Brave Templeogue fightback fails
ARDSCOIL RIS 2-11, TEMPLEOGUE COLLEGE 2-8 – Goals in either half from Colin Currie and Luke Murphy proved to be the difference between these two sides in O’Toole Park, as Ardscoil Rís held off a strong second-half comeback from Templeogue College to secure their third Dublin Schools Junior ‘A’ Hurling title in succession.
Following their demolition of Coláiste éanna at the semi-final stage, Ardscoil were firm favourites heading into this showpiece, and they made a fine start to the game as points from Conor Ryan and ace marksman Brian Bolger gave them an early two-point cushion.
After a couple of near misses, Templeogue did open their account with a fine score from play by Colm Hayes, but Ardscoil were starting to settle into their stride, and replied with four unanswered points from Bolger (two), Darragh Ryan and Currie.
Templeogue’s excellent full-forward, Chris Bennett, split the posts with a wonderful point from the right-wing on 21 minutes, but Ardscoil were controlling much of the play around the middle third.
So it was no surprise to see Currie finding the back of the net just a minute later via excellent approach work by Conor Ryan.
This was swiftly added to by a brace of efforts from Murphy and another from Bolger, and though Bennett found the target with another impressive score, the Templeville Road outfit were facing into a nine-point deficit (0-3 to 1-9) at the mid-way point.
Their ambitions seemed even more precarious when Murphy found the net from close range in the opening moments after the restart (increasing the Griffith Avenue school’s advantage to 12), but Templeogue gave themselves a chance when Bennett hit a 21-metre free to the net, past a host of bodies, on 38 minutes.
Ardscoil had appeared to settle things down again with quick-fire points from Bolger and midfielder Oisin Lanigan, but a second Bennett goal (this time from play) with 15 minutes to go showed that Templeogue were up for the fight.
Indeed, the southsiders proved that these weren’t isolated incidents by reducing the Ardscoil advantage to four by the 55th minute, courtesy of points from centre-back Ciaran Brady, Hayes and the magnificent Bennett. By this point, Ardscoil were finding it difficult to get on top of Templeogue like they had in the opening period, and a successful ’65’ from Bennett in the first minute of stoppage time meant there was only a puck of the ball between the sides.
However, it proved to be too little, too late for Templeogue (who lost corner-forward Rian Doyle to a second yellow card in the dying moments), as Ardscoil resolutely held on for a hard-earned triumph.
Scorers – Ardscoil Rís: B Bolger 0-5 (3f), L Murphy 1-2, C Currie 1-1, D Ryan, C Ryan, O Lanigan 0-1 each.Templeogue College: C Bennett 2-5 (1-2f, 0-1 ’65’), C Hayes 0-2 (1f), C Brady 0-1.
ARDSCOIL RIS: B Cushen; M O’Keeffe, S McCaw, C Stacey; R Maher, A Nickerson, A Brennan; O Lanigan, B Davis; C Ryan, D Ryan, L Murphy; B Bolger, F O’Sullivan, C Currie.
TEMPLEOGUE COLLEGE: S Lowney; M Corcoran, S Mahon, C Power; C O’Neill, C Brady, S Colgan; M Fitzgerald, M McGuire; E Carney, S Dowling, C Hayes; R Doyle, C Bennett, A Coffey. Subs: R Fitzgerald for Coffey (19), C Kennedy for Fitzgerald (40), J Hollywood for Carney (54).
Referee: E Mullarkey (Lucan Sarsfields).