Athenry fall at final hurdle in the Michael Byrne Cup

Salthill Devon 1

Athenry 0

By Mike Rafferty at Eamonn Deacy Park

APPEARING in their third final in a row, Salthill Devon retained the Michael Byrne Cup with a merited success over Athenry at Eamonn Deacy Park last Wednesday evening and, in the process, completed a league and cup double for the second year in succession.

A second-half Jack Arra goal was the deciding factor on a night when chances were hard to find. Energy levels were low after a long season, and it was a contest that never rose to any great level of excitement.

The holders always looked like they had the ability to pull something from the hat, but this was an occasion that will be remembered for their success rather than performance as Salthill Devon collected a third trophy of the season following earlier successes in the Champions Cup and Premier Division.

The early exchanges saw a lot of posturing as two sides who are very familiar with one another tried to retain possession, with a lot of defensive passing, while the goalkeepers were overused as part of the retention.

The game featured some of the best wingers in the local game with Mikey Fox and Ben McDonnell of Devon and Kody McCann and Gavin Gilmore of Athenry, but their skill sets were under-utilised as just McDonnell offered an insight to his ability as he created a few opportunities for his colleagues.

It was from such a delivery on seven minutes that Devon should have taken the lead when McDonnell crossed from the byline, but Arra never got enough power in his close range shot to really test TJ Forde.

However the goalkeeper did produce a stunning reflex save shortly afterwards, when a Mick Lee throw in fell to McDonnell in the box, but his well-struck effort was brilliantly pushed away by Forde. Subsequently, a Timmy Molloy corner was met by a near post Calym Crowe flick, but went over the bar.

Pictured: The Athenry team which was defeated by Salthill Devon in the Michael Byrne Cup Final at Eamonn Deacy Park last Wednesday, Front row, left to right: Adam Duffy, Aaron Neary, Ray Moran, Ryan Corcoran and Gavin Gilmore. Back row: Sean O’Callaghan, Stephen Relihan, Kody McCann, Gary O’Connell, Aaron Leggett and TJ Forde.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app

The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

More like this:

Sign Up To get Weekly Sports UPDATES

Go Up