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GFA PREMIER DIVISION CHAMPIONS 2017/18
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ATHENRY RESILIENCE VITAL AS SEAN & FLORIANO THRIVE
8/04/18 Moyne Villa A 2- 6 Athenry B (u16)
Athenry Team: Goalkeeper-Alex Keogh, Defenders-Harry Greaney, Nathan Jarvis, Diarmuid Tuohy, Alan Kelly, Ivan Power, Andrew Coffey, Midfielders-Evan Lydon, Jack Burke, Mika Harun, Eoin Lydon,Paddy Loughnane, Ronan Jennings, Sean Rice Forwards- Aaron Cunningham, Floriano Gomes, Richard Stoker
Athenry took to the field against full-strength opposition for the first time in 4 months in a winner take all quarter final and Moyne Villa soon let them know that they were in for a tough match. It was 50/50 for most of the first half and the more it progressed, the more Athenry were getting on top with Aaron and Richard giving the Moyne Villa plenty to think about with Jack, Paddy, Nathan and Alan providing the solidity down the middle and Ivan, Diarmuid, Eoin and Sean working some great possession down the flanks and providing the ammunition. However, it was against the run of play that Moyne Villa took the lead when a back pass was intercepted and the Moyne Villa forward gratefully accepted the opportunity. Athenry got their equaliser before half time when Aaron got the goal that his industry deserved and the sides went in at half time all square,
Athenry high hopes were quickly dented after the re-start when a clearance by Alex was returned with interest into the net by Moyne Villa, Athenry freshened the team with the introduction of Ronan, Evan, Mika and Harry but it was Floriano who made the big difference as Moyne Villa just couldn’t cope with his directness, the game was turned on it’s head with goals from Mika, Richard and a famous hat-trick from Floriano. The result seems to indicate a comfortable victory for Athenry but it was far from this. The goal scorers will grab the headlines but it was the constant penetration down right and left that created the opportunities courtesy of Eoin, Ronan and a man of the match performance from Sean Rice.
So Athenry march into the semi final fearing no one.
McCROSSAN SAVES GIVE ATHENRY THE EDGE
GFA Under 14 Division 2
Maree/Oranmore 'B' 0 - 1 Athenry 'B' (x1 Ben Rooney)
Report -A good win for the lads this evening in Oranmore.
Athenry played into a strong wind in the first half and did well not to concede because they were put under extreme pressure but the defence of Niall Daly, Ronan Barret, Shane Fox and Thomas Fleet were in top form and goalkeeper Evan McCrossan made 4 vital saves to keep a clean sheet.
We started well in the second half and dominated large portions of the play and the midfield of Savio Marques, Luke Morgan, Conor Wilson, Thomas Carr, Colin Jordan, Cian Newton, Andrew Cronnolly were very strong and had some fantastic passages of play. The front line of Ben Rooney, Jack Foley and Daragh Gilhooley were lively and soon into the second half they got their reward when Ben Rooney met a Cian Newton cross to slot home!!!
The rest of the game was the biggest team effort of the season yet to see the game out and seal the win. Today's joint MOTM were Cian Newton and Ronan Barret but the effort from all the lads tonight was huge.
GILHOOLEY BRACE GIVES ATHENRY FIVE STAR WIN
GFA Under 14 Division 2
Athenry B 5 - Colga B 1
x2 Darragh Gilhooley, Savio Marques, Cian Newton, Jack Foley.
Athenry started strong but found themselves one down when a through ball was neatly finished by the Colga striker. Athenry kept pushing and squandered several chances and finally got their reward when Darragh Gilhooley scored shortly before halftime. Athenry pushed for another but it finished 1-1 at the break.
The second half started lively and Athenry took the lead with a goal from Savio Marques and soon had a third when Darragh Gilhooley got his second with a fantastic long range strike! It stayed that way until 5 minutes to the end when Cian Newton was rewarded for his persistence and scored a great individual goal. Athenry were then awarded a penalty in the final minute and Jack Foley kept his cool and put the keeper the wrong way! A great team performance and a well deserved win.
