Athea United Soccer



Athea Utd, Division 1 League Champions 2012/13  at Clounreask last Sunday afternoon.

Athea Utd, Division 1 League Champions 2012/13 
at Clounreask last Sunday afternoon.

Division 1 League Title Play-off
Athea Utd     (0) 2   Gerard Ahern (pen), Cillian O’Connor
Rockhill Rvs  (2) 2
(aet Athea won 4-2 pens)
Having won our last nine league games to qualify for last Sundays league title play-off with  Rockhill Rovers our super As made it a perfect ten in Clounreask to lift the title. In the end it came down to penalties and here we prevailed to deservedly lift the title when after a shaky first half we came good in the second half to draw level and perhaps could have won it before the penalties. And so we are back in the Premier Division again but this time as champions.
Rockhill got off to a great start when they scored twice inside the opening eighteen minutes, the first coming in the eight minute after a three man move saw their striker fire in off the left-hand post while their second came ten minutes later after their midfielder saw his shot parried by Ger Collins only for a colleague to fire home the rebound. PJ Kinsella’s men needed a break and it came in the sixty second minute when Kevin O’Keeffe was brought down in the penalty and Gerard Ahern confidently converted the spot-kick. Athea went all out in search of an equalizer and the pressure paid off on seventy three minutes when Cillian O’Connor’s goal bound shot deflected slightly off a defender and into the back of the net.
Both sides had chances to score again in normal time and extra-time but there wasn’t to be a fifth goal and so a shoot-out was called for. Athea were first to go and they chose well in starting off with Ahern, who scored in the same spot as in normal time. Atheas delight doubled when Ger Collins saved from Kieran O’Rourke. Rockhill were given a lifeline when Joe Vaughan’s shot was saved by Gerard O’Dea but they failed to grasp it as they blazed over their second spot kick. Both sides were successful with their next two with Cillian O’Connor and Maurice Hayes both converting for Athea. That meant that Athea would win the trophy if substitute Darren Murphy converted their fifth kick. He did, and cue great celebrations.
We played poor on the opening half and fund ourselves two down before we started to play anywhere near what we have being doing last  nine games. We came close through Gerard Ahern when he hit the side-netting from a free-kick after Cillian O’Connor had been brought down on the side of the penalty area in the 28th minute.  That free-kick presaged an eight-minute spell of utter dominance by Athea, in which they camped in the Rockhill half. However, nothing came of it. Athea were falling between two stools. There were patient in their build-up to a degree but then, faced with the massed ranks of Rockhill, their patience would give way to frustration and they succumbed to long-range shots or hopeful deliveries into the heart of the Rockhill area, which were gratefully headed away by the Rockhill defence.

Despite their dominance of the second quarter, Athea seemed to be lacking the spark required to haul themselves back into trophy contention. Whatever manager Kinsella said to them at half-time worked as they played with greater energy and conviction in the second-half. Kinsella’s tactical intervention also bore fruit, as the half-time introduction of Darren Murphy for Conor Mullane gave Athea a greater attacking threat, as did the more forward deployment of Ahern.

Athea showed their intent straight from the kick-off, O’Connor driving along the left flank, Gareth Bale-like, and posting a cross which was met by Kevin Murphy, who headed over.

At the other end, Rockhill had a couple of chances to stretch their lead in the next two minutes when a shot was blocked by Tom Collins, who was a rock for Athea at centre-half, while another effort was fired straight at keeper Collins. Then we threatened again, Murphy’s cross-cum-shot batted away by the keeper  and this was followed shortly afterwards by a fluent movement in which Maurice Hayes, Ahern and O’Keeffe combined to set up Darren Murphy, who was off-balance in trying to connect with O’Keeffe’s cross.  O’Keeffe’s next involvement led to the penalty, converted by Ahern, that brought Athea back into the game. With Hayes a driving force in midfield, Athea set about the task of getting an equalizer with great urgency. When it came, the equalizer was deserved, if fortuitous in its manner.

There were just two chances in extra-time, both falling to Athea with O’Keeffe firing straight at the keeper from a pass by Vaughan, while Kevin Murphy’s instant flick from O’Connor’s cross would surely have found the back of the net if it had been even slightly away from the keeper. The second period of extra-time was the reverse with Rockhill having chances with Ger Collins doing well when a shot from 40 yards almost caught him out but the captain did well to get a hand to it whilst leaning back.  In the penalty shoot-out, Rockhill left themselves with too much of a mountain to climb by missing the first two and their manager was already collecting the gear when Murphy was walking up to take the clincher for Athea.

You would have got long odds a couple of months ago on Athea being promoted, never mind winning the title. They deserve tremendous credit for their perfect second half of the season.

They were popular winners among the neutrals, not least because their manager, Kinsella, who is assisted by Chris Hayes, brother of Maurice, is one of the Limerick Desmond League’s great characters, a man whose interest in soccer is legendary.

After the game Athea Utd captain Ger Collins was presented with the Division 1 League Trophy from Christy Purcell, Chairman of The Limerick Desmond League and then on to Athea to celebrate in by all accounts was done in typical Athea style.

