Futsal - Match Day 1   02/01/2018




The 2018 ADSL FUTSAL Tournament kicked off in the most spectacular style in Group A of the Rowan Shield competition in the Athlone Institute of Technology on Tuesday evening.

It may have been blowing a storm outside but the five competing teams served up a magnificent night’s entertainment that just blew away a huge and appreciative crowd.

And it was the Ballinasloe Town Cheetahs powered by four girls who stole the limelight topping the Group with an unbeaten record to qualify for Thursday weeks’ Grand Finals night.

The distinction of scoring the first goal in FUTSAL 2018 fell to Mark Kelly who put his St. Francis side in front in the opening game against the Temple Villa Tigers. But the Tigers roared back and a goal by Michael McSharry and then a fantastic hat-trick by the very impressive Lee Corcoran gave the Mount Temple side an opening 4-1 win.

Next up a young St.Josephs Blues served notice with an emphatic 7-0 win over the Ballinasloe Town Jaguars with Dan “The Man” Costelloe firing in a quick fire hat-trick before Patrick Misienicz got in on the act with a brace, followed by a goal from Colin Moran before Dan Costelloe grabbed his fourth to make a very strong statement.

The Ballinasloe Cheetahs then announced themselves with an opening 3-0 win over St.Francis with a Kyron Blair hat-trick. The Cheetahs also had four girls in their 8 player squad  

Game 4 between Temple Villa and St. Josephs was an epic. Patrick Misienicz gave St. Josephs an early lead in this contest between two unbeaten sides. It turned into a classic of end to end action and in which both keepers gave an exhibition of quality goalkeeping. Elliot Rooney Dignan was sensational for the Villa but as his side chased the game and especially in the closing moments Villa could find no way past the simply superb Jimmy Walshe who pulled out the most spectacular diving saves to deny at least three goals. St. Josephs held on to win in a massive game in the Group.

Then we had the Ballinasloe derby. It was tight and close early on before the Cheetahs pulled away. Aiveen Curley opened the scoring. Erin Brogan added a second before Kyron Blair added to his earlier hat-trick with a remarkable four more goals. The Cheetahs were looking good.

St. Josephs went on a goal hunt in their next outing putting 11 past St. Francis. Dan Costelloe scored 4; Cian Gilhooly, Patrick Misienicz and Ciaran Cummins all scored 2 apiece with Shay McGuinness scoring the other in an emphatic statement.

Temple Villa Tigers got back in the hunt with a 4-0 win over the Ballinasloe Jaguars. Dara Shortall, Jack Lappin, Lee Corcoran and Maxi Clevett scored the goals to keep them very much in the chase for the two qualifying spots.

The meeting of St. Josephs Blues and the Ballinasloe Cheetahs would be crucial and it turned into a classic and one of the best ever games in 11 years of ADSL FUTSAL.

St. Josephs got off to a flyer with two quick fire goals both from Ciaran Cummins to put them very much in the driving seat. The Cheetahs got back into it with a goal from Cody Greene and then equalised with a fantastic Erin Brogan goal. St. Josephs went back in front with a Dan Costello goal, his 9th of the night, for 3-2.

Ballinasloe Cheetahs levelled for the second time from an own goal but this was just incredible stuff. It could have gone any way but the Cheetahs won it late with another Erin Brogan goal. The roof nearly came off the building! It was truly remarkable!

This is what ADSL FUTSAL is all about and both teams got a standing ovation coming off the pitch.

Not to be outdone the Ballinasloe Jaguars and St. Francis served up another mighty match in a 3-3 draw.

Mubashir Fayaz put the Jaguars in front. Aaron Fallon made it 2-0. Dylan Joyce then got one back for Francis and then got a second to tie the game. Ferdia McDonagh then put the Jaguars back in front and it seemed they would hold on for the win but a super Ayotunde Oleoye goal levelled it for Francis with the crowd again going mad!

And so we came to the last game. Remarkably we had 3 teams still in contention for the 2 qualifying spots. St. Josephs could only look on with their 9 points. The Ballinasloe Cheetahs were also on 9 so a draw would do them while a Temple Villa win would put them also on 9 points. It was well set.

As it turned out the Ballinasloe Cheetahs and Temple Villa drew 0-0 in an absorbing contest with James Kenny outstanding in goal for the Cheetahs. Mention must also be made of Blaithnaid Kelly who was outstanding all night for the Cheetahs and with one magnificent tackle in the last seconds of this game to earn her side the point that saw them top the Group.

The Ballinasloe Cheetahs topped the Group unbeaten in 4 games with 3 wins and a draw for 10 points. The Cheetahs will be joined in next weeks’ Grand Finals by the St. Josephs Blues just 1 point back on 9 from 3 wins and 1 loss. This is a young St. Josephs side but they are great to watch and scored an incredible 22 goals in 4 games.

In third spot was a very gallant Temple Villa Tigers on 7 points from 2 wins, a draw and 1 defeat but they can consider themselves unlucky in that they drew with the Cheetahs and lost only 1-0 to St. Josephs. Sometimes the margins are very fine indeed!

But what an opening night to ADSL FUTSAL 2018!

This is a special event and what a wonderful start to the 2018 Tournament.

And the good news is that we get to do it all again tomorrow, Wednesday the 3 rd of January.

On Wednesday the action kicks off at 6.00pm in the AIT Multi Purpose Hall with the first of an incredible 21 games in Group A of the Stacey Cup.


See Team photos in Photo Gallery


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