Athea U14’s were crowned County Shield final champions as they defeated Ballybricken/Bohermore in the final in Mick Neville Park last Saturday. Having beaten Shamrock Gaels easily in the semi-final, hopes were high that we could go one step further this year and from the throw in you could see how determined our boys were to succeed. It was not long before we were on the scoreboard as Alan Kelly rose the white flag after great work by Sean Ryan at midfield. Alan scored his second point of the day, this time it was Shane Dalton who was the provider. Ballybricken/Bohermore threatened up front but our full back line of Jack Vaughan, Shane Ambrose and Mark McAuliffe were well up for it and did not give an inch. Our half forward line were causing all sorts of problems and it was Liam McAuliffe who set up Sean Ryan who burst through the middle to score a fine goal. The opposition responded well with a point of their own but Athea hit back when Liam McAuliffe set up Shane Dalton for a great point. A second point for Ballybricken/Bohermore was soon followed by a long ball into our square but it was well dealt with by Timothy Tierney in goals and who’s kick outs were vital as he found an Athea player almost every time. The opposition were coming more into the game at this stage, but we dealt them a severe blow when Liam McAuliffe laid on the perfect pass for Shane Dalton who made no mistake finishing the ball to the back of the net. Ballybricken/Bohermore scored their third and final point of the half before a wonderful point with the outside of the right foot by Shane Dalton and Alan Kelly’s third point left Athea with an eight point lead at half time. In the second half, with the wind at our backs there was only going to be one outcome as Ballybricken/Bohermore found it hard to cope with Athea’s power and skill. Micheál Ambrose was a power house at midfield through out the whole match. The ball seldom passed our half back line thanks to the determination of Cillian Liston, Micheál Dalton and Daniel McEldowney. Sean Ryan got our first score of the half with a well taken point from way out on the wing. Liam McAuliffe followed this up with a well taken goal. Our boys now started playing in long balls and it was the turn of our full forward line to show what they could do and they did not disappoint. John Sexton and Andy Ahern were a constant threat to their corner backs, while Brian Sheahan was in top form scoring the first of his three goals at this stage. Soon after Alan Kelly tacked over his fourth point of the match. A long ball in by Sean Ryan rebounded off the crossbar and it was Brian Sheahan who was quickest to react and scored his second goal. Shane Dalton was next on the score sheet with a point and a free in by Alan Kelly was fumbled by the goal keeper and the ball ended up in the back of the net. Brian Sheahan chipped the keeper to score a point and shortly afterwards scored his third goal of the match. Cathal O’ Brien, Jack Gleeson, David O’ Sullivan, Joseph Dalton and David Sheahan all played their part as they were introduced through out the match. There was great cheers and delight from all the Athea supporters who had travelled to the match as the final whistle went and the maroon and white had a won out on a scoreline of Athea 7-09, Ballybricken/Bohermore 1-03. Great credit is due to the coaches Tom Collins, Morgan O’ Connor and Denis Sheahan who had this young team in tip top form for the final. Alan Kelly accepted the Shield on behalf of the Athea team and well deserved treats and hot food was enjoyed by all on the way home in the Club house.
Team: Timothy Tierney, Jack Vaughan, Shane Ambrose, Mark McAuliffe, Micheál Dalton, Cillian Liston, Daniel McEldowney, Sean Ryan, Micheál Ambrose, Shane Dalton, Alan Kelly, Liam McAuliffe, Andy Ahern, Brian Sheahan, John Sexton, Joseph Dalton, Cathal O’ Brien, Jack Gleeson, David Sheehan, David O’ Sullivan, Jack O’ Connor, David O’ Connor & Jamie O’ Mahony