Athenry U14 'B' Team - Evan McCrossan, Shane Fox, Niall Daly, Ronan Barret, Thomas Fleet, Savio Marques, Colin Jordan, Luke Morgan, Conor Wilson, Andrew Cronnolly, Darragh Gilhooley, Sean Orlando, Cian Newton, Thomas Carr, Jack Foley.
MOTM Darragh Gilhooley and Conor Wilson
TOWERING TUOHY SHINES IN TEAM PERFORMANCE
U16 LOUGHREA 'A' 1-4 Athenry 'B'
Ronan Jennings (2), Aaron Cunningham (1), Eoin Lydon (1)
Athenry Team: Goalkeeper-Alex Keogh, Defenders-Harry Greaney/Nathan Jarvis/Colm Moran/ Diarmuid Tuohy/Alan Kelly/Ivan Power, Midfielders-Evan Lydon/Jack Burke/Floriano Gomes/Richard Stoker/Mika Harun/Eoin Lydon/Paddy Loughnane/Ronan Jennings,
Athenry turned up to face Loughrea still not fully match-fit after the long winter break and expecting a tough match. However, for the second game in a row Athenry started the match with a numerical advantage and this was just as well as despite the extra men, they struggled to turn their possession into clear-cut chances. Loughrea had the advantage of a strong breeze and their numerous clearances proved difficult to handle for the Athenry back line as Loughrea’s main forward was strong and quick. Alex came out to force him wide on one occasion which was all that prevented a Loughrea goal. While Alan and Nathan were contending with this, Ivan and Diarmuid were taking advantage of the space ahead of them to support Richard and Ronan in midfield. This started working well for Athenry with Jack, Paddy and Mika working to gain possession in centre midfield and move the ball wide to create chances. The conditions slowed this process down to the point where Loughrea regularly found all but one of their team in their own 18 yard box while Athenry switched the ball from side to side looking for an opening.
Midway through the first half, the pressure, at last, told. Ronan, in particular, had been getting some joy down Athenry’s right, supported by over-lapping runs from Diarmuid and his cross found it’s way to Aaron who’s first time shot found it’s way into the roof of the net despite close attention from Loughrea’s defender and keeper. The pattern was set, and shortly afterwards the ball was worked to the right again and with Aaron waiting in the middle, Ronan beat the right back, beat the centre back and fired an unstoppable shot through the Loughrea keeper to give Athenry a healthy 2-0 lead. Nevertheless, Loughrea were still troubling Athenry with the wind-assisted boot up the pitch and just before half-time, the same tactic saw the Loughrea forward out sprint Alan and Nathan and fire a shot past Alex via both posts.
The start of the second half saw Athenry showing off their large squad by making 4 substitutions and taking to the field with the wind at their back feeling that this would be an easier task and so it proved as Alex was untroubled to the point where Paddy was able to replace him in goal towards the end of the match and allow Alex to show his on-field prowess.
In the meantime, Harry and Colm were providing the cover at right and left back respectively as well as the ammunition for Ronan and Floriano to attack the under siege Loughrea goal.
Any number of attacks were thwarted by the Loughrea defence, the Loughrea crossbar or the odd foul and one of these led to a free kick for Athenry about 25 yards out and with the Loughrea defence marshalling the Athenry attackers in the box, Ronan scored with a powerful shot which went in off the underside of the bar. Floriano is due a goal, he was unlucky in the previous game which saw his effort lead to a Mika goal and after hitting the bar again in this game, another great shot was almost saved by the Loughrea keeper but only gave Eoin the opportunity to add to his goal tally with an easy finish. It was constant Athenry pressure thereafter to the point where the referee blew up early to save the opposition from further punishment.
