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Foley and Keane inspire Olaf triumph

A superb attacking performance helped Scoil Olaf, Balally claim Corn an Cheid over near neighbours Scoil Naithi in one of eight finals played in Croke Park yesterday.

The potency of their midfield and forward line was of little surprise, given that Kimacud Crokes and Longford star Brian Kavanagh manages the team, and the dynamic trio of Matthew Kelly McDonald, Oscar Bent and David Pollard claimed all four goals in an absorbing encounter, in which Scoil Olaf triumphed 4-14 to 3-7.

However, it was at centre-field that Scoil Olaf excelled, as Eoin Foley and Tom Keane gave superb individual performances, working tirelessly and kicking nine glorious points between them.

Scoil Naithi kept plugging away through the efforts of Daniel O Laoghaire, Eoghan MacGiolla and Eoin Seoighe, in particular, but their endeavour was in vain as they failed to match the firepower of their opponents.

The day's opening encounter, witnessed by the Minister of Education Mary Hanafin, saw St Patrick's GNS Hollypark eventually get the upper hand on a dogged St Brigid's Cabinteely by 3-5 to 1-6 to win Corn Austin Finn.

Julia Buckley gave an immense display from midfield for the winners, kicking 1-2 in total, and goals by Lauren Murray and Christina Hamill were crucial to their win.

Sisters Meabh and Roisin McGovern were lively for St Brigid's, alongside Doireann Shaffrey, but Buckley's late goal sealed their fate by a five-point losing margin.

Three first-half goals, shared by Orna McLaughlin and Maedhbh Gallagher, helped Scoil San Treasa claim Sciath Austin Finn after a comfortable 3-7 to 0-2 victory over a gallant Our Lady of Good Counsel, Johnstown.

Gallagher kicked 1-5 in a wonderful display from full-forward and, despite the best efforts of Ciara McGuirk and Emma O'Sullivan, the Johnstown girls had no answer to Scoil San Treasa, who deservedly took the shield back to Mount Merrion.

Rebecca Carroll was the star performer for St John of God GNS, Kilmore, as they just pipped Scoil Mhuire, Garristown, to Corn na Laoch by 6-6 to 2-10 in a fitting conclusion to the day's events.

Scoil Mhuire had the most dangerous performer on show, with Jennifer Dowling almost unstoppable in the full-forward line as she kicked 2-7 of her side's tally.

However, Carroll's three goals and further green flags from Rebecca Dunne, Chloe Downes and Leona Dalton proved crucial as St John of God's held on by four points at the final whistle.

Elsewhere, there were deserved wins for Scoil Naithi, Scoil Peter and Paul, Baldoyle and Drimnagh Castle, while Corn Mhic Caoilte was shared by Scoil Mobhi and St Paul's Brunswick Street, who played out a 1-8 apiece epic, with both managers agreeing to share the cup rather than have a replay.

Irish Independent