Thrills and skills at finals of Cumann na mBunscol
CROKE PARK hosted the first day of the annual Cumann na mBunscol finals yesterday when elation and disappointment were experienced in equal measure as some 13 competitions were decided.
GAA president Liam O'Neill was thrilled with the skill level and application delivered by all 26 schools, with Our Lady's Grove, Goatstown, setting proceedings on the way with a wonderful display as they overcame a battling Lucan Educate Together outfit to claim the Sciath Nua.
Stephanie Galvin produced an inspirational display from midfield for the winners, including netting a hat-trick while Hannah Reynolds, Eavan Walsh and Kim Rossiter also goaled against a Lucan side that had impressive displays by Nicole Smyth, Caitriona Medina and Sophie McIntyre.
The excitement was maintained in the Sciath Bn Ui Phuirseil final as St Pius X Terenure were indebted to full-forward Leah Rice as they accounted for a skilful Scoil Lorcain by 4-1 to 1-4.
Rice hit a classy hat-trick for Pius and she received some excellent support from team captain Kelly Laird, Ciara Campbell and Cara O'Shea while the talented Aoife Meagher and Sophie Comerford also chipped in with crucial scores.
The Monkstown gaelscoil girls were always in contention largely through the efforts of midfielders Maedbh Ni Ghormain and Sorcha Ni Fhionnalain but a late goal from substitute Nora Ni Dhonaile was just not enough to rescue the day.
Shane O Chlochasaigh hit five superb points for Scoil Chronain from Rathcoole as they proved just too strong for a brave Scoil an Leinbh Iosa by 2-7 to 1-5 in the Sciath Aghais.
Diarmuid O Dulaing netted a sublime goal for the winners as Scoil Chronain managed to eke out the victory with Daibheid O Donnagain also finding the net.
Scoil an Leinbh Iosa battled manfully throughout and a feature of their display were the sumptuous sideline cuts of Conor Burke.
One of the best team performances of the day came in the final encounter as Taobh na Coille from Stepaside produced a scintillating attacking display on their way to claiming the Corn Ui Neill with a 4-11 to 0-5 win over Scoil Maloga.
Cian O Cathasaigh struck 2-5 for the winners from full-forward.
Scoil Mologa never threw in the towel but they proved second best against a superb Taobh na Coille outfit.
Elsewhere, the days' big winners were Divine Word, Marley and St Patrick's Diswellstown who both enjoyed double success on the hallowed turf of Croker.