All Ireland Final

St. Joseph’s College, Galway 2-0 De La Salle College, Dundalk

Bobby Keane (15), Joe Hynes (27)

 

“The Bish” aka St. Joseph’s College, Galway secured their first All Ireland title at First Year level with a spectator win today against Leinster legends, De La Salle, Dundalk in a memorable occasion for the westerners.

The game kicked off in blustery conditions at Athlone Town’s headquarters following some small showers in the afternoon left for slippery conditions.

The bish were using the strong wind to their advantage and it definitely played a pivotal role in both goals as Dundalk net minder Daniel Mulligan was under pressure from the start.

The Connacht Champions had the ball in the back of Mulligan’s net with ten minutes played but assistant referee Paul Tone signalled for an off side as Knocknacarra’s Joe Hynes tucked the ball neatly into the top corner following a well executed set piece from distance.

Five minutes later the Saints did register one for real with Bobby Keane heading home after an excellent delivery from Joe Hynes. Another magnificent manoeuvre that was well executed and delightful to watch.  Mentors Grealish and McDermott could relax somewhat with their outfit playing the better football

Dundalk were throwing everything at the Galway defence but the advancement on goal didn’t lead to a shot on target. Luck wasn’t on their side as Galway went two up in a matter of minutes.

Galway were awarded a free from 25 yards out following a foul on John Kennedy in the 27th minute. Joe Hynes produced a wonder strike assisted by the strong breeze to float the ball into the top corner. Hynes had judged his touch to perfection as the team from the west were in the driving seat.

Dundalk’s Anton Reilly was working tirelessly to find a way back for the Leinster lads before half time but the only effort he produced late on was well wide of the mark as James Grealis had a trouble free half. His defensive partnership of Tommy McClean, Ben Brennan and Bobby Keane were well prepared for the attacking prowess of Deane Watters and Jimmy Dunne as the game ebbed and flowed in the dying minutes of the first period.

Mulligan was again called into action for Dundalk as eight minutes after the re-start, Gary Kinneen’s explosive effort was brilliantly saved by Mulligan as the ball swirled on the greasy surface before safely lodging into the arms of the keeper.

De La Salle were quick to make the changes as Bellurgan’s Daniel Rice was brought on for Anthony Lines.

Anton Reilly was gifted a snapshot on goal only for him to see his effort fall foul of some excellent goalkeeping by Grealis.

Reilly and Captain Jimmy Dunne combined well seconds later but the ball sprayed wide of the upright much to the frustration of Halpin and Staunton. It just wasn’t going to be Dundalk’s day.

Deane Watters was awarded plenty of time on the ball as his fluid passing was ensuring the possession lay with Dundalk for much of the second half however the final ball was leaving the strike partnership of Renaghan and Reilly torn ragged.

Caoilin Tobin was called into the action late on for the Bish as Captain Conor Melody made way.

The Salthill Devon player combined well with Joe Hynes and Gary Kinneen for Tobin to release Kinneen in space. The youngster’s effort was tame and easily intercepted by keeper Mulligan as the game reached a conclusion.

The Bish last won an All Ireland soccer title with their Senior team during the 2008/09 season but the future is definitely looking bright for the youngsters as the First Year team have delivered on an All Ireland crown this season. The school will be sure to feature in the spotlight next season with a talented outfit hungry for more success.

Dundalk’s De La Salle had a great season this year with the school competing in an unprecedented five FAI Schools finals, at three age groups. The same group of players have a North East League Final at the end of the week and will be sure to use this game as a stepping stone for better things as they face Cólaiste na hInse, Laytown on Friday.

 

St. Joseph’s College, Galway (The Bish): James Grealis, Tommy McClean, Ben Brennan, Bobby Keane, Brian Lally, Michael Costello, Joe Hynes, John Kennedy, Joshua Marvesley, Conor Melody (Capt) (Caoilín Tobin), Gary Kinneen

Subs: Diarmuid McGea, Sean Cunningham, Ronan Murphy, Conor Moloney, Ross Byrnes, Conor Durkin, Damien Roche, Evan Naughton, Evan Deacy, Peter Beegan, Ronan Murphy

Teachers: Robert Grealish and Barry McDermott, GK Coach: Ger Hanley, Physio: Seamus McWalter

De La Salle College, Dundalk: Daniel Mulligan, Ronan Bailey, Conor Morgan, Oisin Murray, Adam O’Connor, Deane Watters, Sean Murray, James Dunne, Anthony Lines (Daniel Rice), Anton Reilly, James Renaghan

Subs: Adam Shields, John McNally, Liam Keenan Niall Breen, Kyle Cotter, Derick Ekweueme, Patrick McAuley, Liam Molloy, Coilín O’Connor, Brendan Sheils

Teacher: Brian Halpin and Padhraic Staunton

Referee: Ian Stacey (Athlone)

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