Positives and negatives from Athenry, the positives being mostly in attacking areas where Mika continues to improve and the interplay with Aaron is creating more opportunities. Ronan was very strong throughout but a pleasing development is seeing the Athenry full backs defending and supporting the attack with forward runs which saw Diarmuid edge the Man of the Match competition. Athenry have been fortunate on their return to action to face two under strength sides but they are taking advantage of this by recording victories and developing their game.
MoM LOUGHNANES CALMING INFLUENCE PAYS OFF
U16 Athenry B 3-0 Colga B (18/03/18)
Athenry Team: Goalkeeper - Alex Keogh
Defenders - Andrew Coffey, Jack Burke, Colm Moran, Diarmuid Tuohy, Paddy Loughnane, Alan Kelly, Ivan Power
Midfielders- Evan Lydon, Ian O’Halloran, Floriano Gomes, Richard Stoker
Forwards- Aaron Cunningham, Mika Harun
The season re-started after a 3 month gap and it was only to be expected that Athenry would not be match-fit. It helped that Colga were unable to field a full-strength side but were still good enough to take advantage of any mistakes made. The game started with Athenry playing with the advantage of a strong but bitterly cold wind and, not surprisingly, their football was patchy. Some nice passages of play through midfield involving Evan, Richard, Floriano, Mika and Ian boded well for what was to come but Jack, Alan, Ivan, Diarmuid and Alex were also regularly called upon as the midfield were caught up the pitch when moves broke down. As the game progressed, that first, important goal could have gone either way but it was the wind that proved to be one of the deciding factors as Alex was able to send a long clearance, the length of the pitch. The other deciding factor was the quality of Aaron’s finishing as he collected the ball, just past the halfway line on the shoulder of the last defender, took the ball at pace to the edge of the box and lifted it over the advancing keeper with apparent ease.
This was to be the turning point in the match as Paddy came on to provide a bit more solidity in the middle of midfield and provide the foundation for Athenry to attack from all areas of the pitch. Athenry used their extra man well as they switched the play from one side of the pitch to the other, continuously pressing the Colga box. Floriano saw the opportunity and fired a tremendous shot from 20 yards out which cannoned off the underside of the bar and the ever-alert Mika was on hand to fire a composed first-time shot into the net before the keeper could re-adjust for his first competitive goal for Athenry. The first of many no doubt.
The lack of recent games was still showing, not just in general play but more evidently in overall fitness as players started struggling to get up and down the pitch.The one aspect of Athenry’s game that doesn’t seem to have suffered from the break was their finishing as two excellent goals were followed by an even better one. Diarmuid and Floriano worked the ball well down the right, Aaron made himself available, beat the Colga left back and put a perfect cross to the penalty spot. Richard executed a text book scissor kick, getting above the waist-high ball and firing down, past the goalkeeper with power. Even the Colga coach had to applaud. That was almost the last action of the first half
The second half was a different affair, the wind got stronger and colder and Athenry legs got heavier. Colm came on and his usual solidity was called upon regularly down the Athenry left. Andrew was similarly tested down the right and the more robust centre of Alan, the now-defending Paddy and Jack in a midfield position which rarely saw him getting the chance to cross the half way line meant that Colga continuously knocked on the Athenry defensive door but were rarely let in. When they did get through, Alex was his ever-reliable self.
Athenry chances were rare; Ian, Floriano, Richard and Mika probed but couldn’t create any more clear-cut opportunities. The game petered out with the sense of a job well-done. Conditions dictated that you take your chances when playing with the wind and make it hard for the opposition to do the same when they had the wind.
