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Coláiste Choilm Win By Narrowest Of Margins

January 24th, 2023

Leinster GAA Br Bosco Cup, Senior “A” Football Quarter-Final

Coláiste Choilm, Tullamore 0-10

St. Pat’s, Navan 1-6

By Kevin Egan

Coláiste Choilm of Tullamore rebounded from last week’s narrow defeat in the Leinster Post-Primary Schools Senior “B” hurling championship last week to take a massive scalp in their home town this afternoon, as Cillian Martin’s point in stoppage time edged them over the line against St. Pat’s of Navan and ensured that they join St. Mel’s of Longford and reigning Brother Bosco Cup holders Naas CBS in the last four of this prestigious competition, with either St. Peter’s of Wexford or Moate Community School set to complete the line up tomorrow.

In a contest where every score was hard-earned, Coláiste Choilm twice had to come back from three points behind, initially after they misfired badly in the first half and went into the dressing room with just a solitary point to their name, and again after Ben Corkery’s superb goal for the Meath school made it 1-4 to 0-4 after 37 minutes.

There was a final test of character when two Navan points in a row made it 1-6 to 0-8 going into the closing minutes, but Cillian Bourke’s equaliser and Martin’s winner edged Coláiste Choilm back in front, and while St. Pat’s had chances to force extra time, they couldn’t quite find the score they craved.

Both these schools came into this contest on the back of tense, tight wins in the previous round. Coláiste Choilm needed extra time and a late goal to edge out Offaly rivals St. Mary’s of Edenderry, while St. Pat’s repelled a late fightback from Marist College in their preliminary round tie at Páirc Tailteann, so both sides should have been battle-hardened coming into this one.

Instead they both struggled to find their rhythm in the opening half, with Luke Bourke opening the scoring for Coláiste Choilm after four minutes, but poor shooting (seven first half wides in all) meant that was to be their only score of the half.

St. Pat’s weren’t at their best either, with Cian Cummins and Andrew Canavan points just about edging them into an 0-4 to 0-1 interval lead – a lead that could have been doubled, but for a fine save from Sean Kavanagh to deny Andrew Canavan what would have been a vital goal.

Coláiste Choilm were transformed after half-time. They retained possession much more efficiently, didn’t give as much ball away, and began to break tackles and create chances. Three points from Jack Connolly, Ryan Kenny and Cillian Martin had them back on terms within six minutes, before they were rocked back by Corkery’s goal.

The next quarter of an hour saw the Tullamore students play their best football of the match. Robbie Gallagher and Niall Furlong kicked wonderful points from play either side of Ryan Kenny’s two frees, but their momentum was broken when Matthew Kealey pointed a free and the outstanding Cian Commins hit the target from play to restore St. Pat’s lead with the hour almost expired.

Bourke and Martin, who had been superb all day, came good to deliver the crucial scores Coláiste Choilm needed, and while St. Pat’s threw the kitchen sink at their hosts, one wide and one foul in possession from St. Pat’s players meant that they never got the equaliser they needed, and after eight tense minutes of stoppage time in the newly-named Glenisk O’Connor Park, former Laois footballer David Sweeney sounded his final whistle to confirm the win for Coláiste Choilm.


Scorers for Coláiste Choilm: Ryan Kenny 0-3f, Cillian Martin 0-2, Cillian Bourke, Luke Bourke, Jack Connolly, Robbie Gallagher and Niall Furlong 0-1 each.

Scorers for St. Pat’s: Ben Corkery 1-0, Matthew Kealy 0-2f, Cian Cummins, Andrew Canavan, Billy Smyth and Luc Doyle 0-1 each.

COLÁISTE CHOILM: Sean Kavanagh; James Kelly, Ryan Conway, Ben Heffernan; Jack Daly, Ter Guinan, Gary Merriman; Cillian Martin, Cillian Bourke; Luke Bourke, Ryan Kenny, Dan Bourke; Jack Connolly, Robbie Gallagher, Niall Furlong.

Subs used: Steven Doran for Connolly (45), Patrick Kenna for Merriman (57), Adam McCarthy for Luke Bourke (60+1).

ST. PAT’S: Luke Healy; Luc Doyle, James Reeves, Brendan McGuinness; Matthew Kealy, Danny Waters, Lorcan O’Connor; Tadgh Martyn, Darren O’Brien; Séimí Byrne, Cian Commons, Andrew Canavan; Neil McGinley, Billy Smyth, Robbie Finnegan.

Subs used: Ben Corkery for McGinley (35), Ciaran Quinn for Canavan (45), Cormac Liggan for O’Brien (52).

Referee: David Sweeney (Laois)

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