Athlone booked their place in the county u21 decider with a three-point win over the home side in an ice-cold Kinnegad last Saturday evening. Goals win matches and Ray Connellan and Shane Kilroy Glynn each bagged majors for the winners.
On a miserable night for football this was never going to be a high scoring affair and Athlone held a slender 1-1 to 0-3 half-time lead. Centreforward Shane Kilroy Glynn then struck for a splendid individual goal which proved vital for the winners.
Kinnegad tried desperately to find an equalizing goal in the dying minutes but the Athlone rearguard held firm to see them emerge with three points to spare. They now look forward to a county final showdown with a much fancied Maryland/Tang combination on Saturday week, December 8.
The scoreline tells its own story here as Caulry were no match for a star-studded Maryland/Tang outfit who finished with 17 points to spare. Caulry simply never got going and will be disappointed not to have given a better account of themselves.
Maryland/Tang have been tipped from the outset to be the most likely winners of this competition and on this evidence that would certainly seem well justified. With the likes of Callum McCormack, Fergus Farrell, Bryan O’Donoghoe, Trevor English, and the Rock twins in their ranks they are certainly not lacking in quality.
There has been much comment and indeed criticism of the decision to allow Maryland and Tang to combine for this competition given how strong both clubs (particularly Maryland ) are on their own at this level. It is easy to understand why Caulry and indeed most other clubs are none too impressed with this decision which creates an uneven playing field. Decisions like this don’t do much for football in the county in the long run.