IT was so cold in Croke Park yesterday that even the brass monkeys stayed at home. But the party went on without them.
The eight-game Allianz Cumann na mBunscol menu provided a festive footballing feast as the Santa-decked spectators cheered every kick.
Memories of Dublin’s 1995 All-Ireland success flooded back with the inspirational display of Scoil Phádraig, Drumcondra full-back, Matt Moran, a son of the Colmcille Colt, Paddy.
Fiachra Potts also showed superb defensive quality for Scoil Neasáin. His dad is the noted musician, journalist and author, Seán, of the GPA.
Pádraig offered so much polish as they enjoyed victory in the Corn an Chéid. John Tierney excelled at midfield, and Ted Regan was sharp at full-forward.
Meanwhile, things remain just the same at the school around the corner as the Brunner brought another trophy home, the Clanna Gael. The Brunswick Street boys overcame De La Salle in a thriller.
Thomas Caffrey purred for the Ballyfermot team. The Brunner has a treasured midfield duo in Jordan O’Reilly and Daniel McKenna.
The television cameras could one day be following Tomás O’Neill, the King of Kilternan. Tomás was the top-scorer as Gaelscoil Thaobh na Coille were triumphant in the Corn an Chéid. The Lucan lads had a jewel in Ciarán ó Catháin.
Gaelscoil Chnoc Liamhna took Irish Rubies gold in the all-girls Knocklyon derby clash.
Amy O’Brien lit up the Hill 16 end. Her five-point tally ensured St Mary’s Garristown overcame Gaelscoil Bhriain Bórimhe, Swords in the Corn Nua. Becky Walsh was also to the fore, her goal in the opening half was a joy to behold.
The Gaelscoil responded, Orla Keenan found the net to get their challenge back on track. But captain fantastic Laura McManus would not allow her Garristown troops to falter as she led them to glory.
Arguably, the game of the day came in the final of the Corn Kitterick, between the boys of Belgrove BNS, Clontarf and Scoile Cholmcille, Knocklyon.
Belgrove goalkeeper Eoin Gaine was like Stephen Cluxton at his best.
He saved his team countless times, but could do nothing to stop Luke McDwyer’s bullet in the second half which set up the Knocklyon win.
The Belgrove girls got some revenge though as Knocklyon had to settle for runners-up medals in the Corn Austin Finn.
In the opening game, Holy Child BNS, Whitehall turned up the heat with four first-half goals in their Corn Cumann na nGael clash with Scoil Neasáin, Harmonstown. Their full forward Jordan Leonard took home the match ball after his hat-trick.