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Gaelic Football: In league all of their Eoin

A dominant Coláiste Eoin had 11 points to spare over a disappointing Dundalk Schools in their Leinster Colleges SF 'A' quarter-final played at Sean Moore Park, Ringsend, on Tuesday afternoon.

The Stillorgan Gaelscoil now advance to the semi-final stage in rude health and but for a sloppy period at the start of the second-half, it was as complete a performance as could be expected against a hard-working but limited opposition.

In contrast to their previous round's facile win against Coláiste Íosagáin Portarlington, it was in defence that Coláiste Eoin excelled on Tuesday with full-back Eoin Ó Loinsigh setting the tone with a masterful display on the edge of the square.


However, it was the half-back line of Grahame Ó Fógartaigh, Aran Ó Murchú and Jack Mac Cionnaith that showcased all the positive aspects of their play, working feverishly when not in possession and acting as auxiliary attackers when the opportunity arose to completely overwhelm Dundalk's half-forward line.

Jack Mac Suibhne and Donal Sutcliffe, at midfield, curbed their natural attacking instincts to provide a strong platform in front of their back six and they were no less effective as a result and Mark Schutte was the pick of the forwards, striking a crucial goal just before the break and kicking three glorious points in the second-half.

With Coláiste Eoin captain Seán Mac Craith opting to play into a strong breeze, it was the Dundalk Schools who opened the scoring after three minutes when Patrick Reilly pointed a long-range free but it was already evident from the early stages that they would struggle against the well-honed possession game of the Dublin side.

With Ó Murchú, Sutcliffe, Mac Suibhne and Ó Fógartaigh all offering superb support to the man in possession, the game was largely being played in the Dundalk half but poor distribution, admittedly into the stiff wind, undermined their dominance and it wasn't until the 18th minute that they took the lead thanks to a couple of Mac Craith frees.

On a rare sortie into Coláiste Eoin territory, Dundalk managed to level matters through the impressive Niall Hearty's 26th minute point following Keith Ryan's solo run but the Louth side endured a dispiriting final four minutes as first Mac Craith kicked his third free of the day and then Schutte pounced for that all-important opening goal.

It arrived after Pól Ó Fógartaigh found Schutte 20 metres from goal and after the Cuala player twisted and turned his way into a shooting position, he found the net at the second attempt after his initial shot was superbly saved by Kevin Brennan in the Dundalk goal.

With Dundalk four points down at the break, they needed a bright start to the second-half but it was the hosts who extended their lead through a Pádraig Ó Dálaigh point in the opening minute after another trademark run by Ó Murchú from centre-back.


Perhaps sensing the job was done, Coláiste Eoin produced a ponderous 10 minutes of football in which they misplaced passes regularly and registered five poor wides and it took a classy Schutte point on 44 minutes from Grahame Ó Fógartaigh's driving run to get them back on track.

Within a minute the game was effectively over when substitute Alex Ó Maoilmhuaigh rose highest to clinically despatch Ó Dálaigh's tempting delivery to the net and another Schutte point after 50 minutes had the Stillorgan side 10 points to the good.

Hearty responded for Dundalk with a free but despite enjoying a greater amount of possession as Coláiste Eoin got bodies behind the ball, they couldn't create genuine chances close to goal with Eoin's Dara Ó Aoidh in particular defending to great effect.

A Colm Mac Gearailt free and another breakaway Schutte score two minutes from time set the seal on an impressive 11 point victory for Coláiste Eoin and if they can avoid repeating those sloppy periods of play, they will be more than a match for any of the remaining three semi-finalists.

Scorers -- Coláiste Eoin: M Schutte 1-3, A Ó Maoilmhuaigh 1-0, S Mac Craith 0-3 (3f), C Mac Gearailt (f), P Ó Dálaigh 0-1 each. Dundalk Schools: N Hearty 0-2 (1f), P Reilly 0-1 (f).

Coláiste Eoin: D Ó Caoimh; S Ó Seasnáin, E Ó Loinsigh, D Ó Aoidh; G Ó Fógartaigh, A Ó Murchú, J Mac Cionnaith; J Mac Suibhne, D Sutcliffe; M Schutte, P Ó Dálaigh, C Mac Gearailt; B Ó Murchú, S Mac Craith, P Ó Fógartaigh. Subs: A Ó Maoilmhuaigh for Mac Craith (42), C Ó Dea for Ó Fógartaigh (53), E Ó Braonáin for Ó Seasnáin (58).

Dundalk Schools: K Brennan; F Sheridan, R Ellis, A English; N O'Callaghan, C Sheridan, O Brayden; N O'Connor, N Hearty; M Keane, D McKiernan, K Ryan; A Sharky, P Reilly, C McKeever. Subs: C Ryan for McKiernan (18), C McGeough for Sharkey (29), S McQuillan for Keane (51).

Referee: Eddie Craul (Wicklow).