South Leinster Schools SF B Final
Carlow CBS 1-10
FCJ Bunclody 1-7
By Kieran Murphy
FOR the second time in three years, Carlow CBS are the South Leinster senior football B champions. They got off to the best possible start with corner forward Gavin Healy scoring two points. Eddie Black replied with a Bunclody free.
The Carlow side came in waves with Bunclody forced to concede a succession of frees. Healy obliged with a point from a placed ball while Evan Lowry also converted when Bunclody fouled.
The Wexford side’s only other point of the half came in the first quarter when Ciaran Murphy fed Martin O’Connor who returned the compliment for Murphy to shoot over. At 0-7 to 0-2 at the interval, Carlow CBS looked comfortable. Ross Dunphy and Jordan Morrissey had been immense in the half and their winning experience over the last three years with their school and their Éire Óg club was telling.
“We have a lot of Leaving Certs on the team. They have their eye on the books as well as the football. We have a good team who are strong down the centre and can take their scores as well,” noted Pat Ahern, teacher and member of the management team.
Bunclody put the pressure on their opponents just after the break. Unfortunately for them, they didn’t fully turn the screw when only registering two points from Black. They were unlucky when they pulled the Carlow defence apart but Edward Dunbar’s flick over the advancing Ger Kieran in the Carlow CBS goal went just wide.
“They rattled us and brought it back to three points. We know from past experience of Bunclody teams that they are very dangerous, incredibly well coached and they never say die. Even though we had a nice lead we knew we could not relax,” said Ahern.
That miss was to come back to haunt Bunclody when Cathal O’Neill fired over a settling point for Carlow. Bunclody keeper Jack Quinn made a great save from Lee Dunne.
Minutes later he was left exposed in a one-on-one situation where Healy tucked his shot into the bottom left-hand corner of the net. That was at the start of the last quarter and the eventual winners extended their lead with further scores from Healy and O’Neill.
Nine points ahead with only two minutes left, whether Carlow CBS felt the game was over or whether Bunclody just relaxed and played football is hard to say. In any case, they hit back with points from Cillian Redmond, Black and James Lawlor. Redmond also hit the net but with the game deep in injury time his impressive strike was the final act and Carlow CBS had prevailed.
Carlow CBS: Ger Kieran (Graiguecullen); Martin Doyle (Graiguecullen), Conor Ryan (Tinryland), Cathal Myers (Éire Óg); Callum Hennessy (Graiguecullen), Brian Coady (St Martins), Dylan Keightley (Éire Óg); Jordan Morrissey (Éire Óg), Robert Browne (Castledermot), Lee Dunne (Killeshin), Ross Dunphy (0-1, Éire Óg), Jack O’Neill (Castledermot); Evan Lowry (Killeshin (0-3 frees), Jody Murphy (Éire Óg), Gavin Healy (1-4, 0-1 free). Subs: Cathal O’Neill (0-2, Palatine) for O’Neill (44 mins), Sean Doyle (Killeshin) for Dunne (51 mins), Kian Carroll (Graiguecullen) for Healy (57 mins).
FCJ Bunclody (HWH Bunclody unless stated otherwise): Jack Quinn (St Patrick’s); Adam Hogan, Peadair Cowman, Ciaran Kavanagh; Niall Murphy (Ferns-St Aidan’s), John Dunne (Duffry Rovers), Liam McGuill (Kildavin-Clonegal); Josh Martin, Liam Pender (Duffry Rovers); Eddie Black (0-4 frees), Martin O’Connor, Ciaran Murphy (0-1, St Patrick’s); Brian Lambert (Tinahely), Edward Dunbar, Cathal Doyle. Subs: Cillian Redmond (1-1, Kildavin-Clonegal) for N Murphy (26 mins), Maurice Ging (Tinahely) for Lambert (38 mins), James Lawlor (0-1, Ferns St Aidan’s) for Pender (38 mins), Sean Bookey (Kilrush-Askamore) for McGuill (55 mins), Cian Fitzhenry (Duffry Rovers) for Dunbar (57 mins).
Referee: David Sweeney (Dublin)