St Brendan’s end their Hogan Cup famine in style
Both Kerry school and St Pat’s Maghera reduced to 14 men in Croke Park decider
The St Brendan’s players celebrate with the Hogan Cup. Photograph: Ken Sutton/Inpho
St Brendan’s ended their Hogan Cup famine in style at Croke Park this afternoon as 2-5 from David Clifford helped to end a 24-year wait for All-Ireland colleges A glory.
Both teams had their captains sent off at GAA headquarters as the second half exploded into life, with two late Clifford goals proving decisive.
For famed Killarney nursery St Brendan’s, this was a sweet win following most recent final defeats in 2010 and 2008.
They came with a brilliant late kick to do it, as Clifford found the net in the 58th minute and again in the third minute of stoppage time.
A tight second half took a major twist when St Pat’s lost captain and Hawthorn-bound Conor Glass to a straight red card in the 45th minute, before St Brendan’s skipper Dan O’Brien was dismissed with five minutes of normal time remaining.
The sides were level when O’Brien saw red for an off the ball incident involving the leading marksman for St Pat’s, Shane McGuigan, but St Brendan’s outscored their opponents by 2-2 to 0-1 after that.
Moynihan nudged St Brendan’s into a 0-12 to 2-5 lead after O’Brien’s red card before Jack Doherty ended a 20-minute scoring drought for St Pat’s, following McGuigan’s 37th minute goal, to level matters.
But Clifford was inspired in those final minutes and victory for St Brendan’s ensures that the Hogan Cup remains in Kerry, following victories for Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne in the previous two seasons.
It was St Pat’s who led by a point at half-time, McGuigan popping over his third point, and second free, to establish a 1-5 to 0-7 interval lead in stoppage time.
On the balance of play, it was just about the right outcome as St Pat’s missed a penalty in the fifth minute, when David Carroll saved brilliantly from Francis Kearney after Oisin McWilliams was fouled by Niall Donohue.
St Pat’s did find the net three minutes later, when Donohue’s slip allowed Patrick Kearney to blast a low shot past Carroll, after taking a handpass from Conal Darragh.
St Brendan’s were slow to settle but they eased themselves into contention and were level by the 20th minute at 0-5 to 1-2, as David Clifford popped over a neat point from play.
Clifford’s free handed the Sem the lead for the second time in the game, 0-6 to 1-2, before points from Shane McGuigan and Shea Downey, son of Seamus and nephew of Derry’s 1993 All-Ireland winning captain Henry, edged St Pat’s back in front.
Brilliant St Brendan’s forward Dara Moynihan restored parity before McGuigan handed St Pat’s a slim lead at the break.
St Brendan’s: D Carroll; C Gammell, D O’Brien, C O’Donoghue; N Donohue, D Naughton, M Potts; L O’Donoghue (0-1 45), B Courtney; P McCarthy, D Clifford (2-5, 0-2f), D Moynihan (0-4); E Cronin (0-1), D Shaw (0-1), M Casey (0-1).
Substitutes: W Courtney for Casey (43), D Spillane for McCarthy (60).
St Pat’s: S Cassidy: O McKeever, P Turner, K Feeney; P McCormick, S Downey (0-1), C McAllister; C Glass, J Doherty (0-1); P Kearney (1-0), P Quigg, O McWilliams (0-1); C Darragh, S McGuigan (1-3, 0-2f), F Kearney.
Subtitutes: F Higgins for Darragh (42).
Referee: D Gough (Meath).