Graham heroics inspire Tullamore triumph
A late scoring spree, with Offaly minor Noel Graham very much to the fore, enabled Tullamore College to edge Maynooth Post Primary School in a dramatic final at Cusack Park, Mullingar, yesterday afternoon.
The winners were generally outplayed in the first half, with only a fortuitous goal from hard-working midfielder Cian Donoghue keeping them in the contest as Maynooth deservedly led by 0-6 to 1-1 at the break.
With Mark Donnellan in fine form, the Kildare school looked likely winners for most of the second period.
However, Noel Graham struck for a crucial goal from close range in the 25th minute of the second half to level the tie. Two more points from the same player (one from a '45') and a wonderful point from wing-back Thomas Mooney edged the Offaly side ahead in the dying moments.
Ciaran Kearney's point for an unlucky Maynooth side in the third minute of added-time was insufficient to bring the tie to extra-time.
Scorers -- Tullamore: N Graham 1-3 (0-1 '45), C Donoghue 1-1, C Hayes (0-1f), T Mooney 0-1 each. Maynooth: M Donnellan (0-1 s/l), A Foxe (0-2f) 0-3 each, H Breen 0-2, A Kiernan, C Kearney, J Walsh 0-1 each.
Tullamore College -- S McElligott; D Bermingham, J Gethings, N Bracken; T Mooney, MJ Pierce, G Martin; C Donoghue, N Graham; D Magner, G Mann, S Conneely; D Maloney, S Henchy, C Hayes. Subs: D Jordan for Maloney (h-t), M Casey for Henchy (h-t), R Crombie for Mann (38).
Maynooth PP -- D Corcoran; G Dowling, C Egan, S Hawthorne; S Higgins, S Delaney, J Walsh; J Durcan, M Donnellan; J Gunn, C Stenson, M O'Connor; C Kearney, M Guiney, A Foxe. Subs: H Breen for Higgins (23), A Kiernan for Guiney (48).
Ref -- M Gordon (Westmeath).