Man of the Match was a tough call on a day when everyone played well in parts but fitness and rustiness meant that standards dropped from time to time for all players. Paddy just got the nod as it was noticeable how much better Athenry played as a team when he sat back in midfield allowing the players in front of him to create the goals. Hopefully it won’t be another 3 months before the next game
MORGANS FINE STRIKE CANCELS OUT HARSH PENALTY
GFA Under 14 Division 2
Athenry B 1 - 1 Oughterard
Luke Morgan x1
This was a game that will leave Athenry feel like they dropped 2 points rather than having gained 1. Athenry started very strong and could have been ahead but found themselves behind when Oughterard were awarded a penalty from a foul that seemed to happen well outside the box. That was how the first half ended. After the restart the Athenry lads pushed hard and put in some lovely sequences of football together but couldn't convert any of their chances until Luke Morgan struck from just inside the box and beat the keeper on his near post!! A fine goal and was what the team deserved. Athenry continued to be the strongest but just couldn't get the goal to put the ahead.
The last few minutes were fairly frantic and it turned out to be the tale of two keepers!!! First, Evan McCrossan pulled off a fantastic save from an Oughterard free kick and then in the final minute the Oughterard keeper dived to his left to stop a Ronan Barrett shot that looked a certain goal. Honours even it finished and Oughterard will definitely be the happier of the two teams. Today's MOTM were Shane Fox and Andrew Connolly.
THADY & LIAM COMBO NOT ENOUGH AS ATHENRY LOSE OUT
U15 SFAI Cup Athenry 1 Merville United 1
(Merville United win after extra time and penalties 4-2)
Last years Connacht Regional SFAI Cup winners got a serious examination of their credentials in Sligo today. The opening half was fast paced and busy, with Merville shading it, a powerful side, who physically outmuscled a smaller visiting eleven. Despite the Sligo supremacy the opening goal was somewhat self inflicted by the visitors five minutes before the break, an innocuous cross turned into the Athenry net. 1-0 Merville. Could the Athenry boys react ? At half time Athenry regrouped, the introduction of a little more steel in midfield in the guise of Darragh Morrissey added needed urgency. Fifteen minutes later a sweet through ball by Thady Moran was lashed to the net by Liam Kelly. To be fair from that point onwards, both sides created chances, two well worked opportunities by Merville saved by goalkeeper Cian Flannery, and one each for Thady Moran, Michael Kelly and the best falling to Liam Kelly, after a fine break and pin point cross by Conor Trehy. Alas from the visitors perspective none hit the onion sack. The closing minutes saw an Athenry buoyant, but on the game overall a 1-1 result after extra time was a fair reflection of matters. The lottery began, and this time round Merville United triumphing on penalties 4-2. Merville had some star performers, but Athenry had too! Defenders Flannery, McNeilis, Kelly, Sweeney and Jennings, midfielders Fahy, Mc Carthy, O'Connor, Trehy Moran and Morrissey with the two Kelly's up front 'little and large!' Two final remarks, a thank you to John McAteer and Merville for their hospitality, and secondly an unusual mention that of the referee who was outstanding all through well deserved and merited. As always onwards and upwards !
HAZEL SHINES IN TEAM SHOW
U12 Girls Championship Result
Athenry 7 - 3 Moyne Villa
Scorers : Ruby Mullen X 3, Hazel Burke X 2, Rihannan Gorton, Sophie Donnelly
Player of the match : Hazel Burke
All round great performance from the girls. They worked very hard today. Sophie Donnelly got the ball rolling with a tap in at the near side. Hazel Burke ran down the line and cut in side for her first and well taken in the bottom corner. Then Ruby Mullen got her first in the far corner. Rihannan Gorton got her goal from a scramble in the box to slot home from six yards out. All the girls played really well today.
