Masita All-Ireland Post-Primary Schools Senior ‘B’ Football Championship Final (Paddy Drummond Cup)
Roscommon CBS 1-12
Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra 1-11
James Fitzpatrick struck a dramatic, last-gasp point at Croke Park last Saturday to swing the All-Ireland Schools Senior ‘B’ Football Championship title in Roscommon CBS’ favour.
Despite creating a six-point cushion (1-10 to 0-7) during a whirlwind third quarter, Eoghan Coll’s side were subsequently reined in by a resilient Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra. Indeed, when David Dineen kicked an equalising free off his reliable left peg, the prospect of extra-time loomed large.
However, a serious injury to CBS centre-back Jack Lohan ensured eight additional minutes were added on by Monaghan referee Martin McNally. This provided the platform for Fitzpatrick’s late intervention and the industrious full-forward brilliantly curled between the posts to secure the Paddy Drummond Cup right at the death.
This was the second trip to the capital for CBS in the space of just ten days. Following their semi-final success over Ulster kingpins St. Patrick’s GS, Downpatrick – at UCD on the far side of the city – they earned the right to face the Rathmore outfit in GAA HQ.
It had already been an unforgettable year for sport in the school, after they reached the Connacht Rugby Senior Cup decider against Garbally College in mid-March. That historic occasion ultimately ended in disappointment for Roscommon and the initial signs were ominous in this encounter.
Dineen and Cathal Ryan both converted frees for Sliabh Luachra in the opening moments, before Roscommon settled with a Liam Ormsby point. The elusive corner-forward proceeded to trade scores with opposite number Ryan, but they went on to endure a barren spell in front of goal.
With Fitzpatrick becoming isolated on the edge of the square, Sliabh Luachra gradually increased their cushion. Though they were quite wasteful at times, the Kerry men added points through Dineen, marauding half-back Eoghan O’Rahilly and Denis O’Connor.
O’Rahilly had an additional strike ruled out by Hawkeye, much to the relief of the vocal Rossie faithful. Nevertheless, CBS remained in the reckoning as the interval approached.
Cian Murray’s powerful surges from half-back were a key factor in their penultimate round triumph. He was once again on top form and after breaking onto a loose ball, he kicked a sublime point to reduce their deficit to three in time for the break.
Colin Walsh and Tim Lambe featured for CBS in that Senior Cup reversal to Garbally and were determined not to let another opportunity slip through their grasps. Their teammates were of a similar mind and they completely turned the game on its head with an extraordinary 12-minute scoring blitz.
Having mustered a mere three points in the opening half hour, they outscored Sliabh Luachra 1-7 to 0-1 to suddenly propel themselves into the box seat. Within two minutes of the restart, Ormsby (free), Keith Doyle and skipper Ciaran Lawless all found the target to bring parity back to the play.
Doyle proved to be a popular choice as ‘Man of the Match’ and his second in a matter of minutes edged CBS ahead for the very first time. Murray bagged his second at the end of another incisive move and while Darragh Rahilly broke this cycle at the opposite end, their western counterparts were relentless in attack.
Ormsby and Albert Looby bolstered their haul and when Murray superbly rattled the net in the 42nd minute, the Ballypheasan brigade were in dreamland. Sliabh Luachra had been left stunned by this siege on their goal, but there was a final kick left in them.
The loss of Lohan was a considerable blow for Roscommon as it coincided with a much-desired purple patch for their Kingdom rivals. In between a brace of Dineen frees, Aaron Cronin fired home at a right-hand angle to bring the gap down to a minimum (1-10 to 1-9).
Another Dineen single inevitably followed, but the magnificent Murray drew a foul off a blistering run to give Lawless a simple shot at the posts. There was more than enough time for Sliabh Luachra to keep their hopes alive and Dineen duly obliged with his sixth of the day.
This looked set to earn them an additional 20 minutes, until Fitzpatrick displayed impeccable composure to bag the match-winning score.
Teams and scorers
Roscommon CBS: Gustavo Rodrigues; James Browne, Colin Walsh, John Martin; Cian Glennon, Jack Lohan, Cian Murray (1-2); Albert Looby (0-1), Keith Doyle (0-2); Tim Lambe, Ciaran Lawless (0-2, 1 free), Richard Walsh; Liam Ormsby (0-4, 1 free), James Fitzpatrick (0-1), Jack McGahon. Subs used: Charlie Carthy for R Walsh (30), Orin Walsh for Lohan (49).
Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra: Ian O’Connor; Patrick Brennan, Alan Dineen, Damien Cronin; Eoghan O’Rahilly (0-1), Owen Fitzgerald, Paul O’Leary; Ronan Collins, Sean O’Keeffe; Anthony Darmody, Dan Murphy, Darragh Rahilly (0-1); Cathal Ryan (0-2, 1 free), David Dineen (0-6, 6 frees), Denis O’Connor (0-1). Subs used: James Darmody for O’Rahilly (half-time), Aaron Cronin (1-0) for O’Leary (44).
Referee: Martin McNally (Monaghan).