| 16.7°C Dublin

Templeogue show fighting spirit to end their 27-year wait for title

TEMPLEOGUE COLLEGE captured only their second Leinster schools soccer title with a hard-fought 3-1 victory over local rivals St Mac Dara's Community College in the Minor Boys' Cup Final.




Second-half goals from Ryan Meaney and Jack Ryan at Peamount United FC last Thursday eventually gave Templeogue victory after they came from behind in a pulsating encounter.

Two Templeogue schools in a provincial decider made this U15 showpiece a special occasion and once the whistle blew the 80 minutes of action lived up to the billing.

Mac Dara's coach Jason Carey – a recent Ireland U15 girls manager – and his assistant Ian Ryan – a player with UCD's Airtricity League side – have catapulted the school into the realms of football heavyweights in recent years.

Following their Leinster Senior Girls Cup showing last season, the pair took the bulk of the 2013 First Year Cup semi-final team to the school's first provincial boys decider last week.

It looked good for them to keep updating the history books when Ryan Murphy opened the scoring with a left-footed inswinging free-kick that gave Templeogue goalkeeper Emmett Byrne no chance on five minutes.

Dara O'Shea gave an indication of the trailing side's threat on 20 minutes with a long-range effort that came crashing back off the upright and the same scenario would yield the equalising goal.

With only two minutes of the half remaining, O'Shea was again allowed one second too long 25 yards from goal to take aim and fire a low effort beyond the reach of Jordan Walker.

The turnaround was completed two minutes after the break when Jack Ryan's free-kick was flicked on by Ross Dunphy and Meaney's diving header found the net.

Mac Dara's, despite their comfort on the ball, had a task on their hands to get back into the game as Templeogue dug deep to protect their unbeaten record this season.

The South Dublin champions – who reached the Leinster League final with a 3-1 semi-final win against Tullow yesterday – were determined to hold onto their lead.

Templeogue's last Leinster boys football title came 27 years ago, with the winning manager on that occasion, Paul Dunne, still at the secondary school.

And with 15 minutes remaining, Ryan jinked his way through and curled home the crucial third goal. A second-yellow card and sending-off minutes later for the excellent Aaron O'Driscoll – who recently signed for Manchester City – was a harsh road block to the hopes of Mac Dara's.

Despite pushing hard for a way back into the game, the 10 men were unable to break Templeogue's resolve and the day belonged to the latter.

TEMPLEOGUE COLLEGE: Emmett Byrne; Ryan Eustace, Sean Condron, Ross Dunphy, Matthew McNameman, Jack Ryan, Aaron Delaney, Dara O'Shea, Ryan Meaney, Dylan Reilly, Sam Howard. Subs: Alan Fitzpatrick for Eustace 70, Stephen Cook for Reilly 71, Sam Howard for Doyle 75.

ST MAC DARA'S: Jordan Walker; Evan Farrell, Luke O'Brien, Jack Connor, Aaron O'Driscoll, Richie English, Jack Moore, Ryan Murphy, Mark Dowling, Mark Kelly, Keith Foley.

Subs: Rian Fitzsimons for Dowling 67, Adam McNulty for O'Brien 73, Mark Gannon for Foley 78.