Tuam forwards lethal


The margin of victory, a record for a Connacht Colleges' senior football final, left the St Jarlath's captain John Paul Steede a little embarrassed on the presentation podium at Tuam yesterday.

The Connacht council senior official who presented the trophy to the captain said, perhaps, what young Steede was thinking: "St Colman's came determined to give their best but they ran into the might of St Jarlath's."

St Colman's' woeful day culminated with their right corner back Martin Maloney receiving a red card for a second bookable offence with 10 minutes remaining.

St Jarlath's held the St Colman's attack scoreless and denied their opponents a second half score. It was 1-7 to 0-2 at the interval. The Tuam boys based victory on midfield dominance where Michael Webb and Tomas Griffin were superb in all aspects of play. They proved the driving force and made their opponents Paul Fahy and Dermot Costelloe realise the magnitude of their task from the start.

Fahy made an early defiant solo run to coax something extra from his team-mates and team captain Costelloe was industrious in patches but it was to no avail against the Jarlath's duo.

Fahy proved to be the only St Colman's scorer. When he opened his team's account with a free after 14 minutes St Jarlath's were 1-4 up and were already well into shooting their 15 wides.

The quality of the St Colman's wides was far worse but wayward shooting from good positions must be of concern to St Jarlath's ahead of their All-Ireland semi-final clash with the Leinster winners.

By half-time the Webb-Griffin power base, together with the opportunism of corner forward Cathal Carty, who had a great first half goal, and the sure place-kicking of Conor Mortimer, had St Colman's looking like a team ready to throw in the towel.

Once that first St Jarlath's goal was scored with a flick of the fist by Carty in the 13th minute St Colman's were struggling badly, 14 to no score.

Mortimer, a brother of Mayo's Ken, was inspiring either as a prolific attacker in play or when taking frees. He amassed a tally of eight points including three pointed frees.

The St Colman's challenge was a complete shambles by the time Tomas Reilly had to fall back into defence to fill in for the dismissed Maloney. Reilly did not start because of injury and this proved yet another blow to the St Colman's hopes.

St Jarlath's half-back trio of Darren Mullahy, Diarmuid Blake and Alan Dempsey proved yet another major obstacle for down hearted Colman's.

ST JARLATH'S: C King; C Monaghan, J O'Shaughnessy, J P O'Neill; D Mullahy, D Blake, A Dempsey; M Webb (0-1), T Griffin (0-2); J P Steede (0-2), M Meehan, E O'Connell (0-1); C Carty (1-1), C Rowland (1-3), C Mortimer (0-8, three frees).

ST COLMAN'S: I Kearney; M Maloney, P Navin, V Walsh; K Fitzmaurice, A Cunningham, B Naughton; P Fahy (0-2, one free), D Costello; M Kelly, D Lynskey, L Macken; R McNamara, K McHugh, P Ring. Subs: T Reilly for Macken (45 mins); C Heneghan for Walsh (51 mins); D Grant for Ring (56 mins).

Referee E Neary (Sligo).