ITS THE KELLY'S SHOW IN MOANBAUN
x3 liam kelly x1 michael kelly
U15 Premier League Mervue 3 Athenry 4
Two competitive teams who played some excellent football in Moanbaun today all through, saw the home side take the spoils. Athenry came out of the blocks at lightening pace, two goals scored by Liam Kelly and Michael Kelly within 15 mins, and possibly two more that should have been converted. In fairness to Mervue, there was no panic, and they steadied to score 10 mins before half time, and after some sustained pressure on the stroke of half time Mervue repeated the dose. 2-2 game on. The second half was feisty, no quarter given, but it was again Mervue who hit the onion sack. 3-2. Goal line clearances, struck posts and some clever passages of play by both sides, the supporters treated to some mighty entertainment ! 7 mins to go, Athenry drew level, with a Liam Kelly finish. 3-3. The home side pushed for the winner, and were rewarded after some good play and tasty passing with a tidy Liam Kelly finish, completing his hat trick. 4-3. Great display of endeavour by all our boys, a truly great team effort resolute defending particularly Glenn Kelly, Darragh Morrissey and Colm Sweeney, a quality supply route through Daire McCarthy and Ronan Jennings and razor sharp finishing from Mikey Kelly and Liam Kelly. Mervue contributed to a high tempo game too, but today's game will be one to remember for the hat trick man. Well done all ! Upwards and onwards !
ANDREW & JACK RUN THE SHOW
Under 14 Division 2 Athenry B 4 - 1 Kinvarra
x2 savio marques, x1 colin jordan, x1 mathew bane
Another top of the table clash today in Raheen and another great result.
Athenry went ahead early when Savio Marques scored from a lovely through ball. Soon after we were 2 ahead, again from Savio with a bit of a goal mouth scramble. Kinvarra had a couple of chances but couldn't convert and were left frustrated with the strength of the Athenry back line!!! Athenry then went three ahead. Jack Foley didn't give up when the Kinvarra defender looked like he was going to get the better of him, a cut a ball back to Colin Jordan, who finished to the top corner!! Athenry went 4 up before halftime when Jack Foley again shrugged off the close attention of a defender to cross and it was finished well by Mathew Bane. Early in the second half Kinvarra got one back but Athenry stayed strong to see the game out. A fantastic team performance and the 2 MOTM were Andrew Cronnolly and Jack Foley .
FLEET FOOTED ATHENRY EDGE CLOSE GAME
Under 14 Division 2
Mac Dara 2 - 3 Athenry B (daragh gilhooley, savio marques, cian newton)
Top of the table clash yesterday in Carraroe and the game lived up to its expectations!!!! Athenry took some pressure early in the game but ended up going ahead when Daragh Gilhooley finished a well worked sequence of passes and Savio Marques put us 2 ahead when he met a cross to bravely finish. Mac Dara came back strong and soon it was 2-2, both goals coming from corners. It stayed that way until shortly before half time until Cian Newton fired home from the edge of the box, 3-2 and that's how the half finished.
The second half was played mostly in the Mac Dara half with the home side having really only one chance which was well saved by Evan McCrossan. The back line of Shane Fox, Niall Daly, Ronan Barret and Thomas Fleet were outstanding again today and the work rate of the midfield and forwards of Sean Orlando, Luke Morgan, Colin Jordan, Ben Rooney, Conor Wilson, Shane Quinn, Thomas Carr, Cian Newton, Jack Foley, Mathew Bane, Savio Marques, Andrew Cronnolly and Darragh Gilhooley was superb and they did everything that was asked of them. Athenry had several chances in the second half and were unlucky not to have had a couple more goals but they held out to secure a fine win! Joint MOTM today were Savio Marques and Thomas Fleet.
FLANNERY & KELLY EARN THE PLAUDITS IN TEAM PERFORMANCE
U14 Premier League Bearna 2 Athenry 4 (x3 kelly, x1 o'connor)
A long trip this morning to Furbo, with the bare 11 players due to our 13's being on Cup duty in Sligo. However the lads performed admirably, the first half producing two Athenry goals, and a host of unconverted chances. Michael Kelly and Ciaran O'Connor scored in the first half. The first goal an Adam Molloy cross for a Michael Kelly header, the second an interception by Kieran O'Connor and a cool finish. The second half saw a more galvanised Bearna approach, whose centre forward was lively all through, converted an excellent volley from 25 yards. 2-1 game on!
