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Athlone Town Win Successive President’s Cups

Athlone Town AFC are the President’s Cup Champions again. FAI Cup Winners Athlone beat League Champions Peamount United 3-0 in front of a large crowd today in Athlone Town Stadium.

The weather was a factor in the build-up, but it had cleared up just in time before kick-off. Athlone Town were quicker out of the blocks and the first real chance of the game fell to Kate Slevin who, after some good work on the left-hand side by Madison Gibson, ran onto the cross which wasn’t dealt with by Peamount but before Slevin could connect with the shot it was cleared well by Dearbhaile Beirne.

Athlone started the brighter of the two teams and Casey Howe was a wonderful option for the Athlone midfielders when they were in possession with her playing off the shoulder of the Peamount defenders and her ability to run in behind. In the 17th minute Howe latched onto a through ball by Gibson and ran towards goal but not for the first time in the game Beirne put in a tremendous tackle to halt Howe and the ball went out for a corner.

Peamount United grew stronger as the half progressed and 23 minutes in Jesi Rossman was caught in possession by Lauryn O’Callaghan just outside the 18-yard box and laid the ball to Ellen Dolan who found Doyle in space but her shot was well saved by Katie Keane in the Athlone goal. Both teams had some chances before the break but as the whistle went it was level as the teams left the field.

The second half began like the first with Athlone looking the brighter of the two teams and Peamount growing as the game went on but teams trading chances, but in the 70th minute of the game Athlone had the best chance of the game so far as Gibson was fouled in the box by O’Callaghan and referee Ray Mathews pointed to the spot. Gibson stepped up but her penalty was saved brilliantly by Peas keeper Niamh Reid Burke to keep the score level.

Things changed for the better for Athlone after this as they began to drive at the Peamount back line. In the 74th minute, Laurie Ryan confused herself with Ronaldhino and picked up the ball in midfield and went on a mazy run but unfortunately it ended up with a goal kick for Peamount.

Athlone pushed on at this stage and finally got the breakthrough in the 77th minute with a great run by Molloy down the right hand side and the cut back to Kellie Brennan who crossed and found the unmarked Chloe Singleton who turned the ball home to put ‘The Town’ 1-0 up.

On the 83rd minute, things got better for Athlone from a Gibson corner. The ball dropped to Singleton who doubled her and Athlone’s tally from 6 yards out. Casey Howe was excellent all night and finally got her reward with 4 minutes to go where she got ahead of the defender and turned home a Gibson cross to make it 3-0 to Athlone.

Peamount thought they had gotten a consolation goal in additional time when Ellen Dolan shot from outside the eighteen yard box and pulled a word class save out of Katie Keane who was determined to hang onto her clean sheet.

It was all over after that and Athlone Town will be happy with the performance and a nice end to preseason training. Today’s win means that The Town women’s team have added three trophies to their Honours List in just over twelve months.

Athlone Town AFC: Katie Keane, Kellie Brennan, Kayleigh Shine, Shauna Brennan, Jesi Lynne Rossman, Kate Slevin (Jenaya Robertson 65’), Casey Howe, Kerryanne Brown (Chloe Singleton 65’), Laurie Ryan, Roisin Molloy (Gillian Keenan 83’), Madison Gibson   

Unused Substitutes: Amy Mahon, Isabel Ryan, Antea Guvo, Mary Philips, Ciara O’Neill, Abby Carchio

Bookings: None

Attendance: 1,152 Player of The Match: Casey Howe