Athenry do their best to spoil celebration party of new champions Salthill Devon

Salthill Devon 1

Athenry 4

By Mike Rafferty in Drom

ATHENRY might have given the new Premier Division champions a guard of honour as they entered the pitch in Drom on Sunday afternoon, but that was as far as the hospitality went as they inflicted a first league defeat of the season on the three-time champions.

With both siders somewhat changed from their regular selections, it was Devon who broke the deadlock on 18 minutes when Princewell Diala slotted home an effort from outside the box, but six minutes later Kody McCann got on the end of a Gary O’Connell cross to power a header into the top corner and tie up matters at 1-1.

With Devon having little to play for it was Athenry who displayed all the urgency on the resumption as McCann went on to add two more to complete his hat-trick. His second came from the penalty spot after he was fouled in the box and he then collected a Gavin Gilmore pass to finish from the edge of the area for his third. Impressive striker Ryan Corcoran got his reward when he slotted home a McCann pass for Athenry’s  fourth.

Salthill Devon: Mamala, Scally, B Molloy, Lee, O’Rourke (de Silva 66), Ludden (Doherty 66), T Molloy, Diala, McDonnell (Fox 57), Faherty (Arra 57), Halloran (Barrett 57).

Athenry: Forde, O’Connell (A Leggett 78), Duffy, O’Callaghan (Cullen 78), M Leggett, Moran (Walker 82), Relihan, Neary (Kilbane 82), McCann, Gilmore, Corcoran (Fahy 78).

Referee: Marc Lynch.

Elsewhere in the Premier Division, Daire Crowe struck a hat trick as Loughrea brought their league season to a conclusion when they defeated Colga by 4-3. Kieran Bane also found the range for the home side. Tom Daly (two) and Colm McDonagh responded for the visitors.

Pictured: Salthill Devon’s Michael Gallagher is outnumbered by Athenry’s Ray Moran and Aaron Neary during Saturday’s Premier Division tie in Drom. Photos: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

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