Meade, the division’s top scorer, netted 21 minutes in to give Ramblers a share of the spoils. The result did little to alter either side’s position in the table, with the Town remaining in fourth place, six points behind current leaders Longford Town, and Cobh second from bottom but well clear of basement dwellers Salthill Devon – though they are now without a win in five games.
Ian Sweeney had given Athlone a 17th minute lead with a neat finish after Garbhan Coughlan’s low cross from the end-line, but the advantage remained intact for just four minutes as O’Neill was brought down on the edge of the area and Meade struck a delightful free-kick past Paul Skinner.
It was O’Neill who came closest again after a neat dribble enabled him to get a shot away. But he failed to hit the target and the chance went abegging.
COBH RAMBLERS: Birdsall; Murphy (Collins 81), Fitzgerald, Frahill, O’Mahony; Deady (O’Flynn 72), Kenny, Aherne, Rocks (Donoghue 61); Meade, O’Neill.
ATHLONE TOWN: Skinner; R Collins Jr, A Collins, Clancy, McMahon; Hughes, Coombes (Dixon 72), Clarke (Gorman 82), Broughall; Coughlan, Sweeney.
Referee: S Draghici (Kerry).