet. Daire McCarthy was excellent today, displaying a range of passes that created many chances for his team, combined with the pace of Darragh McNeilis who was at the end of many of them tormenting a Tuam defence. Andrew Cronnolly was lively on his entry just after half time, and both Glenn Kelly and Andrew Cronnolly deserved a goal for their efforts. However while Kelly, Mc Carthy, Mc Neilis and Molloy might have excelled, pride of place goes to Dean Collins who was undoubtedly man of the match. Well done boys !
KEOGH MAKES HIS GOAL IMPENETRABLE !
24/09/16 Athenry B 1 Ramblers A 0
x1 Jack Burke
Athenry Team: Goalkeeper-Alex Keogh, Defenders-Andrew Coffey/Jack Burke/Colm Moran/ Cian Flannery/Daire Fahy,
Midfielders-Martin Fahy/Ivan Power/Jack Farrell/Colm Sweeney/Darragh Gilhooley, Forwards-Aaron Cunningham/Richard Stoker/Alan Kelly
A fantastic, well deserved and hard fought victory was achieved by Athenry at Raheen against a Ramblers side that already had a win against Oranmore under their belt. The win was made all the more impressive as this Athenry side had never played together before.
Not surprisingly Ramblers started the stronger but a series of attacks couldn’t breach the defensive wall formed by Colm, Andrew, Cian and Jack who played a Captain’s role in organising his back line and being first to the tackle when the goal was under threat. Ramblers superior possession only resulted in a series of long range shots which Alex collected with deceptively apparent ease. As the game progressed the confidence with which he dealt with what was thrown at him gave confidence to his team mates and frustrated Ramblers.
Athenry came more and more into the game and the superior footballing skills of Ivan, Martin, Colm and Jack started cutting through the Ramblers midfield and creating opportunities for Aaron and Richard. Jack tormented the Ramblers Left Back for the entire match and was unlucky not to finish with a goal particularly when the combination of a strong Richard run and a perfectly weighted Aaron pass left Jack with a shot from 12 yards which was well saved by the Ramblers keeper.
Half time saw Athenry go in at 0-0 with new season cobwebs and new team nerves well out of the way.
The second half saw the introduction of Daire in defence, Darragh in midfield and Alan up front. They had a tough act to follow with the way the team had performed in the first half but slotted straight in and the Athenry machine continued to run smoothly and get a stronger grip on the game. Ramblers were getting stretched and starting to concede more and more frees. One of these provided the match winning moment. Jack Burke curled in a text book free kick and with the Ramblers keeper distracted by a number of Athenry players who could have got a touch on the ball, it eventually curled and bounced into the top corner. This was the cue for a Ramblers onslaught but all 10 Athenry outfield players defended heroically and when Ramblers did get through, Man of the Match Alex Keogh was unbeatable. This feels like the start of a great season, bring on Barna.
FOLEY BRACE SEALS A DRAW
Under 13 B West Coast Utd 3 Athenry B 3
The Athenry B team made the long journey to Letterfrack for the first game of season and it turned out to be a cracking contest! The Athenry lads went in at half time down by 2 but we're very unlucky to be so, as they had most of the play and were close to getting a couple themselves.
After the break it was a different story! They got 1 goal back early from a well taken loose ball by Savio Moroves which was soon followed by a great run and finish by Jack Foley. It stayed that way for a long period and Athenry's defence stood strong with good performances in back line from Ronan Barrett, Shane Quinn and Shane Fox.
With less than 10 minutes to go West Coast got a 3rd goal but lads heads never dropped and with pure grit and determination they got one more chance in the last two minutes that Jack Foley tucked past the keeper.
The players of the match for Athenry were Conor Wilson and Jack Foley. It was Conor's first time playing in the back line and he was outstanding. There was also great performances from Luke Morgan ,Evan McCrossan, Thomas Carr to mention a few but everyone that played did themselves proud!
A draw was a fair result on the day and it will hopefully give the lads great confidence for the rest of the season.
DEBUTANT KELLY OFF THE MARK
U14 Premier Athenry 2, Corofin 1,
A welcomed winning start for the u14 A team in their first league game of the season with goals from Daire McCarthy and new boy Glenn Kelly. Athenry played delightful football in the first half, with the central defence pairing of Cian Flannery and Colm Sweeney marshalling all that came before them, assisted by Adam Molloy and Darragh McNeilis, and at times when needed Alex Keogh. Ronan Jennings, Darragh Fahy and Daire McCarthy passed well, but the wingers were impressive today, combinations of Sean Rice, Jack Farrell and Finnian Coughlan. Up front the lively Liam Kelly took the eye, the hardworking Glenn Kelly, with flashes from Nathan Jarvis, Eanna Brady and Richard Stoker.
A good start after ten minutes when Daire McCarthy found the net with a splendid free kick, was followed by some missed chances after great link up play. Late on in the half, a powerful strike by Glenn Kelly was deflected to the Corofin net. Nothing more than Athenry deserved from a busy half. A shaky second half start, resulted in Athenry conceding a sloppy goal, one which we hope won't be common this season ! Game On ! Athenry steadied with Darragh McNeilis, Ronan Jennings and Darragh Fahy to the fore, to close out the game. Sub keeper Conor O'Farrell only man to not get a game today, but if he keeps antagonising the manager in a Tipp jersey he might never start!
It's a long season.
Athenry created a large number of chances today, and a better conversion rate will be required throughout the season. Great to see Glenn Kelly off the mark with his first competitive goal for Athenry.
All that said, job done, one played, one won. Upwards and onwards, Well done lads !