Thursday 20 June 2019

Garristown win by a whisker

GAA, Fingal Primary Schools Finals: Garristown NS 2-5 O Plunketts NS 1-7

Rory Kerr at Parnell Park

It was a busy day in Parnell Park on Friday as a number of Fingal Primary Schools junior finals were down for decision.

The Division 1 decider in particular was a close-run affair which saw Garristown National School record a narrow one-point victory over Oliver Plunketts from Malahide.

It was a terrific achievement for Garristown, with a goal in each half securing victory for the north County Dublin out. Nonetheless, they were pushed all the way by a battling Oliver Plunketts team for whom goalkeeper James Murphy pulled off a number of fine saves.

There was no quarter given by either team on the day in what was a terrific advertisement for the game. Both teams showed terrific drive going forward, with Tadgh Tiggy Stafford showing a terrific engine in midfield for Garristown.

And reminiscent of former past pupil and All-Ireland winner Dean Rock, Stafford also proved very accurate off the place ball on the day.

Stafford landed the first score of the day for his team and Garristown were given further hope when Conor O'Brien and Conan Murray set up Fran Warnock. The Garristown full foward delivered a cracking effort in off the upright to leave his team up by four points.

However, Oliver Plunketts were soon into their stride and would eventually open their account through Rocco Byrne.

PJ O'Toole, who put in a terrific shift at centre forward, then narrowed the gap to the bare minimum with back-to-back points before Garristown, who were playing with a aid of a strong breeze, moved two points clear courtesy of a point from Thomas Scott.

However, with Murphy proving very safe under the high ball, Oliver Plunketts repelled a series of Garristown attacks and almost struck for a goal just before the break.

However, Garristown's Lochlainne McShane was on hand to tip Jack O'Connor's point over the crossbar to leave it 1-2 to 0-4 to Garristown at half-time.

The second half saw Garristown open their account with a point from O'Brien, but Plunketts were never too far away, with O'Toole landing another free for his team.

However, Stafford would respond in kind at the other end before Thomas struck for Garristown's second goal to put five points between the sides.

Still, the Malahide boys weren't going to lie down and after converting a number free, they were then right back in the game when midfielder Cian Broderick smashed the ball home.

And in a terrific game which kept the attention throughout, Garristown almost struck for their third goal, only for Murphy to deny Foran from close range.

Foran would register a point a few moments later, but Plunketts never gave up, with O'Toole registering his fifth point of the day to bring Garristown's lead back to a point with a few moments to go.

Garristown had to dig deep in the closing stages to keep a battling Oliver Plunketts side at bay and with only seconds to go Plunketts gave it one final go, with Rocco Byrne coming desperately close to grabbing a last-gasp winner.

St Oliver Plunketts Malahide: James Murphy, Lillian Dunne, Alastair Doyle, Jay Byrne, Liam McGuigan, Jack Robinson, Ethan Ryan, Cian Broderick 1-0, Rona Hickey, Tom Clarke, PJ O'Toole 0-5, Rocco Byrne 0-1, Conor Doyle, Larry Foley, Jack O' Connor 0-1, Cillian Whelan, Conor Scott, Dylan Early, Matthew Whitton, Jack Doyle, Liam Dwwyer, Marcus Fitzpatrick, Shane Rafter, Daniel O'Brien, Finn Kilduff. Mentor: Diarmuid Eagney

Garristown: Lochlainn McShane, Oisin Cronin, Colm O'Leary, Tom McGuire, Eoin Brogan, Jack White, Liam Tallan, Tadhg Stafford 0-2, Niall Finn, Conor O'Brien 0-1, Aaron Murray, Danny Dunne, Aaron Foran 0-1, Finn Warnock 1-0, Scott Thomas 1-1. Subs: Theo Carberry, Henok Bakumba, Mark Quinn, Andrew Davis, Finn Donnelly. Mentors : Padraig Durkan, Tommy Farnan and Hugh Daly.

Ball Boys: Jason Folan, Ronan English and Simon Donnelly.

Fingal Independent