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Belgrove make herald splash

THE TV crews were in Croke Park yesterday doing their previews for the National Hurling League final.

In time, they could be interviewing many of the players that graced the sun-splashed stadium on the second day of the Allianz Cumann Na mBunscol hurling and camogie finals. GAA President Liam O'Neill and Camogie President Aileen Redmond were in the audience, as were the dashing Dublin duo of Cormac Costelllo and Ciarán Kilkenny.

They saw a thrilling Herald Cup final. On the final whistle, Belgrove mentor, Kilkenny's Richie Hogan, jumped to the sky in thanks giving.

They had overcome the Marino Marvels, Scoil Mhuire. Pat Gilroy was in the stand. His son, Andrew, hit six super frees.

The tempo of the game was terrific. The hooking and blocking were first-class. The drama extended to extra-time. Gold medal winners all.

It was also a joyous day for Scoil áine of Shankill who collected the Sciath Mhic Phiarais. They had a brother and sister in action, Jack and Ella Cautley.

They were captained by Orla Doyle, while Niall Comerford hit the jackpot time and again against the noble Ballinteer Braves.

Also in stunning form was Gavin Poole-Flanagan, the top scorer for Scoil Chiaráin, who secured Corn Uí Néill success.

On target for their Inchicore opponents was Ben Inglis, a grandson of the legendary Tipp hurler, Theo English.

Theo would have been impressed with the finishing of Anne McSweeney who got all the scores as Mary Help of Christians GNS, Navan Road took the Sciath Bean Uí Phuirséil.

They overcame Lucan's Scoil Mhuire in a mighty duel. Laura Quinn underlined her quality for the Lucan side.

There was a fitting conclusion to events as a highly anticipated local derby between St Joseph's Terenure and St Pius X Terenure ended in the former claiming the Sciath Marino by 2-8 to 2-7.

Ciarán Nagle excelled for the winners, working tirelessly around the middle third in addition to striking seven points in total, while first-half goals by Oisín Lydon and Conor Duffy kept St Joseph's in the hunt throughout.

Their opponents lost nothing in defeat with Jack Dalton an immense presence at centre-back, but an injury to excellent corner-back Rian Maher was a body blow from which St Pius X never truly recovered.

There was a similarly tight affair in the Sciath Uí Néill as Lucan Educate Together fought back valiantly to overcome a highly unlucky Sacred Heart Huntstown after extra-time.

With defences very much on top, it was little surprise that the game's most impressive performers included Sacred Heart full-back Amos Sholanke and Lucan's tigerish Seán O'Leary.

Jonathon Youmen's influence was rewarded by a glorious point to maintain Huntstown momentum but Lucan, with Dublin senior Johnny McCaffrey prowling the touchline, fought back gamely and secured the cup with points from Fintan Ward and Ciarán Behan.

Elsewhere, Bayside NS proved too strong for Bishop Galvin in the Corn Johnston Mooney and O'Brien, Scoil Treasa were similarly dominant against Scoil Mobhi in the Corn Aghais while Scoil Maelruáin eked out a narrow win over St Marnock's in the Corn Olly Quinlan.