Newtown School 1 Banbridge Academy 0
Newtown School produced probably the biggest shock in the All-Ireland Schoolboys Championship’s 36-year history as they took home their maiden title at Shaw’s Bridge with a 1-0 win over Banbridge Academy.
Isaac Johnson’s sweetly timed volley 30 seconds before half-time did the damage as the Waterford outfit produced a teak-tough defensive performance to land the crown, emulating the girls’ All-Ireland success from 1981.
The boys had never emerged from the group stages before and had been a B division school in Munster up until three years ago. Two years ago, they were suffered 8-0 and 7-0 defeats in the All-Ireland group stages but they have grown into a powerful unit under coach Stuart Greene.
But such a success was beyond any of his wildest dreams, particularly against an Academy side who have shared the All-Ireland crown with St Andrew’s for the past eight years and were searching for their sixth title.
In Ben Johnson, though, Newtown had the tournament's outstanding talent in midfield with glorious individual skills and a wide array of passes. Harry McCarthy, Ian Balding and Sam Johnson – twin of Isaac, younger brother of Ben – were also outstanding, taming an Academy side driven by Eddie Rowe.
Newtown had swept through their group with three from three before beating High School 4-3 on Friday morning to earn their final shot.
Bann knocked out reigning champs St Andrew’s in dramatic style, scoring in the last minute via Rowe before winning a shoot-out 3-1.
NEWTOWN: L Drayton, L Allen, S Johnson, E McInerney, D Gahan, I Balding, B McInerney, H McCarthy, B Johnson, I Johnson, R Treacy.
Subs: M Laura, S O'Neill, T Delaney, P Cooke, H Belton
BANBRIDGE ACADEMY: S Dale, P Campbell, M Cowan, L McConnell, E Rowe, M Barlow, C Rowe, H Lockhart, L Bingham, L Rowe, H Farson.
Subs: R Simms, L Groves, C Curry, A Jordan, M Anderson