Coláiste Eoin on fire
Wicklow players star as Hacketstown school claims title
COLÁISTE EOIN 4-22 S.C. AIREAGAIL 0-00 THE students from the school that straddles the Carlow/Wicklow border were in devastating form in the South Leinster Post Primary Schools Under-14 ‘D’ final in Dr. Cullen Park last Thursday morning.
Their Kilkenny opponents offered very little in terms of quality but, as the saying goes, you can only beat what’s in front of you and the Coláiste Eoin boys didn’t just beat the Ballyhale lads, they absolutely dismantled them by playing some excellent football.
A score by score match report would be a chore to write and read, suffice to say that the Hacketstown students were completely dominant in every position with the action being dictated by the very effective midfield pairing of Eoin Byrne from Tinahely and Ruairi Tomkins from Coolkenno with Tomkins looking like a serious talent.
Caution should always be applied when writing or speaking about young players and the impact they may have in years to come given that the road to adult football is paved with many sideroads and pitfalls and distractions but this midfield pairing were a joy to watch at time with Tomkins posting some tremendous scores.
It should also be noted that Ballyhale’s best man on the day, Edmond Fitzpatrick, was posted in the midfield so they didn’t have it all their own way.
What little joy in attack the Ballyhale lads might have enjoyed was wiped out by the Knockananna duo, Luke Doyle at full-back and Mark O’Keeffe in the corner with their Clonmore colleague Jordan Tallon also impressing.
Doyle, for his age, is a fine footballer and physically dominant and he charged out from defence on umpteen occasions with ball in hand and attackers in his wake.
The all-Clonmore half-back line of Luke Connolly, Cormack Connolly, and Rory McGuire were outstanding and but for some forays up the field by Ballyhale centre-half forward Adham Massood they enjoyed a relatively threat free day in Dr. Cullen Park.
Massood is a fine athlete and his play on the ball suggest that he is a talented soccer player but Ballyhale might have profited more had he been able to take the ball up quicker and move it on from the hands.
In the half-forwards Tinahely’s Reid Byrne and Clonmore’s Jake Hickey were instrumental in the Coláiste Eoin domination. Both are quite similar in many ways, pacey, very skilful, well able to pass and very comfortable going for their scores.
They stood either side of Eoin Byrne from Clonmore who was a very strong and capable player on the day.
In the inside line Knockananna’s Noel Byrne was named at the edge of the square although he roamed for a time before his withdrawal in the second half. His return of 2-05 was reflective of his efforts and he is a very relaxed looking attacker who can cause serious problems with the right ball.
He was ably assisted by his corner-forwards, Billy Lawlor from Clonmore and Michael Dwyers’ Andy Foley. Foley is a brave and unstoppable force of nature and he bagged 1-01 for his trouble and impressed all the way through.
Coláiste Eoin now go on to face a north Leinster team after Christmas and no doubt they will face a much more difficult task as they progress in the competition.
They will need to sharpen up on different aspects of their play as they went through some lulls and poor spells and some of their passing was wayward but their South Leinster final win was fully deserved and the Wicklow men involved were to the fore and they certainly offer great promise to their clubs and possibly to the county overall in years to come.
Coláiste Eoin: Seán Tompkins (Clonmore), Jordan Tallon (Clonmore), Luke Doyle (Knockananna), Mark O’Keeffe (Knockananna), Luke Connolly (Clonmore), Cormac Connolly (Clonmore), Rory McGuire (Clonmore), Eoin Byrne (Tinahely 0-1), Ruairí Tompkins (Coolkenno),Reid Byrne (Tinahely), Eoin Byrne (Clonmore), Jake Hickey (Clonmore), Billy Lawlor (Clonmore), Noel Byrne (Knockananna), Andy Foley (Michael Dwyers). Subs: Conor Mooney (Clonmore) for N Byrne; Jake Murphy (Tinahely) for E Byrne; Cooper Sharpe (Clonmore) for A Foley, C Farrell.
SC Aireagail, Ballyhale: James Reid; Cian Cullen, Mark McNamara, Christopher Grace; Reece Anderson, Paul Hennessy, Brandon Ryan; Edmond Fitzpatrick, Casey Corcoran; Cian Dungan, Adham Massood, Michael Walsh; Pauric Delahunty, Dylan Carroll, Sean Fitzpatrick.
The Coláiste Eoin team from Hacketstown featuring players from Wicklow GAA clubs pictured after they defeated S.C. Aireagail, Ballyhale in the South Leinster final in Dr. Cullen Park.
Kilkenny’s Pat Henderson presents the trophy to Coláiste Eoin captain Eoin Byrne from Tinahely.
Tinahely’s Reid Byrne in action for Coláiste Eoin.