Niland points way as Athenry prove in a class of their own
Pres Athenry 0-15 St Brigid's 0-6 - Connacht Schools SH final
Presentation College Athenry retained their Connacht Colleges Senior A Hurling crown with a power-packed display in their own back yard.
The holders held the edge throughout the field in a game where St Brigid's had no answer to the power of centre-forward Brian Burke, and the accuracy of sharpshooter Evan Niland.
Niland got Pres off to a flyer and his accuracy from placed balls saw his side five points clear after just six minutes.
The game took a dramatic turn after 11 minutes when Pres full-back Andrew Greaney and St Brigid's corner-back Shane Fahy were both shown a straight red card.
The Loughrea college attempted to reinforce the middle of the field with the introduction of Stephen Molloy for Niall Horan, but found it tough going against a resolute Athenry defence.
Jack Kenny kept their hopes alive with his free-taking and Fintan Burke gave nothing away in defence. Pres went into the break 0-9 to 0-3 ahead and the Kenny Park crowd were left in little doubt as to the outcome when Pres pulled well clear in the second half.
Pres Athenry captain Brian Burke took the man of the match award.
Scorers: Pres Athenry: E Niland 0-8 (0-6 f); B Burke 0-3; C Burke 0-3; S Loftus 0-1. St Brigid's: J Kenny 0-3 (0-3f); D Finnerty 0-1; P Boreham 0-1; S Molloy 0-1.
Pres Athenry: D Maloney; J Fitzpatrick, A Greaney, C Walsh; C McDaid, R Doyle, S Loftus; B Concannon, S Bannon; C Salmon, B Burke, R Hardiman; E Niland, T Forde, C Burke. Subs: B Callanan for C Salmon (38), D Earls for B Concannon (69).
St Brigid's: D Gilligan; S Fahy, S O'Brien, C Connor; K Jennings, T Gordon, P Boreham; N Horan, F Burke; D Finnerty, R Murphy, S O'Brien; M Lynch, J Lawless, J Kenny. Subs: S Molloy for N Horan (27), T Murphy for J Lawless (58).
Referee: T Connors (Castlegar).