Westmeath’s Kieran Martin swooped for the unlikeliest of goals as Athlone IT moved through to Round 1 of the Sigerson Cup. The experienced county man scored directly from a 45 metre free early in the second-half to effectively kill off Trinity’s challenge.
Roscommon’s Kieran Kilcline was the key forward overall with 1-4 for the midlands outfit, booking them a tough test against UCD next Tuesday.
But Martin’s goal was the lasting memory from a preliminary round played in biting cold at the Clanna Gael Fontenoy grounds in Dublin.
Trinity had thought they’d coped with the danger when goalkeeper Ross O’Hanlon pulled off his fourth great save of the match from a 36th minute penalty. But from the resulting 45 metre free, Martin’s kick somehow beat the keeper and hit the top corner of the net, pushing Athlone 10 ahead.
Trinity, managed by Armagh veteran Ciaran McKeever, were up against it from early on. Killian Fitzgerald put Athlone 1-1 to 0-2 up with a well taken ninth minute goal and Kilcline followed his lead just moments later.
It was a superb solo run from Kilcline and left footed strike which moved Athlone five up. David Whelan and Jack Donohoe also got points but it was the two goals that separated the teams at the break with Athlone IT 2-5 to 0-5 ahead.
It could have been worse for Trinity as Dubliner O’Hanlon tipped over a stinging drive from Kilcline and denied Fitzgerald too. Trinity managed just two points from open play throughout and relied on the free-taking of Paul McPadden. The Offaly man shot all of their five second-half points from placed balls. Another Offaly player, key county player Anton Sullivan came on at half-time for Athlone IT following minor knee surgery.
But it was Kilcline who showed his full range of skills in the second-half with three points from play including one beauty from distance.
Scorers for Athlone IT: K Kilcline (1-4, one free), K Fitzgerald (1-1), K Martin (1-0, one 45), G Egan (0-3, two frees), J Donohue and D Whelan (0-1 each)
Scorers for Trinity: P McPadden (0-7, seven frees), J Kavanagh (one free), T Daly and E Keogh (0-1 each).
ATHLONE IT: M Langtry; E Kerins, S Flynn, D Farrell; J Donohue, K Martin, J Dolan; M Day, C O’Brien; D Wharton, G Egan, D Whelan; K Kilcline, D Queeney, K Fitzgerald.
Subs: A Sullivan for D Wharton (h/t), J Wharton for Dolan (39, b/c), S Moran for Queeney (43), M Kearney for O’Brien (47, b/c), K Rudden for Donohue (53).
TRINITY COLLEGE: R O’Hanlon; G Deery, M O’Grady, S Mulhern; G O’Donohue, T Daly, J McPadden; S Byrne, E Keogh; D Boothman, J Lane, M Regan; J Kavanagh, B Murray, P McPadden.
Subs: F Flynn for Boothman (33), S Wogan for Byrne (42, b/c), C MacGearailt for Murray (46), C Ryan for Lane (55).
Referee: D Gough (Meath).