HIGH drama at the Allianz Dublin Cumann na mBunscol finals is one of life's certainties and in yesterday's deciders at HQ the stars of the future did not disappoint in front of household names such as Ciarán Whelan and Bryan Cullen.
The story of the day came in Corn Mhic Caoilte. Extra-time could not separate Scoil Moibhi, Glasnevin and St Paul's CBS, Brunswick Street.
A goal before half-time for Paul's Lee Jordan gave them the lead. But Ruadhán Byron brought Moibhí roaring back. It finished 1-8 apiece and the teachers decided to share the trophy -- a fitting end to an absorbing contest.
The girls of Scoil Naithi were in ruthless form in Corn an Chladaigh. Full forward Caoimhe Nic Gabhann bagged a memorable hat-trick as they overcame St Paul's, Ayrfield.
Heroic centre-back Ciara Gillanders scored two points for Paul's. But she couldn't stop a 4-7 to 0-3 defeat.
The curtain-raiser at the Davin End came in Sciath Cumann na nGael between St Peter and Paul's, Baldoyle and St Mochta's, Stillorgan.
The Baldoyle midfield duo of Liam Brady and James McCourt ran the show in a 7-7 to 2-2 win. Cian McGarry gave a brilliant performance for Mochta's as he scored 1-1 from play.
The final game on the Davin pitch was arguably the best. Drimnagh Castle and St Brigid's, Foxrock kept the umpires busy. Foxrock led at the break 2-5 to 2-3 after their captain Seán Gillen gave the perfect corner-forward display.
But Drimnagh put in a massive second-half effort. Dylan O'Meara and Callum Keane scored brilliant goals before late points from Tyreke Wilson and O'Meara brought Sciath Kitterick back to Dublin 12.
Scoil Olaf 's 4-14 to 3-7 Corn an Chéid victory over near neighbours Scoil Naithí provided superb entertainment.
Managed by Kilmacud Crokes and Longford star Brian Kavanagh, Olaf's unsurprisingly, showed great attacking ability and goals by Oscar Bent, Matthew Kelly-McDonald and David Pollard, augmented by nine points shared by midfielders Eoin Foley and Tom Keane, was just reward for an enterprising display.
Scoil Naithí stayed in contention through the scores by Eoin Seoighe and Daniel Ó Laoghaire in particular, but it proved insufficient as they succumbed by ten points at the final whistle.
The day's opening match at the Hill 16 end was also a derby as St Patrick's GNS Hollypark eventually got the better of St Brigid's GNS Cabinteely by 3-5 to 1-6 to claim Corn Austin Finn.
Julia Buckley gave a masterclass at centrefield, scoring 1-2 in the process, and although sisters Méabh and Róisin McGovern kept St Brigid's scoreboard ticking over, goals by Lauren Murray and Christina Hamill saw St Patrick's home with five points to spare.
Scoil San Treasa recorded a more comfortable victory as three goals shared by Orna McLaughlin and Maedhbh Gallagher proved crucial as they claimed Sciath Austin Finn by 3-7 to 0-2 over a battling Our Lady of Good Counsel, Johnstown.
Gallagher notched 1-5 over the 40 minutes and although the Johnstown school fought valiantly, with Blaithín Lane and Shirley Hamilton to the fore, their efforts couldn't prevent the Shield being brought back to Mount Merrion.
The final encounter in front of Hill 16 was a fitting conclusion as St John of God GNS, Kilmore, driven on by Rebecca Carroll at midfield, did just enough to narrowly defeat Scoil Mhuire Garristown by 6-6 to 2-10 to collect Corn na Laoch.
Carroll's three goals, added to by other three-pointers from Rebecca Dunne, Chloe Downes and Leona Dalton were pivotal to their victory although the day's best individual performance belonged to Scoil Mhuire's Jennifer Dowling, who gave an inspirational display in a losing cause, scoring 2-7 for the North County Dublin school.