The talented Cnoc Mhuire U-16 footballers, winners of the Leinster and All-Ireland Vocational Schools Junior ‘A’ titles this season, achieved another success when they proved too strong for Moyne in the county final at Maguire Park, Ballinalee on Friday last.
Longford Post Primary Schools U16 Final - Cnoc Mhuire 4-10, Moyne Community School 3-5
With the powerful midfield pairing of David McGivney and Nigel Rabbitte leading the charge, the Granard Secondary school completely dominated the early exchanges to establish a commanding 2-3 to 0-0 lead with just 12 minutes gone in the game.
Rabbitte and McGivney linked up to create the clear-cut chance for Ciaran Mallon to fire home the opening goal in the 9th minute and soon after Cnoc Mhuire, with the advantage of the wind, had the ball in the back of the Moyne net again.
While a shot from full-forward Aidan McElligott was well saved by the opposing keeper Gareth Lynch, the breaking ball was deflected over the line by the unfortunate Moyne corner-back Stephen Gregg.
Without injured attacker Rian Brady, Cnoc Mhuire had started really well to register three points in a row through Michael Cullen, Mallon (free) and Rabbitte (free) and when the couple of goals quickly followed it was a real uphill battle for Moyne Community School even though they were given a glimmer of hope when Ross McNerney shot to the net just before the break.
But the superior Granard side were still in a comfortable 2-7 to 1-2 lead at half-time despite kicking several wides, although they had a lucky escape when Moyne corner-forward Conal Sheridan struck the crossbar in his attempt to score a badly needed goal in the 15th minute.
The other Cnoc Mhuire scores in the first half came from wing back Liam Sullivan, Aodan McFarlane, Ciaran Mallon and David McGivney while Peter Mimnagh (free) and Ross McNerney (free) replied for Moyne who conceded a third goal in the early stages of the second half when Aidan McElligott was on target for the All-Ireland champions.
That was a severe setback for Moyne but they showed a lot of character in striking back to score two goals in the space of a minute. After a shot from Michael Corcoran was deflected into the net by Peter Mimnagh, a well-worked move ended up with Cian Bannon planting the ball in the corner of the net to close the gap to five points, 3-7 to 3-2.
Cnoc Mhuire recovered from this brief slump with a point from David McGivney in the 38th minute and after Corcoran had a goal attempt blocked twice in a promising Moyne attack, the killer blow was struck when a terrific move started in the defence yielded a fine goal from Michael Cullen to put the issue beyond all doubt.
Cnoc Mhuire centre-half-back Declan Murphy then surged forward to fire over a cracking point and the impressive McGivney got his third score in the 51st minute when he fisted the ball over the bar.
Moyne battled it out to the bitter end in adding another three points to their tally - a brace from Conal Sheridan with Peter Mimnagh also on the mark.
CNOC MHUIRE: Gary Carroll (Granard/Ballymore); Killian Goldrick (Ballymachugh), Ryan McGahern (Gowna), Darragh Kiernan (Ballymachugh); Daniel O’ Reilly (Mullahoran), Declan Murphy (Granard/Ballymore, 0-1), Liam Sullivan (Granard/Ballymore, 0-1); Nigel Rabbitte (Northern Gaels, 0-1, free), David McGivney (Northern Gaels, 0-3); Mattie Gorman (Granard/Ballymore), Ciaran Mallon (Granard/Ballymore, 1-2, one point from free), Michael Cullen (Mullahoran, 1-1); Fionnan O’Reilly (Mullahoran), Aidan McElligott (Northern Gaels, 2-0), Aodan McFarlane (Ballymachugh, 0-1).
Subs used:- James Brennan (Mullahoran) for M Gorman (33 mins); Ryan Smith (Mullahoran) for F O’Reilly (46 mins); Shane Shiels (Mullahoran) for M Cullen (51 mins).
MOYNE CS: Gareth Lynch (Arva); Stephen Gregg (Clonguish), Daniel Gorman (St. Vincent’s, Drumlish/Ballinamuck), Brian Gordon (Clonguish); Conor Hawkins (Colmcille), Emmet Noonan (St. Vincent’s), Ray O’Brien (Clonguish); Mark Breslin (St. Vincent’s), Seamus McKeon (Colmcille); Paul Hughes (St. Vincent’s), Ross McNerney (Colmcille, 1-1, point from free), Michael Corcoran (Clonguish); Conal Sheridan (Arva, 0-2), Peter Mimnagh (Dromard, 1-2, one point from free), Cian Bannon (Gowna, 1-0).
Subs used:- Scott Howe (St. Vincent’s) for B Gordon (23 mins); Damien Bannon (Gowna) for S Gregg (60 mins); Niall McManus (Dromard) for P Mimnagh (60 mins).
Referee: Frank Toher (Killoe Young Emmets).