An interesting Leinster Intermediate Football final is scheduled for Cusack Park on Sunday as Athlone face Meath outfit Ratoath at 2pm.
Athlone have enjoyed an encouraging campaign claiming Intermediate glory in Westmeath. With Ray and John Connellan contributing handsomely, Athlone defeated Glynn Barntown by 1-6 to 0-6 in a tight semi-final.
In testing conditions Athlone had to be patient summoning an excellent rally in the closing stages to defeat the Wexford side. That late Athlone burst included a delightful point from impressive substitute Marty Darling, while the Connellans also struck vital scores.
Athlone played into the teeth of a strong wind in the first half as Jordan Marshment fisted home a Ray Connellan delivery. Glynn Barntown were defiant until the end, though, so Athlone were content to eventually shrug off their spirited resistance.
Previously Athlone had cruised to a commanding 1-12 to 1-4 success over O’Hanrahan’s, Carlow, and a 3-12 to 0-8 success over Ballymanus, Wicklow so the Midlanders won’t be short on confidence. Ratoath have been kicking healthy totals in Leinster themselves, beating St Patrick’s Donabate, Dublin 2-12 to 0-11 on October 17.
At the start of November Ratoath were far too clinical for Railyard, Kilkenny emerging 2-19 to 0-6 victors. At the penultimate stage Ratoath’s goalscoring prowess was critical again as they outfoxed Kildare’s Castledermot by 3-13 to 1-6. Having registered eight goals in three matches Ratoath carry a potent threat, and Athlone are completely aware that a polished performance must be delivered.