Top Oil Leinster Post Primary Schools Junior Hurling ‘A1’ Final
Mountrath Community School (Laois) 1-11 Ardscoil Rís (Dublin) 1-09
By Kevin Dillon
Mountrath were crowned Top Oil Leinster Junior Hurling ‘A1’ Champions after edging out Dublin side Ardscoil Rís in a lively encounter at IT Carlow on Wednesday.
An outstanding performance from the Laois School was enough to see them over the line against Ardscoil Rís of North Dublin on a cold day in Carlow.
It was the Laois side who started the brighter, Adam Kirwan getting off the mark early on with two fine points, and scores from Tadhg Cuddy and Jamie Conroy kept them in front early on.
Cian Dunne kept Ardscoil Rís in it with a few points, but Mountrath landed a sucker-punch just after that, when Thomas Keyes found the net after an error by Ardscoil Rís goalkeeper Euan Maguire, giving Mountrath a six point lead, 1-04 to 0-01.
Ardscoil Rís, managed by Waterford hurler Philip Mahony, didn’t lie down though, and a point from Andrew Keegan and two more pointed frees from Cian Dunne kept them well intact, but Kirwan was on target again for Mountrath to give them a five point cushion at half-time, 1-06 to 0-04.
After delaying their return to the field for the second-half, Mountrath began the second-half with another point from Conroy to increase their lead to six. However, Ardscoil Rís fought back after that, Andrew Keegan, Paddy Gilroy and Dunne again on target for the Dublin side to cut the gap down to three.
They managed to get back on level terms just minutes later, when a high ball played into the square was touched on by full-forward Daniel Peel, bouncing past Mountrath goalkeeper Finnian Cuddy to level the game up, 1-07 to 1-07.
Ardscoil Rís had a chance to go in front for the first time in the game with fifteen minutes remaining, as Cian Dunne had a free attempt at goal, his effort sailing narrowly right and wide of the post.
Mountrath kicked on after that, and went in front courtesy of a point from Tadhg Cuddy with just ten minutes left. That point was quickly cancelled out when Dunne levelled it up just a minute later. Thomas Keyes gave Mountrath the lead again just after that, but once again Dunne got Ardscoil Rís back on level terms.
Ardscoil Rís were then hit with a blow when full-forward Daniel Peel was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Adam Kirwan, giving Mountrath a numerical advantage in the closing stages.
Kirwan put Mountrath back in front by one with a free with just two minutes left, and just a moment later he was on target again to put the Laois side up by two.
Ardscoil Rís tried playing long balls into the square to try and get that goal they so desperately needed, but the Mountrath defence held firm in injury-time to see the game out.