Bearna received a free kick 30 yards out after a series of sloppy Athenry challenges, the resultant free kick saw the ball being turned into the Athenry net, 2-2. Indeed, Bearna were unlucky not to have a third, a fine free kick rocketing off the cross bar. However, Athenry steadied the ship, Glenn Kelly, Daire McCarthy, Kieran O'Connor and Daire McNeilis beginning to influence matters. A Glenn Kelly corner was then headed to the net by Micheal Kelly. The game was then sealed by a Hughie McCann interception, rolled to the net by Michael Kelly. Hat trick man Kelly was delighted to get his third goal! Overall, Athenry deserved their win, making hard work of it, but a win is a win, and Furbo is always a difficult venue to achieve 3 points.
The McCann's, Gabriel and Hughie were prominent on the wings, Darragh McNeilis, Colm Sweeney, Glenn Kelly, Adam Molloy and Darragh Fahy in defence. Daire McCarthy and Kieran O'Connor were hard working in midfield, and of course hat trick man Michael Kelly leading the line. However, man of the match goes to goalkeeper Cian Flannery, who made four excellent saves, when the need was most. Three hard earned points. Thanks to Bearna, pitch was in excellent condition in testing conditions. Just a quick mention, best of luck to injured Finiann Coughlan, all hoping MRI results positive on Monday. Onwards and upwards !
FAHY'S PERSPIRATION & FLANNERY'S INSPIRATION PAY OFF IN CRUCIAL CUP CRUNCH
FAI u15 Cup Athenry 3 Westport 3
x2 McCarthy, x1 O'Connor (athenry win 4-3 on penalties)
This game was a credit to both teams, competitive, aggressive and energy sapping in Westport today, .....no quarter given by either side. Athenry opened with a fine opener Liam Kelly lashing the ball to net from an excellent long range Daire McCarthy ball. Westport were back on level terms with a fine worked goal and finish some ten minutes later. Athenry pushed ahead again with a super weighted cross from Glenn Kelly, headed to the net by Daire McCarthy. Westport came again, and scored a second to level matters. 2-2 full time. Extra time and Athenry fired again, the impressive Darragh Fahy to the lively Thady Moran, a neat lob finished to the net by Kieran O'Connor. Westport weren't for turning and at the death of extra time, they scored a headed goal to level matters 3-3. A fair conclusion to a good tussle. So to the lottery! Penalties converted by Sweeney, Kelly, McCarthy, Moran but hero of the shoot out was the ever reliable Cian Flannery who made an outstanding penalty stop to his left, full length touching it onto the post to safety. A mammoth struggle by both teams, where everyone gave their lot in an enthralling game, and while Athenry had many excellent displays, the hard working Darragh Fahy was today's man of the match. A special word of thanks for the hospitality shown to us by Westport, much appreciated on an away trip. No doubt we'll see them again this season for another crunch episode !
EARLY GOALS HINDER ATHENRY AS SMITH & SHAW BOTH SCORE
U13 Division 2 Athenry B 3-3 Corrib Celtic B
x1 Killian Smith, x1Liam Shaw x1 O.G
Athenry started well and had all of the play in the first 10 minutes until they conceded against the run of play. The away team quickly doubled their lead shortly after and it looked like it was not going to be our day! But to their credit the lads showed some serious character and drew level. However they fell behind again just before half time. Athenry drew level about 10 minutes into the second half and continued to pile on the pressure for the remainder of the half. But to be fair to the away team they held on admirably for a deserved draw. Great spirited performance by the Athenry team and rarely will they play so well and not get all 3 points! Athenry scorers; Killian Smith
Liam Shaw and an OG.
ATHENRY HAVE AN OFF DAY
U14 Premier League Athenry 0 Mervue 2
A competitive fixture, as always, but Mervue shaded it today, a little bit more competitive all through this tie. Matters were reasonably level
in the opening minutes, but Athenry conceded a sloppy goal five minutes short of half time, ......., Keane Griffin in the six yard box on his own, who appreciated his luck, and slotted home. Athenry were huffing and puffing, but with no real cutting edge, and despite a sustained period of dominance early on in the second period, conceded a second goal mid way through the second half. In fairness, Athenry kept on the job, but Mervue were that bit better today and saw out the game. Best for Athenry were Cian Flannery, Daire McCarthy, Glenn Kelly and Kieran O'Connor, on a disappointing day when the team laboured all through. Onwards and upwards !
