Newbridge hang on for victory as Athlone fightback falls just short
Patrician Newbridge 0-10 Athlone CC 1-6
Newbridge were made to sweat for their win at a blustery Hawkfield, where a spirited comeback by Athlone fell just short.
The Kildare side were six points ahead going into the final five minutes, but Aaron Johnston's 55th-minute goal put a completely different complexion on the game.
Athlone followed that with two points and Patrician were hanging on during the five additional minutes played.
A strong wind blowing across the pitch did neither team any favours and it took both a long time to find their feet in the awkward conditions.
Patrician scored the first three points of the game and it took Athlone until the 20th minute to open their account. It was their goalkeeper Conor Fallon who showed the way by converting a free and he followed that with similar efforts in the 23rd and 26th minutes to tie up the game.
Patrician took control of the final minutes of the half and scored three points without reply, with this year's Kildare minor captain Conor Hartley scoring the pick of them.
SCORERS - Newbridge: C Hartley 0-3, C Costigan 0-3 (fs), P Nash 0-2, A Dignam and J Earley 0-1 each. Athlone CC: A Johnston 1-0, C Fallon 0-3 (fs), D Gately (f), B O'Meara (f) and L Daly 0-1 each
NEWBRIDGE -J Morgan; S Browne, M Betts-Symonds, M Dempsey; D Shalvey, K Byrne, D Randles; A Masterson, E Kavanagh; J Earley, C Costigan, A Dignam; E Lawless, C Hartley, P Nash. Subs: G Melia for Byrne (19), C O'Mahony for Masterson (23 BC), B McDonnell for Dignam (41), R O'Donnell for O'Mahony (49) C Murphy for Lawless (51), T Keogh for Costigan (59).
ATHLONE - C Fallon; D Lennon, G Nicholson, D Johnston; R O'Beirne, S McManus, L Kenny; N Watson, B Kelly; S Henry, L Daly, E O'Neill; D Gately, G Byrne, B O'Meara. Subs: E Hannon for Johnston (30 BC), K Dockery for O Beirne (30), A Johnston for O'Neill (41), C Lang for Byrne (51) B Mulry for Gately (59).
REF - D Bracken