ATHLONE TOWN 0
ST. PATRICKS ATHLETIC 4
By John Dingle
St. Patricks Athletic won the Leinster Senior Cup for the ninth time when they beat Athlone Town in the final played at Richmond Park last Saturday afternoon.
It was a poor end to the season for the Town as they failed to beat what was the Saints under 19 team. The hosts lead at the break and easily collected the trophy with three further goals in the second half.
Athlone were at near full strength and had the better chances in the first half. The Saints had an early opportunity but a Kyle Robinson shot from the left was saved by Aaron Myles at his near post.
Athlone earned the first corner kick after three minutes of play. Aaron Brilly then had a shot saved. The best chance for the visitors came on seven minutes. Jamie Hamilton played the ball in from the left but Evan Pierce drilled his shot just wide of the far post. Hamilton was again in action on 13 minutes when his cross from the left was gathered at the second attempt by the home keeper.
The Saints forced their first corner soon after from which Jamie Whelan headed wide. Athlone enjoyed their best spell of the half up to and beyond the midway point. Pierce headed wide a Darren Meenan cross while Kealan Dillon then had two good chances from headers.
The deadlock was finally broken on 33 minutes. Cian Hughes passed the ball to Robinson who shot across the keeper into the net. Athlone could easily have headed off for the break with a two goal deficit to make up, as, in stoppage time, Robinson looked set to score but Gavin Kearney did well to clear the shot off the line.
Athlone were poor in the second half as the Saints scored three unanswered goals. From the first attack of the half, the lead should have been doubled. Jake Walker looked set to score with only Myles to beat but the keeper made a great block.
The respite was brief as the Saints struck again on 55 minutes. Kevin O’Reilly sent in a left wing cross which was turned home by Brandon Holt. Robinson had a chance to make it three after 65 minutes but swept a right wing cross wide of the post.
Athlone replied with just a couple of chances. A corner kick was followed by Dillon having a shot saved. The Saints sealed victory with a third goal on 76 minutes. Kearney’s back pass to the keeper was weak allowing Walker to fire a low shot past the helpless keeper.
Athlone tried to reply but both of their efforts went wide as substitute Johnny Poame and Kearney were off target. The scoring was completed with three minutes remaining. More indecisive defending afforded Daniel Dobbin the chance to score and he found the net with a low strike.
It ended a bad afternoon for Athlone as the Saints celebrated a first success in the competition since 2014. Athlone were disappointing as the prolonged campaign ended without any silverware.