Thursday 22 March 2018

Colaiste Eoin's dual stars bid to foil O'Rourke's men

COLAISTE EoiN take on Meath kingpins St Patrick's Navan in the final of the Leinster Colleges SFC at Parnell Park tomorrow just a week after the Dubliners lost to Kilkenny CBS in the provincial hurling semi-final, writes DONNCHADH BOYLE.

With many of the same players lining out in both codes, the Colaiste Eoin team won't lack for experience of the big occasion and that will be a help against St Pat's, who have consistently challenged for provincial and All-Ireland titles over the last decade.

They defeated last year's Hogan Cup finalists, St Mary's Edenderry, after a replay in the Leinster semi-final stage and before that accounted for Moate CS and Good Counsel New Ross.

Backboned by six Meath minors, the Navan side have a good balance, with Shane Gillespie producing some eye-catching displays at full-forward, while Darragh Maguire and Conor Sheridan have also impressed.

Colm O'Rourke has proved to be a master at bringing his side to the boil at the right time and the Meath lads seem to get better by the game.

It's a busy weekend for O'Rourke, who will also walk the line with Meath's U-21 footballers when they take on Westmeath in the Leinster championship today.

Colaiste Eoin's biggest test came in the semi-final when they had just two points to spare over Ardscoil na Trionoide but big wins over Colaiste Iosagain and Dundalk Schools show that the Dubliners have every chance of reclaiming the title they first won in 1998.

The Stillorgan side have managed to restrict their opponents to paltry tallies and should the likes of Dara O hAodha and Wicklow minor Aran O Murchu win their battles with Gillespie and Co, the Gaelscoil can prevail.

Irish Independent

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