Rathcoole weather Athlone revival to lift McGrath Cup

RATHCOOLE Boys were forced to weather a nervous finish as they made it over the line in their Under 16 Paul McGrath Cup Final against Athlone in Greenogue on Saturday.

Winning out 2-1 in the end, Rathcoole looked to be well in control by the break with Sam Flynn and Oisin Smith propelling them two goals up.

Rathcoole Boys Under 16s

Rathcoole Boys Under 16s captured the Paul McGrath Cup.

The former opened the scoring on 19 minutes when he got his head to Lee Flynn’s corner kick before Smith doubled their advantage with a fine team goal eight minutes later.

Some neat link-up play involving Luke Killian and Darragh Swords saw the former feed the ball through to Smith who produced a delicate chip over the Athlone netminder.

Killian, himself, went close to extending his side’s lead after the break when he dribbled past several tackles only to see his shot deflected away for a corner.

Athlone then sparked hope of a comeback when Eoin Gavin latched on to Glory Odanza’s delivery and steered the ball home.

Rathcoole opted to close up shop and protect their narrow lead which they twice almost surrendered in the closing five minutes.

Indeed Odanza and his team mates thought he had equalised, but his strike was adjudge to have been cleared of the line by Callum Bolton.

And with just seconds remaining Athlone’s Peter Pearson went just as close with a header which would have nestled in the back of the net had not Rathcoole’s Sean Sheridan got his head to it.

“This was a big win for the players because the only points they had dropped in the league were against Athlone when they beat us 3-2” said Rathcoole’s Anton Bolton.

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