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Eoin sail into third final in five years after facile victory over St Patrick's



Coláiste Eoin advanced to their third Leinster Colleges SF 'A' final in five years as they comfortably overcame St Patrick's Navan by 10 points in their semi-final at Parnell Park last Saturday afternoon.

The victory was all the more impressive given the disappointment that their dual players experienced when falling to St Kieran's College in the hurling equivalent seven days previously.

Despite the emphatic nature of the final scoreline, Coláiste Eoin manager Pádraig Mac Donncha acknowledges that there is still room for improvement from his charges ahead of Saturday's final.

"There are definitely some areas that we will need to look at and I thought we lost control of our shape, especially towards the end of the game.

"St Patrick's created a number of goalscoring opportunities and I would be a bit concerned about that but thankfully we scored enough at the other end to keep them at bay," said the Galway native.

There was little to separate the sides in a relatively scrappy opening but it was evident from the early stages that Coláiste Eoin had little to fear from the holders and they pushed clear through scores by Conn Ó Ceallacháin, Colm Ó Néill and Fionn Ó Riain Broin.

Although St Patrick's enjoyed a period of ascendancy midway through the opening half, they failed to make sufficient inroads into their deficit and Coláiste Eoin subsequently enjoyed a 0-7 to 0-3 interval lead with Rian Mac Giolla Bríde landing two pivotal points approaching the break.

That lead was enhanced with goals by Ó Ceallacháin and Ó Riain Broin within the opening 10 minutes of the second half, although a lapse in concentration allowed St Patrick's to remain in the hunt with a well-taken goal by substitute Padraig McGowan.

The score failed to unsettle the composed Stillorgan Road Gaelscoil, however, and they replied in emphatic manner as Ó Néill and Ó Ceallacháin netted inside three minutes to effectively settle the issue.

"We've had some disappointments in this competition over the past few years and it is nice to be in the final," said Mac Donncha. "However, there is a lot more work to be done between now and the final and we'll have to improve again if we are to be successful on the day."

Coláiste Eoin will hope to secure their first provincial crown since 1998 when they face Marist College from Athlone in the decider in Croke Park next Saturday teatime (5.0).

Scorers – Coláiste Eoin: C Ó Ceallacháin 2-6 (0-4f, 1-0 pen), C Ó Néill, F Ó Riain Broin 1-1, R Mac Giolla Bríde 0-2. St Patrick's Navan: P McGowan, J Morley 1-1, R Keeleghan 0-2 (2f), C Leddy, S Noonan 0-1 each.

COLÁISTE EOIN: S Ó Dúbhláin; C Ó Riain Broin, O Ó Dúill, E Ó Lorcáin; D Ó Treasaigh, E Ó Naoire, B Mac Cormaic; S Ó Dúlaing, C Ó Cathasaigh; R Mac Giolla Bríde, C Ó Seanáin, F Ó Riain Broin; C Ó Néill, C Ó Ceallacháin, L Ó Giolláin. Subs: C Mac Gearailt for C Ó Riain Broin (45), D Ó Seasnáin for Ó Giolláin (54).

ST PATRICK'S NAVAN: C Honan; A Farrelly, J O'Malley, T McGuinness; D Lynch, S Gallogly, E O'Kelly-Lynch; S Monaghan, C Nash; S Noonan, R Keeleghan, B McGrath; S Meade, T O'Reilly, C Leddy. Subs: A Carey for Lynch (half-time), J Morley for Noonan and P McGowan for O'Reilly (43), C McConnell for McGuinness (49).

Referee: C Dourneen (Cavan).