SCOIL CHAITRIONA 4-5; MALAHIDE CS 2-10
CIAN O Fallúin and Ben ó Laighleis were the heroes for Scoil Chaitriona in Alfie Byrne Park on Tuesday afternoon, as their late goals sealed a dramatic comeback against Malahide Community School in an action-packed Dublin Schools Junior Hurling 'B' showdown.Scoil Chaitríona got the better of Malahide by the narrowest of margins in the Senior Hurling 'B' decider a fortnight ago, but Malahide seemed determined to get revenge on the Mobhi Road school in the early stages, as they held a deserved 1-4 to 0-2 cushion by the 20-minute mark.
Midfielder Colm Boran found the target from frees on four occasions during this period, and a goal arrived courtesy of corner-forward Paul Ryan 10 minutes in, when he gathered superbly from a cross-field pass by centre-back Thomas Colclough, before firing past Ciarán ó Laighléis in the Chaitríona goal.
Ben ó Laighléis and Seán ó hící (who was the star performer in his school's senior triumph against the same opposition) did register scores for Chaitríona, who appeared to give themselves a lifeline when midfielder Seán ó Caoinnéalainn flicked a long delivery to the net after 25 minutes. However, this was soon cancelled out by a second major from Ryan, before a '65' from Boran meant that Malahide held an interval lead of seven points (2-6 to 1-2).
In an effort to address the deficit they were facing, Chaitríona opted to switch ó Fallúin from centre-field to the edge of the square, which had the desired effect, as he contributed 1-2 in the opening eight minutes of the second period (the goal being a terrific finish from a right-hand angle), narrowing the margin to three in the process.
It was now very much a case of game on, but Malahide looked like they had stemmed the tide with a trio of frees from the influential Boran (bringing his tally up to 0-9), which increased their advantage to six with 10 minutes of play remaining.
Indeed, it seemed as if Malahide had enough in reserve to get them over the finishing line, but Chaitríona had other ideas, as a fine point from ó Laighléis was followed by ó Fallúin's second goal of the game on 58 minutes.
This offered Chaitríona renewed hope as the end of normal time beckoned, and their great escape was fully completed when O Laighléis flicked to the net with a rebounded shot after ó hící's penalty had been tipped on to the crossbar, giving the Dublin 9 outfit the lead for the first time.
Boran had the opportunity to force the game into extra-time, but was wide of the mark with his difficult free on the left-wing, which came as sweet relief for all those involved with Chaitríona.
Scorers - Scoil Chaitríona: C ó Fallúin 2-2 (0-2f), B ó Laighleis 1-2, S ó Caoinnéalainn 1-0, S ó hící 0-1 (f). Malahide CS: C Boran 0-9 (8f, 1 '65'), P Ryan 2-0, B Redmond 0-1.
Scoil Chaitríona: C ó Laighléis; C Mac Chartaigh, E ó Brádaigh, F Mac Aonghusa; C ó Taidhg, C Mac Stibhín, P ó Feinneadh; S ó Caoinnéalainn, C ó Fallúin; N ó Nualláin, S ó hící, A ó Flannaire; R ó Cleirigh, B ó Laighléis, D ó Griabhain.
Malahide CS: D Colclough; P Ryan, D Denneher, J Kennedy; E McLoughney, T Colclough, D McEvoy; M Meaney, C Boran; B Redmond, S Owens, D Murphy; P Ryan, E Cooney, L Hughes. Sub: S Horan for Murphy (45).
Referee: T McCarthy (St. Vincent's).