The Ist Year Regional Post-Primary Schools Football Final was played in Pearse Park on Wednesday of last week and St. Mel’s got off to a great start with a goal after one minute by Darragh O’Connor, followed by a point from Nathan Steele.
The physical composition of the Roscommon CBS team gave them plenty of possession but the St. Mel’s full-back-line of Gavin Hughes, Robert O’Beirne and Ben Ryan repelled a number of strong attacks.
Nathan Steele, who was outstanding throughout, scored a great individual goal and James Bracken also got a goal just after Roscommon CBS were given a lifeline with a good individual goal by corner-forward Alan Langan. Nathan Steele hit the target again with a fine goal and St. Mel’s, having played with a strong wind, held a commanding 5-6 to 1-2 lead at the break.
In the first minutes of the second half Roscommon CBS broke through and midfielder Aidan Whyte crashed the ball to the St. Mel’s net to give them a glimmer of hope and the visitors kicked over the next two points through Breen Fallon and Whyte.
St. Mel’s were under pressure at this stage but Brian Harte dropped deep from midfield and put in some great tackles to deprive Roscommon CBS of some more scores as they dominated possession.
On a quick breakaway St. Mel’s struck again with a goal from James Bracken which settled the nerves and with further points from Clayton Finn and Nathan Steele and a goal from Sean Kenny St. Mel’s ran out comprehensive winners in the finish. This competition was won in 2010 by Roscommon CBS and in 2011 by St. Pat’s, Cavan and now St. Mel’s in 2012.
ST. MEL’S: Darragh Kirk (Clonguish); Gavin Hughes (Killoe), Robert O’Beirne (Bornacoola), Ben Ryan (Longford Slashers); Pauric Halpin (St. Barry’s, Tarmonbarry), Philip Kiernan (Killoe), Conor Moran (Killoe); Shane Thompson (Killoe, 0-1), Brian Harte (Killoe); Thomas Skelly (Southern Gaels), Clayton Finn (Young Grattans, 0-2), Darragh O’Connor (Streete, 1-1); Sean Kenny (Clonbroney, 1-0), Nathan Steele (Longford Slashers, 2-5), James Bracken (Killoe, 2-1).
Subs used:- Mark Thompson (Ardagh), Shane Maguire (Young Grattans), Emmet Conroy (St. Barry’s, Tarmonbarry), Fergal Farrell (Ardagh) and Daniel Connell ( Mostrim).
ROSCOMMON CBS: James Brandon; Sean Doorhy, Ryan Murphy, Rian Biesty; Eoin Grady, Oisin Lyons, Ronan O’ Malley; Brian Diffley (0-1), Aidan Whyte (1-1); Michael Farrell, John Murray, Breen Fallon (0-1); Niall Cunniffe, Shane Mahon (1-0), Alan Langan (1-1).
Referee: Michael Farrell.