A STUNNING opening-period display was essential for Ardscoil Rís at the DCU Sportsgrounds last Friday afternoon, as the goal-hungry Griffith Avenue side completed a memorable week by claiming the Dublin Schools Senior 'A' Hurling title.
Under the guidance of Fiachra Colgan (who is joined on the senior management team by Waterford hurler Philip Mahony), Ardscoil had secured the Junior 'A' crown two days earlier, and in spite of a relatively short turnaround, five players from that team were back in action for this clash with St Declan's College.
With the breeze at their backs, the Cabra outfit built a slender lead early on with two excellent points from Eimhin Walsh, before a brace of goals quickly ignited the challenge of Ardscoil.
Ben McHugh broke free on the right-hand side to strike beyond the reach of Dylan O'Reilly six minutes in, and this was swiftly followed by a fine Colin Currie three-pointer, after the full-forward's placed-ball attempt had rebounded off the post.
Subsequent points for Declan's from Donal Burke (free) and Seán Bugler were cancelled out by a 0-2 Franklin O'Sullivan salvo, and even though Declan's once again responded with back-to-back contributions by Walsh and Glenn Dodrill, further green-flag scores by Currie and corner-forward John Walsh steered Ardscoil towards a 4-6 to 0-6 mid-way buffer.
A Brian McDonnell goal for Declan's from the opening attack of the second half did briefly spark hopes of a Declan's revival, but a similar score from McHugh (his second of the contest) soon restored order for Ardscoil.
Consecutive points by Currie (two) and the industrious O'Keefe increased their cushion to 15 points at the end of the third-quarter, but a close-range Matthew Jordan goal did add a more respectable reflection to the scoreboard for Declan's five minutes from time.
Ardscoil were not to be denied their victory, though, and O'Sullivan's third and fourth scores from play brought the curtain down on a magnificent performance.
SCORERS - Ardscoil Rís: C Currie 2-5 (0-4f, 0-1 '65'), B McHugh 2-0, J Walsh 1-1, F O'Sullivan 0-4, M O'Keefe 0-1. St Declan's Cabra: E Walsh 0-4 (2f), B McDonnell, M Jordan 1-0 each, G Dodrill 0-2, D Burke (f), S Bugler, S Clerkin 0-1 each.
ARDSCOIL RíS: D Levins; E O'Sullivan, C Ryan, M O'Driscoll; J Higgins, A Nickerson, B Davis; S McCaw, O Lanigan; F O'Sullivan, C Burke, M O'Keefe; J Walsh, C Currie, B McHugh. Subs: R Clerkin for O'Keefe (55), C Reynolds for Davis (56), R Maher for Higgins (58), M Dunleavy for McHugh, M Gaffney for Walsh (both 59).
ST DECLAN'S CABRA: D O'Reilly; L Smith, C Carberry, D Curley; T Hynes, D Burke, B Cullen; J Fitzsimons, C Bresnan; B McDonnell, D Foy, E Walsh; S Bugler, M Jordan, G Dodrill. Subs: S Clerkin for Fitzsimons (32), C O'Brien for Foy (51).
REF: E Walker (O'Toole's).