NEWTON'S LATE STRIKE SEALS THE COMEBACK
Under 14 Division 2 - Athenry B 2 - Craughwell 1
Not an afternoon for the faint hearted Athenry supporters but a great result!!! Athenry had most of the play in the first half and created several chances, even hitting the crossbar from a Daragh Gilhooley effort after 5 minutes. The Athenry defence of Evan McCrossan, Shane Fox, Niall Daly, Colin Jordan and Ronan Barrett were as solid as a rock today and made life very difficult for Craughwell. The first half finished 0-0. The second half started the same way as the first but Athenry just couldn't convert any of their chances. The midfield of Luke Morgan, Andrew Cronnolly, Sean Orlando, Daragh Gilhooley, Conor Wilson, Ben Rooney, Cian Newton and the front line of Mathew Bane, Jack Foley and Thomas Carr showed great patience when things weren't going their way. Midway through the second half Craughwell took the lead from a well worked corner and Athenry must have thought it was going to be one of those days!!! But to their credit they lifted the tempo again and piled on the pressure. It took a while but Athenry finally got the equaliser from a fine Luke Morgan shot with about 5 minutes left on the clock. Athenry pushed hard for the winner and got their reward with about a minute to go when Cian Newton found a gap during a goalmouth scramble to slot home. Athenry thought that was the job done but Craughwell got another chance when a striker broke through one on one with the keeper but Evan McCrossan kept his cool and pulled off a fine save. A big learning curve for the lads today and great to get the result! Joint MOTM today were Ronan Barret and Sean Orlando. Well done lads!!!
ICE COOL McCROSSAN IS PENALTY SAVE HERO
Under 14 Connacht Cup Round 1
Result - Athenry B 3 - 3 Kinvarra ( Athenry win 5-3 on penalties)
It was always going to be a battle today with both teams playing in the same division and it really didn't disappoint!!
Athenry had the better of the earlier exchanges and after 10 minutes they were rewarded when Jack Foley never gave up and slotted a great shot into the top corner 1-0. After that Kinvarra started to get some really good passing exchanges together and before Athenry knew what had happened they were behind 1-2 and it stayed that way until half time.
The second half was end to end and the Athenry defence of Niall Daly, Shane Fox, Colin Jordan and Ronan Barret stayed strong. 20 minutes into the second half a well taken goal from Savio Marques drew Athenry level and five minutes later Luke Morgan put Athenry ahead against the run of play. It was a day for digging deep and Conor Wilson, Andrew Cronnolly, Darragh Gilhooley, Ben Rooney and Evan McCrossan did just that when it was needed. With about 5 minutes left Kinvarra got the equaliser and brought the game to extra time.
Honours even after extra time and it was the dreaded penalties!!!!!!
The nerves were visible on both teams but it was Athenry that came out the better with 2 great saves from today's man of the match, Evan McCrossan, sending Athenry into the next round. Nice to get another day out in the cup and we look forward to seeing who we draw in the next round.
FEISTY ATHENRY GET THE JOB DONE
U14 Connacht Cup Cregmore 0 Athenry 1
Blustery conditions hampered a good game of football in wind swept Cregmore today. Athenry played with the gale force breeze in the first half and went in at half time 1-0 up, courtesy of a tidy Mike Kelly finish. The question was would it be enough considering the conditions? Athenry battled gamely in the second period and early on had a player sent to the line, retaliating for a poor tackle. No excuses, those are the rules. Despite this setback, Athenry kept to their task diligently, and while under pressure didn't wilt and saw out the game. This match had a few flash points, but one of the very last in the game, saw Athenry end with nine men, a young man ushered to the dressing room by the referee for a surprisingly ill disciplined verbal indiscretion. Justified, no complaints either!
