Round-up: Masita Post Primary Schools All-Ireland SFC Finals
Masita Post-Primary Schools All-Ireland SFC Final Results
Paddy Drummond Cup (Senior B Football)
ST. JOSEPH’S GS, DONAGHMORE 2-12 THE ABBEY SCHOOL 0-9
Dr. Eamonn O’Sullivan Cup (Senior C Football)
ST. PAT’S CASTLEISLAND 2-8 O’CAROLAN COLLEGE, NOBBER 0-11
Br. Edmund Ignatius Rice Cup (Senior D Football)
ST. JOSEPH’S SS, SPANISH POINT 0-15 ÁRD SCOIL CHIARÁIN NAOFA, CLARA 1-7
There were joyous celebrations in certain corners of Tyrone, Kerry and Clare last night after the students of three secondary schools from those counties crowned incredible seasons in the Masita Post-Primary Schools Senior Football Championships with memorable wins at various locations all across the country.
The Connacht GAA Centre in Bekan was the destination for the Paddy Drummond Cup final between St. Joseph’s Grammar School of Donaghmore and the Abbey School of Tipperary Town, where two goals from Mattie McNally fired the Ulster champions to glory.
The Abbey School, who came back from nine points down in their semi-final win over St. Attracta’s of Tubbercurry, struggled in the early stages of this one too, but after conceding the first couple of scores and leaning on talented goalkeeper Robbie McGrath (who was their match-winning hero in that penalty shootout win over the Sligo side), they roared back with points from Shane and Colin O’Grady, Bill Quirke, Conall Grogan and 15-year-old David Ryan, taking a one-point lead into the dressing room at half-time.
Orrin Jones and Grogan stretched that lead after half-time, but momentum shifted decisively in favour of St. Joseph’s when a mishit shot broke into the path of McNally, and he rifled the ball into the net.
Noah Grimes, who had seven points in total on the day, edged St. Joseph’s in front and they powered on from there, with McNally firing in a second goal to rock the Tipperary students and set up a comfortable finish for the winners.
The senior “C” final also saw the winners come back from a comparatively slow start, with O’Carolan College of Nobber enjoying the better of things in the early stages of their battle with St. Pat’s of Castleisland.
Rian Stafford, the Kilmainhamwood club man and nephew of three-time All-Star Brian Stafford, led the way for the Meath side with four points, while Adam Matthews, Daragh Kelly, Ben Reilly and Declan Reilly also chipped in with points for O’Carolans. Conor Wilkinson pulled off some wonderful saves for St. Pat’s too, as they tried to hold off what has been an incredibly prolific Nobber attack.
However they failed to build on their 0-6 to 0-3 half-time lead, and St. Pat’s took over in the second half of this contest at Netwatch Cullen Park. Cathal Brosnan and Eoghan Shire got them up and running, before substitute John O’Connor delivered the first of two crucial blows in the 40th minute.
Just as Mattie McNally’s two second half goals seized the day for St. Joseph’s of Donaghmore, the Currow clubman was the match winner in Carlow, first palming a high ball to the net, then finishing from close range with just under ten minutes of normal time remaining, after good approach play from Brosnan and Shire set up the opportunity.
Another sub, Cathal Sheehan, added what seemed to be the insurance score, but Stafford’s fourth point set up a dramatic finale, though the O’Carolan College lads couldn’t find the equalising goal that they needed.
Finally, at Tuam Stadium in Galway, 1-5 from full-forward Ben Kennedy wasn’t enough for Árd Scoil Chiaráin of Clara in Offaly, as they were outplayed by a very impressive St. Joseph’s Secondary School side from Spanish Point.
In a mirror of the other two games, the contest was in the balance at half-time, neatly poised at 0-5 apiece. However St. Joseph’s had missed a lot of good chances and they cut out that inaccuracy in the second half, tacking on ten more points to just two from the Offaly side, before Kennedy’s late penalty greatly reduced the gap.
Euan Lineen (0-5), Cathal Talty (0-4), Sean Neylon and Oisin Sexton (two points each) were all in excellent scoring form for St. Joseph’s, though the real star of the show was wing back Josh Moloney, who crowned a tireless and hugely effective performance from wing back with an excellent point for the West Clare students.