Good Counsel get ball rolling on finals day to remember
Cumann na mBunscol
Croke Park hosted a feast of wonderful football as 17 titles were decided in the Allianz Finals Day yesterday, with Our Lady of Good Counsel, Johnstown getting the day off to a splendid start when claiming the Corn Chomhar Linn against a brave St Oliver Plunkett's side.
Jessice Connolly delivered an inspirational display for the winners, driving her side forward at every opportunity in addition to scoring 1-8.
She was well supported by Jessica Kane, Zara Kelly and Eva Gilroy.
St Oliver Plunkett's battled gamely throughout, with Katie O'Sullivan and Kim Feehily a constant threat in attack, but their efforts proved in vain as they succumbed by 1-11 to 3-3 in an absorbing encounter.
The Sciath Ó Donnchú final was equally tight with Mark Ó Laimhín's 2-7 proving crucial as Gaelscoil Eiscir Riada, Leamhcán narrowly defeated St John the Evangelist, Adamstown 4-7 to 4-5.
Dam Ó Duinn and Ryan Ó Moráin were also among the goals for Eiscir Riada, who withstood a brave comeback from Adamstown, for whom Ben Ogieva, Martin Akinsola and Arunas Bandarenka excelled.
There was another Lucan success in the Corn na nGearaltach as St Mary's had too much firepower when seeing off a gallant St Michael's 4-14 to 2-4.
The movement and interplay of the Lucan attack was a joy to behold with Colm Walsh, Matthew Dunne and Robert Moloney combining to devastating effect, benefiting from a steady supply of ball provided by Colm Behan, Sean Casey and Herkus Svighnskas.
St Michael's fought until the final whistle, with Christopher Cosgrave playing a captain's role for his side as he kicked 1-3 of his team's tally, while Tom Widger and David Scaife were others to impress for the Ballsbridge school.
One of the finest individual performances of the day was reserved for the Corn Sean Mac an Breithimh Final as Amy O'Brien inspired St Mary's, Garristown to a 5-8 to 1-3 win over a plucky St Fintan's, Sutton.
O'Brien, who was appearing in her fourth final for the school, hit 3-3 and with Katherine Duffy, Tomi Onasaga, Aoife Connell and Maya Donnelly offering valuable support, the North County Dublin outfit proved too strong for a Fintan's side who had strong displays from Kelly Byrne, Aoife Cribben and Caitlin McConnon.
Another player to give an outstanding display was Gavin Clifford, whose 2-8 was pivotal in Holy Trinity, Donaghmede edging out an excellent Terenure College team by 4-13 to 6-6 to claim the Sciath Chumann na nGael in a contest that reflected the day in its best light.
With former Dublin senior David Henry managing Holy Trinity, Clifford appears to have learned hugely from the Raheny maestro in what was one of the highlights of an exceptional day's entertainment.