Athea Utd captain Ger Collins receives the Division 1 League Trophy from Christy Purcell, Chairman of The Limerick Desmond League at Clounreask last Sunday afternoon.

Athea Utd captain Ger Collins receives the Division 1 League Trophy from Christy Purcell, Chairman of The Limerick Desmond League at Clounreask last Sunday afternoon.

Athea United: Ger Collins, Ryan Carroll, Jamie Collins, Tom Collins, Padraig Reidy, Maurice Hayes, Gerard Ahern, Conor Mullane, Kevin O’Keeffe, Cillian O’Connor, Kevin Murphy. Subs: Darren Murphy for Mullane (h/t), Joe Vaughan for J. Collins (79 mins), Mike Reidy for K. Murphy (100 mins), Pat Ahern, Johnny Cotter, Matthew Tierney

Referee: Liam O’Connor. 

Saturday, May 25th      

U10s home to Pallaskenry at 11am.

Monday, June 3rd     

U10 Division 3 Shield Final v Newcastle West B in Clounreask. Time to be confirmed.


There will be a club meeting this Thursday night, May 23rd at the clubhouse at 7pm.


The club would like to congratulate our A captain Ger Collins and Mary Ita Casey who got engaged over the weekend and wish them all the happiness in their future together. Indeed a great weekend for all Athea


The results of our weekly lottery draw held on Monday, May 20th at JP’s are as follows –
Jackpot was €8800. Numbers drawn 3. 9, 16, 32. No jackpot winner.
Lucky dips to the following – Jack Keane, Upper Athea. B O’Connor, Templeglantine. Anna Mai Sweeney, Hillside Drive. Ted Halpin, Duagh. Nora Dineen, Ardagh.
Sellers Kevin O’Keeffe & Top of the Town.
New jackpot will be €8900 next Monday night, May 27th at The Top of the Town.


Athea GAA

Club Draw:

Our Club Draw will be taking place shortly and this is a great opportunity for people to support our local club. Money collected from the draw will also benefit the Coiste na nÓg and Ladies football. Our promoters are now out and about selling tickets and all support would be greatly appreciated. The first draw will be held on May 25.


West Junior B League:

Athea 4–08   Gerald Griffins 1–3

Athea Junior B’s had a great win over Gerald Griffins on Saturday evening last in Ballyhahill. Playing with a slight breeze in the first half, Athea led five points to two points at the break. John Cotter showing all his experience scoring four points, one from a forty five, one from a free and two points from play, with Sean Ahern scoring the other point for Athea. At the start of the second half, Gerald Griffins levelled things by scoring a goal, but it was all Athea after that, as we out scored Gerald Griffins four goals and three points to a point for the rest of the match. Brian Murphy, John Cotter, Brian McKenna and Jamie O’ Brien all finding the net for Athea and we had Paul Matthews, Brian Murphy and Neilus Hunt with a point each to leave the final score Athea 4-8, Gerald Griffins 1-3. Best for Athea on the night was John Cotter and Brian Murphy in the forwards and William Mullane, Jonathan Fitzgerald and Eoin McCarthy in the backs. Thanks to this great team performance we have now qualified for the league semi-final which will be played shortly. Team: Denis Collins, Eoghan McCarthy, Jonathan Fitzgerald, Mike Ahern, William Mullane, Brian Ahern, Tomas Mullane, Brian McKenna, Neilus Hunt, Brian Murphy, John Geoghegan, Jamie O’ Brien, John Cotter, Sean Ahern, Liam O’ Brien, Subs: Dan McMahon & Paul Matthews.


Thursday May 23:

Intermediates: Athea Intermediates have a league match away to Bruff this Thursday evening May 23 at 7.30pm.

Friday May 24;

West Junior B League semi-final, Athea v St. Kieran’s in Tournafulla on Friday, May 24th at 7.30pm.

Tuesday May 28:

West Junior B Championship, Athea v Sean Finns in Askeaton on May 28th a6t 7.30pm

Old Photographs:

The Club are still looking for any old photographs or match programmes from anyone that has them in the parish. Contact John Hunt or Lal Browne.

Well done:

Well done to Athea United A soccer team who were crowned Division 1 League Champions in what was a thrilling match on Sunday last in Clounreask.


The Club sends its congratulations and best wishes to Gerard Collins and Mary Ita Casey on their recent engagement.


The Club would like to extend its sincere sympathy to the Buckley family on the recent passing of Larry (Lar) Buckley. May he rest in peace.


