Athlone suffer first league campaign defeat as The Downs prove too strong in Mullingar

Athlone 1-9

The Downs 1-13

A poor third quarter proved costly for the Athlone senior footballers as they suffered their first league defeat of the season away to a strong Downs side on a bitterly cold Friday evening in Mullingar.

Athlone led by a point after an evenly matched first half, 1-5 to 1-4, through a well-worked goal finished by Kian Mitchell and points from Cillian Lynn, Benny Martin, Josh Beaumont, Shane Allen and Michael Byrne, and they doubled that lead early in the second period with a Mitchell point, which came after a goal chance had gone astray.

However, that was as good as it got for Athlone and they then conceded six points in a row as the home side took control, although they were helped by some sloppy turnovers and poor decision making in the visitors’ defence.

A superb outside of the boot effort from Josh Kenny broke the sequence and kept the deficit at just one score, but The Downs responded with a further three points to open up a six point lead as the match entered its closing stages.

To their credit, Athlone didn’t give up and put the home goal under pressure in the final minutes, but they were unable to find the goals required and had to be content with a pair of Shane Allen frees to close the scoring as The Downs ran out winners by 1-13 to 1-9.

Meanwhile, in ACFL Division 4, the club’s difficult start to their league campaign continued when they were comprehensively beaten by St Mary’s in Rochfortbridge on Sunday morning. After starting the season with matches on three consecutive weekends, both teams now have a break for St Patrick’s weekend and resume the following weekend with home games against Moate in Division 1 on Friday, March 22 (8pm ) and Garrycastle in Division 4 on Sunday, March 24 (11.30am ).

Athlone: Darren Costello, Dylan Rushe, James Finlass, Owen McNamara, Michael Byrne (0-1 ), Diarmuid Martin, Josh Kenny (0-1 ), Shane Allen (0-3 ), Daniel Reid, Stephen Flaherty, Benny Martin (0-1 ), Kieran Colclough, Cillian Lynn (0-1 ), Josh Beaumont (0-1 ), Kian Mitchell (1-1 ) Subs Used Stephen O’Connor, Sean Dowd, Matt Scally, Johnny Martin.


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