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CBS Carlow         2-16

Coláiste Éanna   1-8

Leinster P.P. Schools Senior “B” Football Final

At Bray Emmett’s GAA

By John Whelan

School principal Leo Hogan came to CBS Carlow in 1981 and in 1983 he saw the senior footballers lift the Leinster championship. He admits that it was beginning to look like that those days might not come again and the only success on the same scale was a hurling title for the school in 1990. Today gave CBS Carlow another Leinster Football title and thirty two years later the Clonard Cup will bear the Carlow school’s name once again. Leo Hogan’s delight was hard to hide and it wasn’t just reserved for the players and team mentors, Maurice Browne and Conor Kinsella but for the likes of Pat Ahern who he says is “the heart and soul of GAA in the school”.

“Our team is built on a great defence and a hard work rate with lads willing to put their bodies on the line”, that’s  how Maurice Browne saw their path to lifting the cup. He says the task of mentoring the team this year was a joy and never a chore “when you’ve a bunch of lads so committed”.

Although the margins of victory have fallen by the game since they beat Kilcock by twenty points, CBS Carlow cantered to a Leinster Championship today. Coláiste Éanna showed a few signs of resistance late on in both  halves but really CBS Carlow knew that if they just kept playing like they had all year that the trophy would be theirs.

Colm Hulton got CBS Carlow off to the right start when he pointed after just forty seconds. Brian Byrne who had six on his back found himself in an advanced position and slotted the ball over the bar after two minutes. Kealan Galligan who also found himself a long way from the full back line got his shot away to put CBS Carlow three points up after just three minutes.

Coláiste Éanna began to try to grab a hold of the game when they started to attack but James Brennan put in a fine block to prevent the shot from the Dublin men, the ball fell to another Coláiste Éanna man who was met with even more pressure and  sent it wide. Dylan Salter won a ball that was sent into the Coláiste Éanna full forward line, moved it forward and found Shane O’Neill who popped it over. Everything CBS Carlow did came up trumps, Conor McGrath found the target from over thirty five metres. Colm Hulton had opened the scoring after forty seconds with a point but when the ball came to him with twelve minutes on the clock he had one thing on his mind. Head down, he surged past his man, got his shot away and  blasted the ball to the back of the net to land a huge blow on Coláiste Éanna and to give CBS Carlow an eight point lead.

Coláiste Éanna’s Darren Langan responded but was met with a wall of CBS Carlow players and again their shot was forced wide. Finally the Dublin men got their first score, a Langan free on sixteen minutes followed two minutes later by another. CBS Carlow went over ten minutes without a score but Hulton slotted over a free on twenty three minutes. Langan got another great opportunity for Coláiste Éanna and he sent the ball to back of the net to give himself and his team 1-2.

CBS Carlow showed the cool headedness present all year and their response to the purple patch for the Dublin side was for Hulton to slot over three frees in the closing minutes of the half. It was CBS Carlow 1-9 Coláiste Éanna 1-2 at the break.

Darren Langan kept up his scoring prowess in the opening two minutes of the second half when he scored a free and got a point from play to bring CBS Carlow back to five points. Adam Deering came out to meet a probing ball in to the half forward line and between himself and his marker the ball squirted out, Ross Dunphy used his soccer skills to stab the ball forward along the ground, followed it up at speed and again applied a jab to the ball with his foot which found Colm Hulton. Hulton applied the finish, it found its way to the back of the net and it was ultimately the blow to Coláiste Éanna that would end the tie as a contest.

Shane O’Neill added a free on thirty four minutes to push the CBS Carlow lead out to nine points. CBS Carlow didn’t let the lead cause any complacency and Trevor Collins did very well to prevent his man getting the ball in the corner deep inside the CBS Carlow half and then drew the foul. Jordan Morrissey popped up to win the ball impressively in midfield, he passed it to Larkin who found Ross Dunphy who was very unlucky to see his shot narrowly go over the bar for a point. O’Neill converted another free on forty six minutes. Niall Lowry put a free from just inside the forty five metre line over the bar to stretch the lead to eleven. Adam Murphy was only on the pitch a few minutes when he saw his shot narrowly go over the bar.

Coláiste Éanna did add four points late on but a score from Colm Hulton and a well deserved point for Trevor Collins as time expired meant CBS Carlow had won a Leinster final on a scoreline of 2-16 to 1-8.

CBS Carlow will now play the Connacht Champions, Holy Rosary College Mountbellew from Galway in an All Ireland Semi Final. With today’s victory the CBS Carlow team of 2015 will join the legends of 1968, 1969 and 1983 on the walls of the school, the pictures will be from the camera of that “heart and soul of the GAA in the school” Pat Ahern.

CBS Carlow Team

Ciaran Byrne, Colin Byrne, Kealan Galligan (0-1), Trevor Collins(0-1), Conor McGrath (0-1), Brian Byrne(0-1), Dylan Salter, Niall Lowry(0-1,1f), Shane O’Neill(0-3, 3fs), James Brennan, Jordan Morrissey, Ciaran Larkin,  Colm Hulton(2-6,4f), Ross Dunphy(0-1), Adam Deering

Subs: Adam Murphy 0-1( on for Ciaran Larkin 47 minutes), Ryan O’Grady (on for Adam Deering  49 minutes), Oisin Nolan (on for Ross Dunphy 53 minutes)