Athea Coiste na nÓg:




Our U16s played a very strong St. Mary’s/Sean Finns in Páirc na nGael recently. Playing with the wind in the first half, we found it very hard to break down their defence and hard to cope with their strength and pace. By half time, they had built up a big lead but credit to our boys they never put their heads down and put it up to them in the second half matching St. Mary’s/Sean Finns score for score. Great goals from James Ryan and Joey Kelly brought us back into the game but the opposition responded well with a few points of their own. Further points from James Ryan and Padraic Walsh as the final whistle approached were not enough as St. Mary’s/Sean Finns were comfortable winners in the finish. The second half performance of our U16s was their best of the year so far as we now take a break for the exams. Team: Lorcan McAuliffe, Tony McAuliffe, Jason Dalton, Conor Fitzgerald, Paul Mahony, Tommy Quaid, Killian O’ Donoghue, Brian O’Connor, Padraic Walsh, William Sexton, Jason Kelly, James Ryan JJ Sheehy, Joey Kelly & Jack Vaughan, subs: Padraig O’ Sullivan & Daire Horgan.

Thursday May 16:


Athea U12s travelled to Glin on Thursday evening last when it was raining cats and dogs to take on the locals in brutal playing  conditions. We played extremely well through out the match but Glin finished the strongest and won by a few points. The highlights for Athea were some outstanding goal keeping by Evan Wallace who dealt with everything that came his way and his kick outs were pin point accurate. Great defending by Ciara O’Shea and Rhys Keily, hard work around the middle of the field by David O’Connor  and John Sexton who scored two fantastic points, Claire Carmody was very busy in the forwards and Jack O’Connor who found the back of the net four times on the night. Despite the poor playing conditions all players did extremely well and we now look forward to our next match against Gerald Griffins. Team: Evan Wallace, Rhys Keily, Ciara O’Shea, Seamus Leahy, Jamie O’Mahony, Danny Brady, Jack Hunt, David O’Connor, John Sexton, Jason Dillon, Claire Carmody, Eoin Sheahan, Jack O’Connor, Aidan Curry & Sarah O’Connor

Gum Shields:

Following the GAA’s Annual Congress in April 2012 a new rule was enacted that made it mandatory to use a mouth guard in all Football Games and Football Training sessions from January 1st 2013 for all age grades up to and including Minor. The club by ordering in bulk can buy them for €5 each. If you wish to order one please contact Jacqueline.

Coiste na nÓg on line:

You can now view all our notes, results, fixtures and pictures of Athea Coiste na nÓg on the Athea GAA website. Just go to and click on the ” Coiste Main Page” for all the latest news and information.

Fixtures for May/June:

Thursday May 23:

U12: Athea U12’s are at home to Gerald Griffins Thursday evening May 23 at 7pm in Páirc na nGael. Players to be at the field for 6.40pm.

Sunday May 26:

U8: Athea U8’s have a blitz in Abbeyfeale this Sunday morning at 10.30am. Cars leaving the village at 10am.

Wednesday June 5;

U14: Athea U14’s are away to St. Kieran’s on Wednesday evening June 5 at 7pm. Cars leaving the village at 6pm.


Friday May 24:

U6: Training for U6’s will continue this Friday evening May 24 from 6.30pm to 7.30pm in Páirc na nGael. Any player who has not registered can do so on the night. All players need to wear gum shields and can be purchased from the Club for €5.

U8: Training for U8’s will continue this Friday evening May 24 from 6.30pm to 7.30pm in Páirc na nGael. Any player who has not registered can do so on the night. All players need to wear gum shields and can be purchased from the Club for €5.

U10: Training for U10’s will continue this Friday evening May 24 from 6.30pm to 7.30pm in Páirc na nGael. Any player who has not registered can do so on the night. All players need to wear gum shields and can be purchased from the Club for €5.

Monday May 27:

U16: Training for U16s will continue next Monday evening May 27 in Páirc na nGael from 7.30m to 8.30pm. All players are asked to attend.

Tuesday May 28:

U14: Training for U14s will continue next Tuesday evening May 28 in Páirc na nGael from 6pm to 7pm. All players are asked to attend.

Bag Packing:

Athea Coiste na nÓg will be bag packing on Friday May 31 and Saturday June 1 in Tesco’s Abbeyfeale. This is a vital fundraiser for the club and if anyone has a spare hour or two to help us out please contact John Hunt on 087-7875378 or Jacqueline on 086-0670091. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


For any player who has not registered with the club, you can still do so by contacting John Hunt or Jacqueline. Registration costs €15 for any U6 player, for U8’s up to U16’s it will be €25 for one child and €40 for a family of 2 or more children. Any child registering for the first time please bring a copy of their birth cert. The Club will offer a €10 refund to any parent that helps out the club with fundraising during the year.                                                                                              Cúl Camp:

This years Cúl camp will take place in Páirc na nGael from Monday July 8 to Friday July 12 from 10.00am to 2.30pm.. You can book on line at and save €5 with the code from promotional packs of Kelloggs

Cornflakes and Rice Krispies. Kellogg’s GAA Cúl Camps provide boys and girls between the ages of 6 and 13 with an action packed week full of activities, fun and games. The cost of the camp is €55 for the first child, €45 for the second and €40 for the third and subsequent child. Booking forms will be available at a later date. If you have any queries please contact Jacqueline.


We would like to wish the best of luck to Maurice Horan and the Limerick Senior footballers who take on Cork in the quarter final of the Munster Senior football Championship next Saturday evening in the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick.