CBS Carlow 1-15
Gallen Ferbane CS 0-6
Leinster P.P. Schools Senior Football “B” Semi Final
At Stephen O’Rourke Memorial Park, Ballykelly
By John Whelan
CBS Carlow continue their remarkable journey through the Leinster Championship to gain a spot in the Leinster final against the Dublin Champions. St Declan’s CBS or Coláiste Eanna await the Carlow men who defeated the North Leinster Champions, Gallen Ferbane CS by twelve points in harsh conditions in Ballykelly.
Having disposed of Scoil Dara Kilcock in the South Leinster final by twenty points two weeks ago CBS Carlow got off to another rip roaring start. Colm Hulton who scored 2-2 the last day received the ball after James Brennan worked very hard to win it further out the field. Hulton sped past his man and shot the ball past the onrushing goalkeeper Barry Rohan only for the crossbar to deny him as the ball ricocheted over the bar to give CBS Carlow the lead after just forty seconds. It was the start CBS Carlow were looking for, to resume where they left off the last day.
Both sides had to contend with very cold and wet conditions and even some occasional snow showers . Shane O’Neill slotted over his first free of the day on three minutes, soon followed by a Colm Hulton free to give CBS Carlow a three point lead. James Brennan who was influential in the opening score, found himself in some space just outside the 45 metre line, he decided to go for it and the ball sailed between the posts and CBS Carlow were flying.
Very quickly Gallen Ferbane seemed to finally switch on and Ryan Heavin got their first score after eight minutes. Conor Lynam quickly added a score from play and Heavin converted another free to give Gallen Ferbane three points in just three minutes. CBS Carlow responded however. A fine one handed Ross Dunphy catch allowed him to come forward only for him to be fouled. Gallen Ferbane won the ball again and as they looked certain to claim another point, Trevor Collins popped up to win the ball. His clearance was to the pacey Brian Byrne who found Colm Hulton who was then fouled by a Gallen Ferbane man . Shane O’Neill converted the resulting free to give CBS Carlow their first score in ten minutes.
Gallen Ferbane continued to battle hard but CBS Carlow matched their intensity with Niall Lowry continuing to lead by example in his role as captain. Lowry was unlucky to receive a yellow card from referee Dave Coady (Kildare) but he didn’t let it deter him. The very next phase of play Lowry plucked a ball from the sky dispatched it to Jordan Morrissey who unleashed a shot from over forty five metres and like James Brennan’s effort earlier, it sailed between the posts to get the travelling CBS Carlow supporters going. Credit to the CBS Carlow who had two full bus loads of supporters who on more than one occasion were led in cheers by teacher Pat Ahern, it gave CBS Carlow an edge.
The CBS Carlow backs continued their battling attempts at winning the ball and once again Trevor Collins won the ball on the ground. Colin Byrne found himself a long way from home, inside the Gallen Ferbane half. He backed himself and sent a ball straight between the posts to give CBS Carlow a four point lead. In the closing minutes of the first half Gallen Ferbane stayed plucking away at the CBS Carlow defence and they came away with points from John Corcoran and Cian Johnson to bring the sides in at half time with the score CBS Carlow 0-7 Gallen Ferbane 0-5.
CBS Carlow started the second half with two missed frees. One of which was a Niall Lowry effort from the forty five metre line that went narrowly wide. On thirty five minutes Lowry got another go when CBS Carlow won a 45. This time he made no mistake, using his earlier miss as a marker it travelled all the way over the bar. Moments later Ross Dunphy added a well deserved point after pulling the strings in first half.
Team mentor Maurice Browne knew they didn’t play like they had all year in the first half and that the second half was where they “showed great heart and determination and took their scores.” Six minutes into the second half Gallen Ferbane found themselves confined deep inside their own half and had to result to rushing a clearance which dribbled out over the sideline.
Shane O’Neill converted another free on forty minutes and then came a big moment in the game. Referee Dave Coady adjudged Gallen Ferbane captain Jack Egan of committing a third man tackle and he showed him a black card. Egan and the Gallen Ferbane mentors were apoplectic. Hulton sent the free over to give CBS Carlow a six point lead.
CBS Carlow continued to operate with high intensity as they knew there was plenty fight left in Gallen Ferbane. Shane O’Neill and Dylan Salter both crucially intercepted the ball to keep the ball in the Gallen Ferbane half for the majority of the second half. Shane O’Neill stepped up to take a free and when he tried to clarify the position of where it should be taken from the referee blew the whistle for time wasting and gave a throw ball. Like Lowry’s response to his yellow card, O’Neill dug in, won the ball and was fouled again. He slotted over the resulting free to put seven between the sides.
Finally Gallen Ferbane won the ball deep inside the CBS Carlow half and they won a free on fifty one minutes. Ryan Heavin put it over, it was their one and only score in the second half.
CBS Carlow shifted into a higher gear. Ross Dunphy and Shane O’Neill made an interception each to nip any Gallen Ferbane attack in the bud. Brian Byrne was one of three men to come out to meet a Gallen Ferbane man, Byrne turned the ball over, sent it forward and Colm Hulton put it over the bar. Adam Deering added a point and within seconds the hard working Ross Dunphy blasted the ball to the back of the net to put the tie to bed. Brian Byrne added a free late into stoppage time to give CBS Carlow another remarkable win on a scoreline of CBS Carlow 1-15 , Gallen Ferbane 0-6.
Ciaran Byrne, Colin Byrne(0-1) , Kealan Galligan, Trevor Collins, Conor McGrath, Brian Byrne(0-1,1f), Dylan Salter, Niall Lowry(0-1, 45), Shane O’Neill(0-4, 4fs), James Brennan(0-1), Jordan Morrissey(0-1), Ciaran Larkin, Colm Hulton(0-4, 2fs), Ross Dunphy(1-1), Adam Deering(0-1)
Adam Nolan(54), Cian Fitzpatrick(54), Paul Behan(58) and Oisin Nolan(58)