There will be a novel pairing in this year’s Top Oil Leinster PP Schools Senior Football ‘A’ final, with Marist College, Athlone and Naas CBS both advancing from semi-finals on Saturday, 17th February. Neither school has ever won the championship.
Top Oil Leinster P.P. Schools SF ‘A’ Semi-Final: Marist College, Athlone 2-9, Offaly Schools 2-6
Marist College have another opportunity to put their name on the Top Oil Brother Bosco Cup next month as the Athlone students recorded a fully deserved win over the Offaly Schools combination team at St. Loman’s GAA grounds in Mullingar on Saturday.
Good work from Patrick McGettigan set up Eoghan Derwin for a fine Marist College goal after just four minutes of play but the Offaly side settled into the contest and drew level through two well-taken points from county senior star Cian Johnson.
The fielding power of Marist midfielder Shane Cunnane was a huge factor in the game as the first half went on, however, and the 2014 and 2016 finalists took control of the game, setting up a series of dead ball opportunities that were converted by midfielder Kieran Colclough.
Five points on the spin for the Marist gave them a 1-5 to 0-4 interval lead, and while the Gallen Community School due of Seán Flynn and Cian Johnson looked extremely sharp when the ball was sent their way, they were starved of possession for most of the contest.
Marist continued to dominate after the break and two more Colclough frees stretched their lead, while a second yellow card to centre forward Kevin McDermott further hampered the Offaly side’s challenge. However a quick free from Johnson to David Nally led to a penalty, and Sean Flynn’s spot kick was inch perfect.
The reply from the Westmeath school was no less emphatic. Tom O’Carroll won a short kick out and fed Colclough, who sliced through the Offaly defence and then hit the bottom corner of the net with a precise finish from 16 metres. Then Offaly’s Jack O’Brien also received a red card, leaving his side with five points to find with two less players.
Sean Dowd tacked on two late insurance points for Marist College and while a late Dan Wyer goal halved the gap, the very next kick of the ball saw Fergal Maguire blow his final whistle.
Marist College: Kieran Colclough 1-6 (6f), Eoghan Derwin 1-0, Sean Dowd 0-2, Tom O’Carroll 0-1.
Offaly Schools: Sean Flynn 1-2 (1-0 pen, 1f), Cian Johnson 0-3 (1f), Dan Wyer 1-0, Jack Watkins 0-1.
MARIST COLLEGE: Cathal Dolan; Stephen McGonagle, Pearse Frost, Keelan O’Connor; Ian O’Rourke, Eoin Mulvihill, Patrick McGettigan; Kieran Colclough, Shane Allen; Fred Kelleher, Tom O’Carroll, Seán Dowd; Eoghan Derwin, Shane Cunnane, Ciarán Sugrue. Subs: Donagh Prendergast for O’Connor, Rory Dempsey for McGonagle, Anthony Johnson for Kelleher, Billy McDonnell for Dempsey.
OFFALY SCHOOLS: Jack Cullinan; Michael Wren, Ciaran Doyle, Conor Egan; Aidan Bracken, Cathal O’Meara, Jack O’Brien; Jack Watkins, Bill Carroll; David Nally, Kevin McDermott, Dan Wyer; Cian Johnson, Billy Fogarty, Seán Flynn. Subs: Adam Bolger for Egan, Bernard Corcoran for Fogarty, Eoin Dunne for Watkins, Conor Kenny for Flynn, Cathal Flynn for Bracken, Brian Mullins for Nally.
Referee: Fergal Maguire (Longford)
Top Oil Leinster P.P. Schools SF ‘A’ Semi-Final: Naas CBS 2-8, Colaiste Eoin 0-6
Naas CBS qualified for their first ever Top Oil Leinster P.P. Schools SF ‘A’ final with an emphatic victory over Colaiste Eoin at Blessington on Saturday.
The Kildare students began to gain the upper hand in the second quarter and put the game beyond their opponents’ reach with two well-taken goals early in the second half.
Remarkably, Naas CBS are now on the brink of becoming only the second ever Kildare school to win the Bro Bosco Cup, which would complete a meteoric rise considering they only competed in the ‘B’ grade at this level in recent seasons.
Colaiste Eoin were twice on level terms in the opening stages, but then Naas CBS hit five points in a row, three coming from free-taker Luke Griffin, with Darragh Kirwan and Jordan McGarr also on target.
The south Dublin side hit back before the break through Fionn Ó Ceallaigh, leaving them trailing by 0-7 to 0-3 with the wind in their favour for the second half.
Colaiste Eoin pressed forward after the re-start, but Naas CBS counter-attacked with purpose and hit two cracking goals in the 33rd and 39th minutes. The first was fired home by influential wing-forward Kirwan and then Griffin fisted the ball to the net after a high delivery.
Late on, Colaiste Eoin doubled their tally with scores from Ó Ceallaigh (2) and Pádraig Puirséil, but Colm Joyce chipped in with another score for Naas CBS who convincingly advanced to meet Marist College.
Naas CBS: Luke Griffin (0-3f) 1-4; Darragh Kirwan 1-1; Jordan McGarr, Colm Joyce, Tony O’Connor 0-1 each.
Colaiste Eoin: Fionn Ó Ceallaigh (3f) 0-3; Pádraig Puirséil 0-2; Conor Cinseallach 0-1.
NAAS CBS: David Morrissey; Eoghan Prizeman, Conall O Gallchobhair, Jack Hamill; Cathal Daly, Jack Sargent, Brian Stynes; Ian Blackburne, Rian Boran; Barry Kehoe, Tony O’Connor, Darragh Kirwan; Colm Joyce, Luke Griffin, Jordan McGarr. Subs: Rian Monaghan for Daly; Killian Thompson for McGarr; Stephen Davis for Prizeman.
COLAISTE EOIN: Stiofán Ó Mathúna; Colm MacGiolla Phadraig, Fiachra Potts, Micheál MacEoin; Diarmuid Ó Flionn, Conor Cinseallach, Naoise Ó Moynihan- Ó Brádaigh; Jack Ó Tuama, Peadar Ó Cofaigh-Byrne; Des Ó Dúgáin, Tomás Ó hEachthigheirn, Antain Ó Cúinn; Tomás O’Neill, Fionn Ó Ceallaigh, Pádraig Puirséil. Subs: Seamus Ó Fiachna for Ó Cúinn; Donncha Ó Ciardha for Ó Dúgáin.
Referee: David Hickey (Carlow).