Connacht Cup dreams shattered by Athenry

Colemanstown’s Connacht Cup dream was shattered at home yesterday in a case of so near and yet so far. Colemanstown, table toppers of Div1, were never in fear of taking on premier league table toppers and near neighbours Athenry but on this occasion it was the visitors who did the damage and credit to them, they took their goal chances well and always looked dangerous on the break. They opened the scoring on 15mins as Colemanstown conceded a somewhat scrappy goal; a free kick from 25yards which eluded the Colemanstown defense and keeper and found its way to the net. Tom Flan hit the woodwork three times in the game with free kicks; Johnny Lally saw his rasper come off the crossbar in the first half and Stephen Walsh hit the butt of the post in the second half. Any other day, even one of those 5 efforts to go your way can have a big bearing on a game. How unfortunate can a team be! On every close attempt and tackles won there were gasps of desperation and elation from the crowd as all one could hear was ‘Sacred Anthony’ ‘Jesus, Mary & Joseph’. Maybe all the swearing turned the man above against this mighty team!

Colemanstown played with style, they put in mighty tackles at midfield and an immense defensive effort and generally played probably the more charismatic and inventive soccer particularly in the 2nd half. That said, they had 5 lads who played for Pearses the day before in their first round hurling championship game against Clarinbridge and 2 tough games on the trot will take its toll on anyone. Colemanstown had a plethora of second half chances as Tom Flan drew a one handed save from the Athenry custodian; Jayo Finn flicked on a lovely header but the keeper was equal to the task and Kegs & Squelchy had a few half chances. At the other end Junior had a few good saves to keep us in the game. With all this pressure the equaliser would surely come and so it did. A low free kick taken by Alan Finn bobbled around in the box and Jayo Finn was on hand to slide in and dispatch to the keepers right. 1-1, would this be the most important goal of his career? The crowd felt there was a winner in this team. The atmosphere, the enthusiasm, the will to win was electric and certainly added to the occasion. It was an utterly compelling game, helped by the powerful play from Colemanstown and the large vocal Colemanstown contingent in the stand. It was Athenry though who got the equaliser with minutes remaining as the Colemanstown defence were slow to clear and Fahy headed to the net. Colemanstown had 1 or 2 half chances after that but just couldn’t find a deserved equaliser. Words that sum up the frustrations of players and spectators at the end…. Should have, could have, might have … but all is not lost. There’s too many good things going on – the style of our play, the team ethic, the mix of youth and experience and the potential of this squad that it would have been criminal if this side didn’t achieve something in 2015.
At least they’re guaranteed top flight soccer next season and remain on track to be crowned Div1 champs albeit still have 2 games left to play.
There was a minutes silence before the game for Mr. Seamus Sweeney who passed away on Saturday night. He has been a referee, an official of the Galway FA, a committee member of Tuam Celtic and a long serving friend of our club for the past number of years. We offer our deepest sympathy to his wife Virginia and family. He will be deeply missed by all in soccer fraternity throughout the county.