Early goal blitz puts prolific Jarlath's on path to success
St Jarlath's 3-10
Summerhill College 1-12
Any hopes Summerhill College, runners-up last year, had of winning their first Connacht title since 1985 were blown away when they fell 15 points adrift in the opening half against the most prolific winners of the competition.
St Jarlath's College from Tuam claimed their 47th provincial title when they struck for three goals in a blistering 10-minute spell in the opening half to put themselves on course for victory in this decider at Claremorris on Saturday.
Sean Silke, Ian Burke and Liam Silke all found the net for the Tuam school, who will now set their sights on adding to their record haul of 12 All-Ireland titles.
Points from Shane Walsh and corner-back Cathal Mulryan got Jarlath's off to a great start, but when Silke finished off a flowing move which involved Conor McNamara and Burke, the Tuam side held a 1-3 to 0-1 advantage after nine minutes.
Burke got the second goal four minutes later before Liam Silke, younger brother of the earlier goalscorer, raced through to blast to the net to send them 15 points clear.
However, Summerhill hit back well and four consecutive points before the break left it 3-6 to 0-5 at half time.
The Sligo school dominated the second-half proceedings as substitutes Eoin Doherty and Michael Casey kicked excellent points to punish a nervous St Jarlath's.
Casey brought the gap back to four point with a goal in injury-time, but they never looked like catching the renowned Galway nursery.
Scorers -- St Jarlath's: S Silke 1-3, I Burke 1-0, L Silke 1-0, S Walsh 0-3 (1f), C Mulryan 0-2, G Armstrong, A Varley 0-1 each. Summerhill: M Casey 1-1, E Doherty 0-3, P Herrity (2f), P Logan (1f, 1 '45), N Murphy 0-2 each, S Cawley, C Finneran 0-1 each.
St Jarlath's -- J Healy; C Mulryan, C Cunningham, D Collins; P Glynn, A Nolan, P Varley; G Armstrong, L Silke; S Walsh, I Burke, C McNamara; S Silke, A Varley, M McWalter. Subs: C Langan for Mulryan (63).
Summerhill College -- V Cadden; E Flanagan, D Burke, T Finnegan; C Doherty, B McGarry, M Flynn; K Sweeney, N McManus; D Long, H Cawley, C Finneran; S Cawley, N Murphy, P Herrity. Subs: M Casey for Flynn (15), P Logan for H Cawley, (25), S Peyton for Finnegan (h-t), E Doherty for S Cawley (42).
Ref -- D Hunt (Roscommon).