The AIT Senior Gaelic football side made a swift return to division one of the Higher Education league by virtue of an impressive win over NUI Galway. Following relegation last season the squad showed great determination to win division two at the first attempt. Having lost by five points earlier in the league to NUI Galway the Athlone lads were underdogs going into this final which was played in Ballyforan on Wednesday night.
The highlights of the first half for AIT were two Dan Queeney long range scores from play while James Dolan had a brilliant effort saved by the NUI goalkeeper. The Galway men tended to be very wasteful by kicking seven wide’s in the first half. Four of these misses were very kickable frees. Conversely, AIT were very economical in the first half leaving them 0-09 to 0-06 up at the break.
Within eight minutes of the restart NUI Galway appeared to have found their form as they had levelled the game at 0-09 to 0-09. AIT then rallied to score 1-1 with Colm O’Brien getting the vital goal. The latter stages were dominated by AIT while NUI Galway failed to register another score after their short purple patch early in the half. The cup was happily presented to AIT Captain Kieran Martin by AIT staff member Michael McMahon who is also secretary of the third level GAA organisation Comhairle Ardoideachais.
The win sets up Tom Coffey’s men nicely for their 1st round Sigerson game next Wednesday away to Trinity College where the Athlone lads will hope to progress to face UCD in round 2.
Scorers for AIT: Alan Coffey (0-05, 4 frees), Colm O’Brien (1-1), Dan Queeney (0-02), Jack Donohue (0-02), Michael Day, Cillian Fitzgerald, Kieran Kilcline, David Whelan (all 0-01).
Team: Mark Langtry, Eoin Kerins, Sterphen Flynn, Darren Farrelly, Jack Donohue, Kieran Martin, James Dolan, Colm O’Brien, Michael Day, Dan Wharton, Kieran Kilcline, David Whelan, Alan Coffey, Cilian Fitzgerald, Dan Queeney. Jack Wharton for Dan Wharton, Michael Carney for David Whelan, Sam Moran for Dan Queeney.