St Francis bring O’Neill Cup back to Cork

Rochestown school get the better of Rice College, Westport in schools’ final

Gordon Walker scores his side’s winning goal during the Bank of Ireland FAI Schools Dr Tony O’Neill Senior Cup Final match between Rice College, Westport, and St. Francis College, Rochestown. Photograph: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Gordon Walker scores his side’s winning goal during the Bank of Ireland FAI Schools Dr Tony O’Neill Senior Cup Final match between Rice College, Westport, and St. Francis College, Rochestown. Photograph: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

 

St Francis, Rochestown 1 Rice College, Westport 0

After wasting a couple of golden chances, Gordon Walker finally scored the solitary goal of Wednesday’s FAI Schools’ Tony O’Neill Cup final with three minutes left to claim the national trophy for St Francis College of Rochestown in Cork.

The midfielder was guilty of squandering a litany of openings, especially a couple of free headers from set-pieces, before finally applying a neat finish towards the end of a tense contest at Whitehall.

Rice College from Westport had remained competitive for much of the contest, but ultimately fatigue told as they were forced to play almost all of the second half a man light after Cian McAllister had been sent-off for a second yellow card.

The Mayo team had mustered a couple of chances with the game scoreless through Jack Murphy and Paul Doyle, yet were holding on for extra-time when the breakthrough came.

Substitute Ross Slevin picked out the unmarked Walker with a pass on the right side of the penalty area, and the Cobh Ramblers talent slotted the ball past the advancing Patrick O’Malley.

The Munster champions can make it a double next Wednesday when they face St Eunan’s in the Under-17 decider. Slevin and Rory Doyle will be chasing their second national title in the space of a week.

St Francis, Rochestown: M Collins; G O’Mahoney, D Nason, Rob Slevin, J Sheehan; R Doyle, S Hilliard, G Walker, P Hickey (Ross Slevin 52); M O’Connell, D O’Sullivan.

Rice College, Westport: P O’Malley; M O’Brien, P Lambert, B O’Malley, E Conway; J Murphy, K Kilkelly, C McAllister, P Corcoran; E Rowley (L Tunney 79), P Doyle.

Referee: Mark Whelan (Dublin).

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