Muircheartaigh’s late frees help retain the Hogan Cup
Pobalscoil Chorcha Dhuibhne keep Roscommon and Connacht waiting for title
Pobscoil Chorca Dhuibhne celebrate their Hogan Cup win. Photograph: Inpho
Pobalscoil Chorcha Dhuibhne (Kerry) 1-12 Roscommon CBS (Roscommon) 2-5
FIVE late unanswered points were the key to Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne retaining their Hogan Cup title in Croke Park last Saturday as they responded strongly to a 51st minute goal for Roscommon CBS that looked like ending Connaught’s 13 year wait for a Senior A Colleges Football title.
While the West Kerry side had led for most of the contest, a second goal for Conor Shanagher with nine minutes left appeared to tilt the balance in favour of the underdogs. Roscommon adopted a very defensive strategy throughout putting a red wall in front of the defending champions throughout.
A turgid first-half which was affected by a heavy rain shower at one point saw Roscommon bring all bar their No 15 Noel Gately behind the ball from the throw-in as they sought to frustrate Pobalscoil early on. The defending champions only managed points from Brian Ó Beaglaoich and Conchúir Ó Géibheannaigh in the opening 11 minutes before Kerry Minor Captain Marc Ó Conchúir started the move that led to the opening goal.
He found Ó Géibheannaigh who cut in from the right hand side of the Hogan Stand and found Seán O Gairbhia who finished past from James Fetherstone from close range for a 1-2 to 0-1 lead. Gately and Richard Hughes brought Roscommon CBS back within two before the same two players combined to send Shanagher through in the 27th minute for the goal that levelled the scores at 1-3 apiece at half-time.
The second-half was little better until the final 10 minutes with Pobalscoil keeping their noses in front at 1-7 to 1-5 at the three-quarter stage. Roscommon missed two goal chances in the second period, the first falling shortly to Gately shortly after the restart with the second being missed by Shanagher shortly before he made sure of his next opportunity a minute later. Points from Cathal Bambury, Gearoid Hickey-Brosnan, a free from Conor Geaney and two frees from Seamus O Muircheartaigh got the defending champions over the line however as they had been given the wake-up call they needed.
This success was particularly historic for Pobalscoil in that it was the first time a Kerry school both contested and retained the Hogan Cup after winning a fourth successive Munster crown earlier in the campaign. Marc Ó Conchúir received the Man-of-the-Match award but Conchúir Ó Súilleabháin was immense defensively last Saturday with some key interceptions for Pobalscoil with Seán Ó Gairbhia solid in the forward line.
Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne: C Ó Géibheannaigh (0-5, 3f), S O Gairbhia (1-1), S O Muircheartaigh (0-2, 2f), B Ó Beaglaoich, M O Gormáin, C Ó Bambaire and G H O Brosnacháin (0-1 each)
Roscommon CBS: C Shanagher (2-0), R Hughes (0-3, 3f) and N Gately (0-2, 1f)
Pobalscoil Chorcha Dhuibhne: L De Bhailís, C O Súilleabháin, T L O Súilleabháin, C Ó Murchú, A Ó Conchúir, B Ó Beaglaoich, T Ó Súilleabháin, M Ó Conchúir, P Mac a’tSithigh, M Ó Gormáin, S Ó Gairbhia, PJ Mac Laimh, C Ó Bambaire, S O Muircheartaigh, C Ó Géibheannaigh Subs: G H O Brosnacháin for Mac Laimh (H/T) and R O Mannín for Mac a’tSithigh (52)
Roscommon CBS: J Fetherstone, S Casey, E Concar, A Whyte, B Mullen, A Duignan, R Hughes, G Keenan, D Cunniffe, A Lyons, J Casey, B Cleary, K Whyte, C Shanagher, N Gately Subs: R Horan for Concar (H/T), J Brennan for Cleary (40), J McDonald for Cunniffe (47) and D Foley for Lyons (54).
Referee: A Nolan (Wicklow)