Athea U16s are County Champions after defeating Ahane by two points in a thriller of a game at Mick Neville Park on Friday evening last. A large crowd of Athea supporters attended the match, but it was Ahane who got the better start and were three points up after ten minutes. We had plenty of possession and found it hard to score but Andy Ahern got our first point after fifteen minutes after great work by John Sexton.
Two pointed frees from the boot of our Captain Liam McAuliffe had the sides level with twenty minutes gone on the clock. A great run by Sean Ryan split open the Ahane defense and he laid it of to Brian Sheahan who made no mistake blasting to the net for our first goal of the night. The opposition response was quick and they scored a goal and three points without reply to take the lead again. Just before half time we had great points from Jason Dillon, Sean Ryan and Liam McAuliffe and the sides went in at the break all square at 1-06 a-piece.
We took the lead shortly after the start of the second half when Andy Ahern split the posts with a great effort. Ahane caught us napping and scored a goal. Jack Vaughan tapped over from close range and from the kick out Sean Ryan won the ball and scored a super goal. The opposition hit us with another goal and then added another point to go two points up. The brilliant Liam McAuliffe had us level after he scored two points but Ahane pulled away again when they scored two points of their own and a pulsating finish was instore.
With six minutes left on the clock the mighty Jack Vaughan riffled the ball to the top of the Ahane net to give us a one point lead. Ahane piled on the pressure to find an equalizer but to no avail. Liam McAuliffe scored another point with time almost up. Ahane had chances of goals but a combination of great defending and sheer determination denied the city team of victory and it was the Maroon and White of Athea who were cheering at the final whistle as the score read Athea 3-11 Ahane 3-09. This was a very entertaining game and Liam McAuliffe accepted the shield on behalf of the team. The Club would like to thank all the players for their commitment over the past year, the coaches Pat O’ Sullivan, Denis Greaney, Bill McAuliffe and Denis Sheahan for their time and effort all through the year. A big thank you to all the parents who travelled far and wide supporting our U16 team, it is greatly appreciated by the Club. Well done to all involved.
Panel: David O’ Sullivan, Jack Gleeson, Alan Kelly, Mark McAuliffe, Daniel McEldowney, Shane Ambrose, Micheál Dalton, Sean Ryan, Micheál Ambrose, Jack Vaughan, John Sexton, Liam McAuliffe, Jason Dillon, Andy Ahern, Brian Sheahan, TJ White, Jack O’ Connor & David O’ Connor