THE PEOPLE’S MATCH CHOICE
Kepak Roscommon SHC Quarter-Final
Athleague 3-17 Oran 3-8
Athleague were never in trouble in this one-sided quarter-final played in Waldron Park last Sunday. However, despite the impressive tally that Athleague put on the scoreboard, it’s unlikely that anyone in Pádraig Pearses will be losing too much sleep ahead of the semi-final between the two teams. It was a poor quality match and Athleague will have to improve if they are to trouble the champions.
The exchanges were evenly contested in the first ten minutes, with the sides level at 0-2 each. Once Athleague got a grip in the middle of the field they drove forward effectively, and with Ben McGahon in deadly accurate form from play and frees, they began to pull away.
By the time Aaron Clogher blew the half-time whistle, Athleague were ahead by 0-11 to 0-3, with McGahon contributing 0-7 of their total. David Delaney, Eoghan Coyle, Ronan O’Meara and Aenghus Lyons were also playing well for the home side.
After McGahon was on target with another free on the resumption, Athleague got in for the opening goal in the 33rd minute when Lyons finished smartly after good work from Gary Fallon and Eoin Ward.
A minute later, Oran had a goal of their own when ET Murray’s poor puck-out was returned with interest by David Quinn. Indeed, Athleague were guilty of some sloppy play in the third quarter and Liam Ryan got in for another Oran goal in the 42nd minute to narrow the gap, the score now 1-13 to 2-5.
Athleague steadied themselves, and when Eoin Ward kicked home a goal in the 47th minute they were back in business. Ryan flicked home a third Oran goal in the 58th minute but it was of consolation value only and Athleague sealed a resounding win in the first minute of time added on when sub Robbie Fallon goaled on the rebound after his first effort was saved.
It was a good win for Athleague but Oran were poor on the day, and Pearses will provide a much bigger challenge in the semi-final.
Athleague: ET Murray; Niall Connolly, David Delaney, Mark Ward; Naoise Coyle, Eoghan Coyle, Alan Moore; Darragh Heavey, Ben McGahon (0-11, 8 frees); Gary Fallon, Ronan O’Meara (0-1), David Flaherty; Eoin Ward (1-1), Stephen Kilcommins, Aengus Lyons (1-2). Subs: Cian Murray for G Fallon and Robbie Fallon (1-2) for O’Meara (both 43), Thomas Connaughton for Flaherty and Pat Nolan for Ward (both 51), Thomas Clayton for Heavey (57).
Oran: Jerry Fallon; Michael T McCormack, Padraig Crehan, Kevin Crehan; Oisin Keenan, Hugh Rooney (0-2), Brian Diffley; Eamon Kenny, Liam Ryan (2-0); David Quinn (1-0), Cathal Kenny (0-6, 3 frees), Michael Dwyer; Joseph Henry, Dara McCormack, Shane Keane. Subs: Ciaran Hoare for McCormack (46), Thomas Fallon for Keenan (48), Robert Varley for McCormack (60).
Referee: Aaron Clogher.
Man of the Match: Ben McGahon