From the moment St. Mel’s gifted Colaiste Eoin a goal with just two minutes gone in the game, the Longford college were fighting a real uphill battle against the far superior Dublin opposition and eventually suffered a crushing defeat in crashing out of the Leinster Post-Primary Schools Senior ‘A’ Football Championship.
Played in difficult wet and windy conditions on the GAA astro turf pitch in University College Dublin on Saturday last, a poor St. Mel’s side found the going extremely tough in the Round 2 clash against the Stillorgan Irish college who had a real class act in left-corner-forward Conn O Ceallachain
There was just no stopping the dangerman O Ceallachain, who clocked up the magnificent total of 4-8 (five frees) in this demolition job. and Colaiste Eoin (after losing two Leinster Senior ‘A’ Football Finals in recent years) will be hoping to go one step further this season.
For the record, the Stillorgan school were beaten by just a point in both title deciders, v St. Mary’s Edenderry in 2012 and v St. Pat’s Navan in 2010, a clear indication of the major task St. Mel’s were up against on Saturday last.
Nothing went right for the former Leinster Colleges force, who conceded a penalty in the 20th minute that was dispatched to the back of the net by O Ceallachain, and to make matters worse the midlanders had their centre-half-back Fergal Keenan sent-off in this same incident for a black card offence.
It was all over as a contest at half-time, at which stage St. Mel’s trailed by 2-9 to 0-4 with all their points coming from frees converted by midfielder Des Reynolds and it could have been even worse as Colaiste Eoin were guilty of missing a couple of clear-cut goal chances just before the break.
To their credit, the losers tried hard to make sort of impact in the early stages of the second half and Ballinalee boy Reynolds was most unlucky not to score a goal when his shot was well saved by the opposing keeper.
Moments later the ball did end up in the Colaiste Eoin net after a Liam Hughes effort was blocked down but was disallowed after Kildare referee Brendan Cawley awarded a free out, much to the dismay of St. Mel’s manager Fr. Joe McGrath and the small band of supporters who braved the bad weather to witness this demoralising 22 points hammering.
The best St. Mel’s could do on the changeover was a score apiece from Des Reynolds (free) and substitute Ciaran Donohoe (their only score from play) whereas the slick Colaiste Eoin outfit added another 2-6 to their impressive total in running out very easy winners of this one-sided game.
COLAISTE EOIN: Sean O Dubhlain; Enda O Lorcain, Oisin O Duill, Cian O Rian Bran; Dylan O Treasargh, Eoghan O Naoire, Ben Mac Cormaic; Sean O Dulaing, Conchuir O Cathasaigh; Rian Mac Giolla Bride (0-1), Cillian O Seanain (0-2), Fionn O Riain Bran; Luc O Giollain (0-2), Colm O Neill (0-2), Conn O Ceallachain (4-8, five frees).
Subs:- Eoin Mac Sithiah for B Mac Cormaic (black card 50 mins); Iarfhlaith Mac Gabhann and Dara O Tuama for O O Duill and C O Neill (57 mins).
ST. MEL’S: Daniel Doherty (Longford Slashers); Cillian Lee (Killashee), Darragh McLoughlin (Clonguish), Daniel Collum (Sean Connolly’s); Gareth Dennigan (Ardagh), Fergal Keenan (Moydow), Oisin Flanagan (Clonguish); Des Reynolds (Sean Connolly’s, 0-5, all frees), Liam Hughes (Killoe); Alan Sorohan (Clonguish), Rory Sullivan (Moydow), Sean Clarke (Longford Slashers); Ruairi Clarke (Longford Slashers), Larry Moran (Killoe), Shane Thompson (Killoe).
Subs:- Peter Lynn (Young Grattans) for G Dennigan (16 mins); Ciaran Donohoe (Killoe, 0-1) for F Keenan (black card 20 mins); Robbie Clarke (Longford Slashers) for S Clarke (37 mins); Peter Hanley (Clonguish) for L Hughes (black card 57 mins).
Referee: Brendan Cawley (Kildare).