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Gerrard and Small's late strikes give Aidan's title

Late points by Cian Gerrard and Paddy Small were essential in Parnell's GAA Club last Friday, when St Aidan's CBS bridged a 10-year gap to secure the Dublin Schools Junior 'A' Football title at the expense of Ardscoil Rís in a compelling decider.



Ardscoil had defeated their near neighbours on a scoreline of 3-9 to 1-11 in a hurling showpiece at the same age grade back in November and they were on course to record an impressive double when they led 1-4 to 0-4 at the end of the opening quarter.

The two-man full-forward line of Sean Baxter and Conor Burke were posing a host of problems for the Aidan's defence and even though the Collins Avenue school replied with a magnificent major from half-forward Gerrard, Ardscoil increased their advantage courtesy of a second goal towards the end of the period.

However, Aidan's persisted with their challenge as the interval beckoned and when Gavin King and Tony McCaul points were followed by an instinctive Small three-pointer, it meant that only four points separated the teams (2-9 to 2-5) upon the resumption.



Aidan's were well in contention and despite conceding the opening score of the half, back-to-back points by Gerrard and Bran Ashton, as well as a terrific goal from Dublin minor Conor Kavanagh, levelled matters with just 10 minutes remaining.

This set-up a nerve-wracking conclusion to the contest, but with defensive lynchpins Tony O'Sullivan and skipper Sean Brennan, as well as dependable netminder Chris Burke, providing plenty of inspiration, Aidan's were able to provide the platform for Gerrard and Small to find the range in emphatic style and ultimately hold out for a memorable triumph.