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'Remarkable' Rís fall at final hurdle

NO Cavan Crystal for Ardscoil Rís in Breffni Park on Saturday afternoon.

It was the Armagh school, St Paul's, Bessbrook, who took gold in the All-Ireland Senior Colleges 'B' Football Championship final, 0-20 to 1-3.

It concluded a wonderful journey for the Dubliners, who were managed by Fiachra Colgan and Ronan Coone.

And following such a memorable campaign, Ardscoil teacher and leading Dublin official, Alan O'Connor, declared: "I expect quite a few of the lads to be representing Dublin at all levels in football and hurling in the next few years.

"What they have achieved for the school is remarkable. It's because of their exploits that Ardscoil Rís are now up there again among the top echelon of schools in the country.

"We were disappointed on Saturday, but these fellas owe the school nothing.

"In the last four years, they have won the Dublin under-14A and under-16A Dublin football titles, plus a Dublin under-16A hurling title. And then this season, they added Dublin and Leinster championships to that."

For much of Saturday's game, an All-Ireland crown was also on the agenda for the famous Griffith Avenue academy, as Rís led at the interval, 1-3 to 0-4.

Paul's had begun with gusto, sending over three points, but Greg Murphy's 11th-minute goal tied up the duel, and points came from Shane Barrett, Gavin Burke and Sean Heaney.

And for an 18-minute spell in that opening period, Rís held their opponents scoreless, but the second half proved a different tale.

Paul's started to pile on the points and the Dubs were not to score again. Yet, at the finish, the large support from the capital gave their heroes a standing ovation.

"We are immensely proud of the lads for getting us so far. It was just a pity we did not produce our best form on the day, and that in no way is taking away from a brilliant St Paul's display," stated Alan.

"Most of the squad will be leaving us this summer, but their exploits can already be seen in the efforts of the younger teams in the school. Many of our 1979 Hogan Cup heroes were there on Saturday.

"And we hope now that in the years to come we'll also be welcoming back members of this present panel to cheer us on in All-Ireland finals."