Mervue United end Athlone’s perfect start to U-19 LeagueOctober 16, 2012 - 9:00am
Aided by an outstanding performance by goalkeeper Conor O’Malley, Mervue United deprived Athlone Town of their fifth consecutive win of the Airtricity U-19 Southern Division season, with an impressive display at Fahy’s Field on Sunday afternoon.
The visitors perfect start to the campaign was ruined by a home side, who were more than worthy of their point as they moved to third position in the table.
For the U-12 Girls of Salthill Devon and Cregmore Claregalway, there was heart break at the National Finals in the AUL Complex in Dublin on Saturday afternoon, as they lost their respective deciders to Shelbourne and Donegal Town.
Mervue United 2
Athlone Town 2
It was a game of contrasts as the home side laid down an early marker and buoyed by an opening minute goal, they were the better side in the first half.
The second-half was the opposite, and while both sides exchanged further strikes just after the restart, it was the visitors who went on to dominate the half and were rewarded with a second equaliser just past the hour mark.
However Athlone’s perfect record was really spoiled by the performance of O’Malley, as a series of top class saves was to frustrate the visitors throughout.
The home side made a terrific start as a minute had elapsed when an Eoghan Walsh cross was chested down by Ryan Manning on the edge of the box and the lurking Dillon Murphy drilled a low effort beyond Brian Redmond for a 1-0 advantage.
Murphy was denied a second by a smart Redmond save just minutes later, before O’Malley produced some top-class shot-stopping by O’Malley kept out efforts by Roy King, Ian Sweeney and Eoin McCormack.
Luke Kelly shoul
d have scored for Mervue on 26 minutes, but headed wide from in front of goal, before Murphy flashed an effort wide of a far post. Redmond displayed a safe pair of hands to keep out and hold a Mark Gibbons free kick, before McCormack dragged an effort wide at the other end.
For more, read this week's Connacht Sentinel.