Kepak Roscommon SHC
Pádraig Pearses 2-15
It was raining goals in the blazing sun in Athleague last Sunday evening as Seamus Qualter’s side opened their campaign with a five point win against the defending champions. No one will be getting carried away at this early stage but Athleague will be very happy with their lot after this opening victory.
In fact, Pearses played reasonably well in this game but they conceded some really soft goals, and once Athleague got into the game those goals proved crucial. Eamon Flanagan led the Athleague side in impressive fashion and despite the heroics of Adam Finnerty and Daniel Glynn for the champions, Athleague deserved to win.
The home side had their first goal on the board in the second minute when Eoin Coyle was on target. With the score at 0-3 to 1-0, Athleague struck again in the 11th minute when Robbie Fallon pounced after Eamon Flanagan’s shot was well saved by Padraig Dolan. But Pearses hit back immediately when Glynn fired home a great goal after an incisive run.
Points from Daniel Glynn left just a point between the teams in the 18th minute before Athleague had their third goal from Aengus Lyons following a great run, and a minute later the rampant Flanagan scored another Athleague goal to leave the score at Athleague 4-0 Pearses 1-5.
Athleague’s first point didn’t come until the 27th minute, from Eamon Flanagan, and then in injury-time Robbie Fallon crashed home another Athleague goal, and at half-time we had a very unusual scoreline of Athleague 5-5 Pearses 1-9.
Incredibly the first score of the second half was yet another Athleague goal within a minute of the restart from Cian Murray. The play settled down after that and Pearses tried valiantly to get back into it but the damage had been done with that avalanche of goals earlier in the game.
Adam Finnerty had a superb game for Pearses but he could not inspire his side to a comeback and despite a well-taken goal from Leon Fehily in the 55th minute Athleague were home and dry.
Best for Athleague were Eamon Flanagan, Niall Connolly, Alan Moore, Robbie Fallon and Aengus Lyons. Pearses were best served on the night by Adam Finnerty, Daniel Glynn, Leon Fehily, Tomas Seale and Cathal Kelly.
It was a feast of attacking play and a great win for Athleague but there’s a lot of hurling to be played before the Mickey Cunniffe Cup is handed out.
Teams and Scorers
Athleague: David Connell; JP Murray, David Delaney, Niall Connolly; Aengus Lyons (1-1), Gary Fallon, Pat Nolan; Darragh Heavey, Alan Moore; Eoin Coyle (1-0), Eamon Flanagan (1-6, 2 frees), Cormac Kelly; Cian Murray (1-0), Robbie Fallon (2-1), Ben McGahon.
Subs: David Flaherty for McGahon (42), Mervyn Connaughton for Murray (49), Tomas Connaughton (0-1) for R Fallon (60).
Pádraig Pearses: Padraig Dolan; Mark Naughton, Karl Fehily, Keelan Daly; Andrew Flood (0-1), David Loughnane, Jimmy Donghue; Tomas Seale, Leon Fehily (1-1); Cathal Kelly, Daniel Glynn (1-9, 6 frees, 1 s/l), Jamie Curley (0-1); Adam Finnerty (0-3), Jamie Donoghue, Matt Fehily.
Subs: Paul Dolan for Jimmy Donoghue (20), Oisin Kelly for Jamie Donoghus (h/t), JP Dolan for Matt Fehily (h/t), Eoghan Cogavin for Curley (48).
Referee: Tom Killion
Wides: Athleague 13 Pádraig Pearses 10
Man of the Match: Eamon Flanagan (Athleague)