Semi-final action is on the horizon in the Top Oil Leinster P.P. Schools Senior Championships.
The penultimate round games in the hurling take place this Saturday, with the football the week after. Here’s a look at what’s in store:
St Kieran’s v St Peter’s and Dublin North v CBS Kilkenny
Reigning champions St Kieran’s College will take on last year’s football winners St Peter’s College in the semi-finals of the Top Oil Leinster P.P. Schools SH ‘A’ next Saturday, 10th February. The game will take place at St Patrick’s Park, Enniscorthy, at 1pm.
This Kilkenny v Wexford duel will set up the winners for a final against either CBS Kilkenny or Dublin North, who also clash on Saturday at the Laois GAA Training Centre, at 2pm.
St Kieran’s progressed to the semi-finals after an extra time thriller with their great rivals CBS Kilkenny, winning 0-16 to 0-12. After being reduced to 14 players in a close fought encounter, St Kieran’s College looked under pressure until a point from dynamic wing back Dermot Phelan levelled the match at 0-9 apiece to force extra time.
Marist College V Offaly Schools & Naas CBS v Colaiste Eoin
Semi-finals in the Top Oil Leinster PP Schools SF ‘A’ will take place on Saturday, 17th February, with the final down for decision on Saturday, 10th March.
Classy corner forward Cian Johnson hit 2-8 as Offaly Schools comprehensively defeated Louth Schools in the Top Oil Leinster P.P. Schools SF ‘A’ quarter-final on Saturday, 20th January.
The Leaving Cert student, who scored six points for Offaly in a recent O’Byrne Cup game against Dublin, was once again in unstoppable form in difficult conditions at the Blanchardstown I.T. grounds.
Johnston and Dan Wyer scored a goal apiece in the opening half as Offaly established a 2-9 to 0-6 lead. Second half goals for Louth Schools by Ciaran Keenan (2) and Jonny Commins failed to inspire a comeback as Johnson ensured Offaly Schools marched on by 3-17 to 3-8.
They will meet an in-form Marist College side in the semi-finals, after the Athlone-based school defeated St Aidan’s CBS of Whitehall by 1-12 to 1-8 at St Loman’s, Mullingar, on Saturday.
Following on from two big wins in the group stages of the championship, Marist College established an early 0-4 to 0-1 lead before St Aidan’s equalised with a Lee Gannon goal.
Top-scorer Kieran Colclough replied with a goal for Marist College and the sides were tied at the break – 1-5 each. The Westmeath side’s defence restricted St Aidan’s to just three points in the second half, and with Ciaran Sugrue and Josh Beaumont contributing some well-taken points, they deservedly advanced to the penultimate round.
Naas CBS became the first school into the last four with a 2-12 to 1-9 victory over Knockbeg College at Portarlington on Friday, 19th January.
The winners held a narrow 1-6 to 1-5 lead at the interval, but eased further ahead after their opponents were reduced to 14 players. Killian Thompson and Gary O’Connor scored a goal in either half as the Kildare side progressed to the semi-final.
They will meet Colaiste Eoin of Dublin who defeated last year’s champions St Peter’s College by 2-12 to 3-4 on Friday, 26th January. St Peter’s led by a point at half time, and it was level at the three quarter stage, before Colaiste Eoin pulled clear after scoring their second goal.