THIS Leinster Colleges ‘A’ SFC Round 1 game played at Hawkfield on Friday afternoon saw the Newbridge boys book their place in the next round after an extremely hard earned one point win over St. Mary’s Carlow CBS in an entertaining game that saw both sides give of their all, writes Tommy Callaghan.
Leinster Colleges Senior A Football Championship Round 1
Newbridge PBS: 0-11
St Mary’s CBS, Carlow: 0-10
Patricians had to come from behind for what at times looked an unlikely victory, however a point in the 70 minute by full forward Peter Howard did the trick in a half that lasted the incredible 44 minutes in total.
Cramp was the main cause for the extended delay as players from both sides found the going tough, especially the Carlow boys, nevertheless playing just short of 14 minutes of time added seemed extreme to say the least.
Patricians began with a stiff breeze on their backs and opened the scoring when ace marksman, Ben McCormack converted a 45 after five minutes and followed up a minute later with a pointed free and while Carlow eventually opened their scoring after seven minutes through Shane Noonan it was McCormack who extended the lead with another free soon after.
A quick free by the Carlow boys found the Patrician lads dozing and Eoin Lowry made no mistake.
Back came the Newbridge lads with an excellent white flag from centre half back Diarmuid Hartley midway through.
Despite trailing by two the Carlow lads looked the more threatening with less possession and it was Eoin Lowry who left just a point in it with a free after sixteen minutes.
Ben McCormack and Brian Byrne (one of the scores of the game) exchanged points before that man McCormack once again emphasised the vital importance of an ace free taker when he popped over another to leave the Patricians leading at the break 0-6 to 0-4.
With the wind in their favour the odds were certainly shorter on the St. Mary’s lads as the second half commended but while it took five minutes to arrive Ben McCormack extended the lead from another placed ball.
Back came Mary’s and when Shane Noonan was fouled Tom Shiel made no mistake. Shiel, who had a splendid second half, added another on forty minutes as the visitors poured on the pressure.
Again Ben McCormack eased the Patricians worries with a free but a minute later substitute Evan O’Carroll with a first time volley brought out the best in Patricians keeper TJ Carroll. Shiel, however popped over the resultant 45 to square up the score board.
A lovely individual effort saw Shiel split the posts with an excellent solo run and left footed shot and it was looking ominous for Patricians albeit with some ten minutes remaining.
To their credit the Newbridge lads did not panic and a long ball in was gathered by full forward Peter Howard who was fouled and McCormack had them level again.
A minute minute into time added on and it looked like the home side had sneaked it when a great move involving McCormack and Howard ended with wing back Sean Dempsey putting his side back in front.
At this stage the game was held up for a considerable length of time with one Carlow lad in particular suffering from severe cramp and when play did resume it was the visitors who attacked with substitute Evan O’Carroll being fouled and Shiel had them all aboard again in the 66 minute.
Hold up for more cramp ensued and this time when play resumed it was the Newbridge side who were awarded a sideline and the resultant kick saw Diarmuid Hartley fouled. A quick free and with the ball going through the hands of McCormack and Seán Dempsey finally came to full forward Peter Howard who managed to squeeze the ball over the bar to give his side the lead 0-11 to 0-10 on the 70 minute.
And still play went on, this time for just short of four more minutes before, much to delight of the Patricians side, managed by Killian Whelan, the long whistle finally arrived after a second half of 43 minutes and 34 seconds as the Newbridge boys booked their place in Round 2.
Enjoyable game in very heavy conditions but no doubt if the Newbridge boys are to advance they will have to up their game considerably on this showing but with a few lads due back from injury the dream of winning a Leinster Senior Colleges ‘A’ title is still very much alive.
Patricians, Newbridge, Ben McCormack 0-8 (7 frees, 45), Brian Byrne 0-1, Diarmuid Hartley 0-1. Peter Howard 0-1.
St. Mary’s CBS Carlow, Tom Shiel, 0-5 (3 frees, 45), Eoin Lowry 0-2 (1 free), Brian Byrne 0-1, Shane Noonan 0-1, Evan O’Carroll 0-1.
TJ Carroll (Sarsfields); Alan Scully (Sarsfields), Tom Aspell (Sarsfields), Seán Healy (Moorefield); Seán Dempsey (Moorefield), Diarmuid Hartley (Sarsfields), Cian Scanlon (Sarsfields); Conor Hartley (Sarsfields), Con Kavanagh (Sarsfields); Ronan O’Shea (Milltown), Ben McCormack (Sarsfields), Kevin Lynch (Sarsfields); Donal Dempsey (Ballyteague), Peter Howard (Sarsfields), Ciarán Troy (Suncroft). Subs: Daragh McHugh (Sarsfields) for Ronan O’Shea (half time); Conor Earley (Raheens) for Daragh McHugh (54 minute).
st. mary’s CBS cARLOW
Alan Murphy; Brian Byrne, Mark Furey, Conor O’ Brien, Brian Lawler,Thomas Kenny, James Davis; Marcus Lawler, Ronan Lawler; Johnny Furey, Eoin Lowry, Tom Shiel; Shane Noonan, Barry Power, Ciarán Townsend. Subs: Evan O’Carroll for Barry Power (34 minute); Cuba Debozc for Brian Lawler.
Darren Bracken (Laois).
2ND ROUND draw
Round 2 of the of the Leinster Colleges SF ‘A’ is as follows: Dundalk Colleges v Good Counsel; Colaiste Eoin v Patrician Newbridge in Eoin/Silverpark; St. Mels Longford v. St. Peter’s Wexford; Salesian Celbridge v Athlone CC in Celbridge; Portmarnock CS v St. Mary’s Edenderry; Col Mhuire Mullingar v Marist Athlone; Knockbeg College v St. Joseph’s R’bridge; St. Pat’s Navan v Moate CS.
The games are scheduled for Wednesday, January 23 unless alternative date agreed by schools.