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Sunday 17 February 2019

Peter's suffer 10-point loss

GAA Top Oil South Leinster Schools Junior Football ‘A’ Final: Knockbeg College 1-14 St. Peter's 0-7

Luke Kavanagh of St. Peter’s darting through a gap between Ian Shanahan and Brendan McDonald
Luke Kavanagh of St. Peter’s darting through a gap between Ian Shanahan and Brendan McDonald
The St. Peter’s College squad before Friday’s final defeat in the Halo Tiles and Bathrooms Ferns Centre of Excellence

Alan Aherne in Ferns C.O.E.

A lot changed in the space of a week for the Junior footballers of St. Peter's College when they went down heavily to a very impressive Knockbeg College (Carlow) side in Friday's Top Oil South Leinster 'A' championship final in the Halo Tiles and Bathrooms Ferns Centre of Excellence.

The Summerhill boys had produced a fine display in St. Patrick's Park, Enniscorthy, seven days earlier to dismiss Scoil Mhuire (Clane) by 2-15 to 0-9, and they were flying the flag on their own for Wexford in one of those rare years when Good Counsel didn't manage to even make it to the penultimate round.

However, on this occasion they came up against an accomplished side with a breakdown of ten Laois lads, four from Carlow, plus a free-taker from Kildare.

Inter-county footballer Stephen Attride was one of the Knockbeg mentors, and his team settled after a relatively slow start to stride to success with ten points to spare.

Arles-Killeen club colleagues Colin Dunne and Oisín Byrne were on fire in the centre of their attack, contributing a combined 1-8 from play, whereas Peter's lacked a cutting edge up front despite some promising runs from speedy centre-forward Luke Kavanagh.

The only period when the Wexford lads held their own was in the opening ten minutes, but it unfortunately wasn't a sign of things to come after Paul Hearne earned and converted a free before Kavanagh picked out midfielder Liam Schokman to double their lead in the third minute.

The strong and accurate Oisín Byrne picked off the opening Knockbeg point before Hearne made it 0-3 to 0-1 after a foul on Adam Murphy, but the remainder of the first-half was best forgotten from a Peter's viewpoint.

Knockbeg outscored them by 1-6 to 0-1 to establish a commanding interval lead of 1-7 to 0-4 and, when three more points were added in less than three minutes on the re-start, the contest was well and truly over.

They had already steered clear with a string of points from Byrne (two), Colin Dunne (two, one free), Oisín Hooney and Fionn Bergin (free) before the decisive goal was added in the 28th minute.

Ciarán Burke, one half of a dominant midfield partnership with Ian Shanahan, burst down the middle on a penetrating run before parting to his left where full-forward Byrne was on hand to drill the ball beyond Cian Byrne (1-7 to 0-3).

Although Paul Hearne did pull back a point from a free before the break after Luke Kavanagh was fouled, Peter's had it all to do and it didn't look like they had sufficient quality to turn the game around.

That view was confirmed when play resumed with two quick pointed frees from Fionn Bergin along with one from play sandwiched in between courtesy of Colin Dunne (1-10 to 0-4).

Peter's mentors Danny Redmond, Cathal O'Gara and Paddy Ryan made various switches in terms of positions and personnel, but the gap remained large even though Justin Moran and Paul Hearne (free) did account for the next two points.

As if to underline their superiority, Knockeg extended the gap back out to nine after another Bergin free was followed by a super over-the-shoulder score from a tight angle by Dunne after an Oisín Doyle mark.

Free-taker Hearne got what proved to be the last Peter's point in the 50th minute, and the fact that they only mustered two in all from play - and just one from a forward - summed up their struggles.

Big guns Colin Dunne and Oisín Byrne completed the scoring for Knockbeg who succeed Naas C.B.S. as champions, and while Tiarnan Malone and substitute Alan Mahoney did have late shots on goal saved by Seán Dollard, they would only have been consolations at any rate.

St. Peter's: Cian Byrne (St. Mary's, Rosslare); Diarmuid O'Leary (St. Martin's), Leigh Newport (St. Fintan's, capt.), Stuart Hession (Volunteers); Conor Roche (Shelmaliers), David Codd (St. Martin's), Thomas Doyle (Glynn-Barntown); Liam Cassin (Sarsfields), Liam Schokman (St. Anne's, 0-1); Justin Moran (St. Anne's, 0-1), Luke Kavanagh (St. Martin's), Corben Brown (Glynn-Barntown); Paul Hearne (Shelmaliers, 0-5 frees), Adam Murphy (Blackwater), Tiarnan Malone (Shelmaliers). Subs. - Jack Twomey (Buffers Alley) for Doyle (HT), Conor Phillips (St. Anne's) for Roche (35), Alan Mahoney (Glynn-Barntown) for Murphy (48), Luke O'Rourke (Glynn-Barntown) for Brown (53), Jamie Berry (St. Martin's) for Hession (60+1), also James Donnelly (St. Martin's), Conor Bernard (Crossabeg-Ballymurn), John Crosbie (Sarsfields), Conor Lyne (Glynn-Barntown), Josh Walsh (Sarsfields), Conor Murphy (Taghmon-Camross), Michael Butler (Buffers Alley), Robert Hillis (Glynn-Barntown), Ryan Kielty (Shelmaliers), Seán Og Flanagan (Shelmaliers), Adam Mrayah (St. Mary's, Maudlintown), Cillian Byrne (St. Anne's), Connor King (St. Martin's), Darragh Murphy (Glynn-Barntown), Eoin Ryan (St. Anne's), Jack Redmond (Buffers Alley), Josh Culleton (Blackwater), Jude Bates (Kilmore), Mark Finucane (Sarsfields), Nathan Byrne (Glynn-Barntown), Oisín Furlong (Shelmaliers), Ollie Murphy (Blackwater), Paddy Nolan (Taghmon-Camross), Patrick Redmond (Monageer-Boolavogue), Ryan Corrigan (Shelmaliers), David Doyle.

Knockbeg College: Seán Dollard; Jamie Kelly, Orrie Doran, Brendan McDonald; Shane Buggy, Ben Crotty (capt.), Tomás Byrne; Ciarán Burke, Ian Shanahan; Oisín Hooney (0-1), Colin Dunne (0-5, 1 free), Oisín Doyle; Bryan McMahon, Oisín Byrne (1-4), Fionn Bergin (0-4 frees). Subs. - Jesse McEvoy for Crotty, inj. (13), T.J. Burke for C. Burke, inj. (58).

Referee: Anton Keating (Dublin).

Gorey Guardian

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