Clane continued their dominance of the Senior Division 1 section with their fourth title win in five years but they were pushed all the way by a St Conleth & Mary’s team making their first ever senior Division 1 final appearance.
Cumann na mBunscol Divison 1 Boys final
St Conleth’s & Mary’s: 1-8
The eventual winners dominated the opening half, and indeed, the early stages of the second but the Newbridge school came back at them hard during the second period but their comeback ultimately fell just short.
Adam Meehan opened the scoring for St Conleth & Mary’s inside the opening two minutes but they spent most of the remainder of the half on the backfoot.
They found David Kelly, Clane’s towering midfielder, particularly difficult to handle but they still managed to keep Clane at bay until the 12th minute.
Not surprisingly, it was Kelly who popped with Clane’s first point and from the kick out, Martin Callan picked up the ball and drove at the defence before offloading to Nathan Dunne who converted for the game’s opening goal.
Kelly then added a point and Clane moved seven clear just before the break when Dunne turned provider, setting up Sam McCormack, who coolly rounded Tadhg Hoey before finding the net.
Tony Keogh and Kelly swapped points in the closing stages and Clane led 2-3 to 0-2 at half time.
Clane were threatening to run away with it when Sean Callan and Kelly pointed early in the second half and although Sean McDonnell hit back with two points, McCormack’s second goal in the 31st minute put Clane well in charge once more. Remarkably that was their last score and it was their turn to defend as they hung onto their lead in the final 19 minutes.
After Billy Campbell pointed for St Conleth & Mary’s, Ben O’Dowd set up a goal for Meehan with a superb pass.
Jack Liston, a nephew of former Kerry legend Eoin “Bomber” Liston and son of former Moorefield manager Sean, then fisted over after Jason Brogan’s 45 had dropped short.
Suddenly St Conleth & Mary’s were completely dominating with Keogh, Campbell, O’Dowd and McDonnell leading the way.
David Maloney and McDonnell pointed to leave just three between the teams going into the final five minutes.
At that stage, it was looking likely that St Conleth & Mary’s could come back and cause a major upset but Clane held firm to continue the school’s excellent run in this competition.
Kevin Robinson; James Coonan, Daniel Reilly, Hugh Lonergan, James Behan, Eoghan Maguire, Alex Power; Sean Callan 0-1, David Kelly 0-4 (1f); Mark Hannon, Rafal Buszta, Nathan Lally, Nathan Dunne 1-0, Sam McCormack 2-0, Martin Callan. Subs: Daniel Vaughan for Hannon, 42.
ST. CONELTH & MARY’S:
Tadhg Hoey; Peter Doherty, Stephen Hughes, Jamie Meenan, Alan Kelly, Jason Brogan, Jack Hannon; Tony Keogh 0-1f, Jack Liston 0-1; Ben O’Dowd, Billy Campbell 0-1, Conor Fitzharris, Sean McDonnell 0-3(1f), Adam Meehan 1-1, David Maloney 0-1.