Martin points the way as Athlone book last-four spot
Athlone IT 0-11 Cork IT 1-4
Athlone IT produced a quality performance last night to book a place in the Sigerson semi-finals, which they will host next week.
They thoroughly deserved their victory against a physically strong Cork IT side, who started brightly but then faded as the hosts took control with some strong running and excellent use of the ball.
Indeed, the margin of victory would have been much bigger for Athlone IT had they not conceded a fisted goal from Ciaran Sheehan heading into the final quarter.
That goal gave a strongly fancied Cork IT some hope, but Athlone, with Kieran Martin superb, closed out the game to set up a last-four home clash with UCC.
Athlone's victory was all the more commendable as they had to line out without Roscommon's Cathal Shine and they will hope he recovers from injury in time for the UCC showdown.
Kevin Hallissey lobbed over a free from the right after four minutes, but that was Cork's only score of the opening quarter.
Alan Coffey and the jinking Frankie Burke pointed for Athlone, with Martin and Burke finding their range before Egan made it 0-6 to 0-1 at the interval with a brace.
Martin extended Athlone's lead after the restart, before Hallissey and Egan exchanged points to make it 0-8 to 0-2 after 41 minutes. Michael Vaughan pointed for Cork before they were given a lifeline through Sheehan's punched effort.
However, Athlone IT stuck with their passing game and the outscored Cork IT by 0-3 to 0-1 in the closing stages to march on.
SCORERS – Athlone IT: K Martin (2f), G Egan (3f) 0-3 each, F Burke 0-2, A Coffey, J McGivney, D Queeney 0-1 each. Cork IT: C Sheehan 1-0, K Hallissey (1f), M Vaughan (1f) 0-2 each.
Athlone IT – G Connaughton; E Kerins, K Clarke, C O'Brien; L Murphy, T Rahill, J Dolan; C Duggan, G Egan; P Masterson, K Martin, A Coffey; J McGivney, A Stone, F Burke. Subs: D Maleady for O'Brien (35), D Queeney for Masterson (53), A Caul for McGivney (60).
Cork IT – A O'Donoghue; P Kilkenny, M Griffin, N Galvin; C Lyons, S O'Donoghue, P Daly; B O'Sullivan, J Walsh; C Sheehan, S Finn, D Leahy; K Hallissey, P Joy, J O'Connor. Subs: D Treacy for O'Sullivan (30), B O'Regan for Lyons (30), M Vaughan for Leahy (41), D O'Sullivan for Finn (50).
Ref – D Fahy (Longford).