Martin and Egan show the way as Athlone advance to the last four
Athlone IT 0-11 Cork IT 1-4:Athlone IT, who will host the concluding stages of the Sigerson Cup next week, advanced to the semi-finals of the competition with an impressive victory over a fancied Cork IT side at Athlone last night. The Westmeath pair Kieran Martin and Ger Egan led the way as Athlone IT advanced to a semi-final meeting with UCC.
They were superb last night in a thoroughly deserved victory against a bigger Cork IT side who had no answer to the strong running and excellent use of the ball by Athlone IT.
Indeed, the margin of victory would have been much bigger for Athlone IT had they not conceded a fisted goal from Ciaran Sheehan going into the final quarter. But Athlone IT closed out the game with Martin superb.
Alan Coffey and Frankie Burke pointed for Athlone who grew in confidence as their excellent passing created openings, with Martin and Burke finding the range before Egan made it 0-6 to 0-1 at the interval with a brace just before the break.
Athlone continued to master the crossfield wind on a freezing night in the midlands with Martin extending their lead after the restart. Kevin Hallissey and Egan exchanged points to make it 0-8 to 0-2 after 41 minutes but then impressive substitute Michael Vaughan scored a point for Cork IT before they were given a lifeline when Gary Connaughton came off his line but was beaten by Sheehan’s punch.
However, Athlone reverted to their impressive passing game and they outscored Cork by 0-3 to 0-1 in the closing stages thanks to efforts from James McGivney, Martin and substitute Dan Queeney to reach the finals weekend for only the second time.