This was a game where Athenry displayed persistence and determination and while finishing with nine players Athenry had some fine performers today, the heroic defending of Cian Flannery, Colm Sweeney, Glen Kelly, Adam Molloy and Daire Fahy, steady all through, the hard working Daire Mc Carthy, Mike Kelly and Eoghan Burke and our wingers Daire McNeilis, the twin McCanns Hughie and Gabriel, Kieran O Connor and Finiann Coughlan who all carried the ball well when most needed in the second half. Overall a satisfactory and hard earned result, on a difficult day to play soccer. Finally, could I remind players, coaches and parents alike of an old adage "respect is class " both on and off the field! Roll on the next round ! Onwards and Upwards!
KELLY DRAWS COMFORT IN MAN OF THE MATCH PERFORMANCE
U15 Premier League Oranmore Maree 1 Athenry 1
The newly promoted u15's opened their league campaign against Maree/Oranmore tonight in a highly competitive game in Raheen, with an excellent 1-1 draw. A physically strong Oranmore side bullied the opening exchanges, but Athenry settled and a fine free kick by Glenn Kelly was parried by the Oranmore keeper and the ever alert Kieran O'Connor opened his account at this level with a toe poke to the net, ....nice when you can get them! The second half opened evenly and mid-way through a break by an Oranmore forward Gavin Smith saw him slot the ball to the net. 1-1. The game was lively, a highlight for Athenry being the combination plays between Ronan Jennings and Liam Kelly who were slow to start, but finished strongly and both were unlucky not to score. Overall, a fair result for both teams, Athenry having a solid central defence in Colm Sweeney and Glenn Kelly, aided by Man Of The Match Mikey Kelly. Onwards and Upwards !
ROONEY SEALS THE POINTS AGAINST RANGERS
CORRIB RANGERS 1-2 ATHENRY
Under 14B Division 2.
Athenry traveled to Westside with the memory of a tough defeat last season. Corrib came at Athenry early on, but the the strong defence of Ronan Barrett, Niall Daly and Shane fox couldn't be broken. 20 minutes in Evan McCrossen in goal pulled of a fantastic save from a ferocious free kick, stopping it hitting the top corner. Half time all level.
10 minutes after the restart ,Corribs midfielder put his head to a well placed cross to the back post 1-0 to Corrib. 5 minutes later Thomas Fleet after a great game picked up his second yellow. (off). With 10 men Athenry's leaders stepped up Luke Morgan, Colin Jordan, Conor Wilson and Andrew Cronnelly picked up the pace. With a battle on his hands Savio Marquez up front powered his way and the ball into the Corribs net. 1-1. But not happy with that Jack Foley and Ben Rooney came on with fresh legs BANG 💥 Ben sticks the ball in the net . 1-2 to Athenry. With 10 minutes left Thomas Carr & Sean Orlando fought hard to see Athenry over the line. Niall Daly was Man of the Match.
But it was a fantastic team performance.
KEEPER FLANNERY KEEPS ATHENRY ON COURSE FOR WIN
U14 Premier League Maree/Oranmore 1 Athenry 4
A tough game as the opener for this season, and so it proved, Athenry having a thorough examination in Oranmore this afternoon. Despite Athenry starting better, it was Oranmore who had the first two chances, and two very smart saves by Cian Flannery kept the scores level. The opening goal was a low drive by Finnian Coughlan midway through the first half, the second came some five minutes later by Kieran O'Connor. The second half saw a superb team goal finished by Mikey Kelly to the net, and finally a goal made in Gort Na Ri, the twin McCanns interchanging, with Hughie McCann finishing to the net. Athenry conceded late on a consolation goal. Overall a great result, fine performances all round, Daire McCarthy, Adam Molloy, Kieran O Connor prominent. Onwards and upwards.
Moanbaun, Athenry, Co Galway