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Ard' work pays off for Rís

GOALS in either half from Sean Heaney and Liam Casserly were crucial to Ardscoil Ris's cause in Alfie Byrne Park last Thursday afternoon.




The Griffith Avenue school retained their Dublin Schools Senior Football 'B' crown with an impressive comeback victory over close rivals Scoil Aodháin.

The eventual outcome looked highly unlikely early on, however, as an impressive Aodháin brushed off an early missed goal opportunity by Ardscoil corner-forward Sean ó Cuaineachain to race into a six-point lead courtesy of scores from midfielder Joey Fitzpatrick, Glen Doyle and Paul Finnegan, as well as a terrific major by half-forward Eoin Breen following an eye-catching solo run through the heart of the Ardscoil defence on 13 minutes.

The Collins Avenue outfit were playing with extreme confidence at this stage, and they increased their lead to eight points four minutes later thanks to points from Finnegan (free) and another from Fitzpatrick.

Ardscoil were finding it difficult to create inroads through the Aodháin rearguard, but they finally got their account under way with excellent points from play by Heaney and attacking half-back Casserly, before Heaney stepped up to coolly dispatch a penalty to the net on 27 minutes after referee Gary McCormack spotted a foul inside the square.

Ardscoil now found themselves within three points of their opponents, and they edged even closer towards parity when Heaney converted a close-range free on the half-hour mark, before a second point from full-forward Doyle ensured that his side had three points to spare (1-6 to 1-3) heading into the second half. However, despite being behind, Ardscoil had reason to be much more hopeful about their chances of securing back-to-back 'B' successes, and despite neither team troubling the scoreboard in the opening 10 minutes after the re-start, Rís eventually got the ball rolling, as a point from play by Sean O'Meara was swiftly added to by a Casserly major after 41 minutes, with the No 7 finishing to the net from a tight right-hand angle.

As they took the lead for the very first time, it was clear that Ardscoil now sensed that they could push on in the final quarter, and thanks to well-taken efforts from Andrew Baxter, Seamie O'Sullivan and Heaney, they were four points to the good with 10 minutes left to play.

Aodháin did have plenty of possession in the closing moments, but with Ardscoil being marshalled in defence by captain Shane Ruane and Cian Burke, their attacking influence had been considerably curbed. The industrious Doyle did eventually register their first score of the half on the stroke of 60 minutes, but with O'Meara and Heaney adding points either side of this effort, Ardscoil were able to seal a hard-earned triumph.

After the game, Ruane, in his acceptance speech, dedicated the win to teacher Alan O'Connor, who is recovering from serious illness.

SCORERS – Ardscoil Rís: S Heaney 1-4 (1-0 pen, 0-3f), L Casserly 1-1, S O'Meara 0-2, A Baxter, S O'Sullivan 0-1 each. Scoil Aodháin: G Doyle 0-3, E Breen 1-0, P Finnegan (0-2f), J Fitzpatrick 0-2 each.

ARDSCOIL RíS: L Carey; S Hannigan, S Ruane, M Moore; C Mullins, C Burke, L Casserly; S Heaney, S Barrett; S O'Meara, A Baxter, S O'Sullivan; S Moore, E Duffy, S ó Cuaineachain. Subs: K McDonnell for M Moore (12-13, blood sub), McDonnell for Hannigan (52), S Corry for Duffy (55).

SCOIL AODHáIN: J Treacy; C Kavanagh, C Dunne, K Nangle; I Jesson, A O'Brien, A Jesson; S Ryan, J Fitzpatrick; E Breen, P Finnegan, C Doran; E O'Donnell, G Doyle, L Kelly. Sub: A Elliot for Doran (42).

Referee: G McCormack (Naomh Barróg).