Clonkeen College's ambitions of a prolonged provincial campaign were cut short last Friday afternoon as they succumbed to a talented Moate CS outfit by seven points, 2-14 to 2-7, in their Leinster Colleges SF first round encounter in Deansgrange.
However, given Clonkeen's inexperience relative to their more seasoned opponents, it was a battling and impressive display by the hosts, an opinion shared by manager Cormac O'Brien.
"We knew coming into the game that we had a serious challenge ahead of us. Moate would have a huge tradition in this competition and they had five county minors from last year. This was the first time that Clonkeen have ever competed in their Leinster 'A' Senior Football Championship, so it was a fantastic occasion for Gaelic games in the school," said O'Brien.
His side will rue a disappointing second quarter in which the hosts conceded a critical goal to Moate's Fergal Hynds, having netted themselves at the end of the first quarter through Kyle Braine. With Andrew Murphy giving a towering display at centre field, Clonkeen made inroads into their interval deficit as Matthew Higgins recorded their second goal within minutes of the restart.
Moate's talent proved compelling, however, and they secured their win through a fortuitous injury-time goal by Liam Cassidy, with O'Brien keen to accentuate the positives from a gutsy display.
"Our lads were superb," he said.
Scorers - Moate CS: L Cassidy 1-3, D Fox 0-5 (5f), F Hynds 1-0, R Cunningham, A McCormack 0-2, L Varley, A Farrell 0-1 each. Clonkeen: K Braine 1-1, A Murphy (1f), S Treacy (2f) 0-3, M Higgins 1-0.
MOATE CS: J Colgan; B Daly, D Carroll, L Boidu; D Healy, J Langan, L Varley; G Murray, F Hynds; R Cunningham, A McCormack, L Cassidy; A Farrell, C Daly, D Fox. Subs: E Kelly for C Daly (52), P Fox for Carroll (56).
CLONKEEN COLLEGE: J Richardson; L Allen, K Killion, E Brennan; D Flynn-Fallon, S Byrne, J Moffat; C O'Sullivan, A Murphy; K Braine, D Ryan, J Behan; J Byrne, M Higgins, S Treacy. Subs: L Bermingham for S Byrne (29, BC), E Gannon for Bermingham (55, BC). Referee: Brendan Hickey (Kildare).