Cian Dooner on the attack for St Mel's College against Marist College Athlone. Action from the Leinster Schools Senior 'A' Football Championship Group D game at Emmet Park, Killoe. Pic: Declan Gilmore
While the St Mel’s senior footballers lost by a solitary point against Marist, Athlone in the Leinster ‘A’ Championship Group D Round 2 clash at Emmet Park, Killoe on Thursday night, the great win over St Peter’s Wexford the previous week was good enough to get the Longford college through to the knockout stage in January.
Marist College Athlone . . . 0-10 St Mel’s College . . . 1-6
Due to their superior scores difference, St Mel’s advance as one of the two qualifiers regardless of what happens in the remaining group fixture between Marist and St Peter’s next week and are making steady progress under the management team of Michael Quinn and Diarmuid Cannon.
St Mel’s (wearing the Longford jerseys due to a clash of colours) almost sprang a surprise against a fancied Marist team, the beaten provincial finalists last season, and battled back from four points down at one stage to level matters with a goal from Cian Cassidy midway through the second half.
A terrific point from Cian Dooner then put St Mel’s into the lead for the first time (1-6 to 0-8) but Marist replied with a couple of scores and Ian O’Rourke shot over the bar in the 60th minute to clinch a hard earned win.
ST MEL’S COLLEGE: Eoin McGuinness (Longford Slashers); Cian Murphy (Fr Manning Gaels), Darren Moffett (Killoe Emmet Og), Paulis Merkelis (Longford Slashers); Michael McCann (Clonguish), James Moran (Killoe Emmet Og), Sean O’Sullivan (Sean Connolly’s); Dario Cigliano (Mostrim), Euan Finneran (Killoe Emmet Og); Diarmuid Sheehan (Longford Slashers, 0-1), Darragh O’Connell (Longford Slashers), Daniel Reynolds (Sean Connolly’s); Cian Dooner (Killoe Emmet Og, 0-5, three frees), Cian Cassidy (Fr Manning Gaels, 1-0), Jake Donnelly (Killoe Emmet Og).
Subs:- Mario Pirlog (Longford Slashers) for D Reynolds (34 mins); Jack Duggan (Clonguish) for S O’Sullivan (47 mins); Cian O’Nualláin (Longford Slashers) for D Cigliano (53 mins); Tadhg McNevin (Longford Slashers) for E Finneran (55 mins), Tiarnan Hussey (Mostrim) for C Murphy (a minute into stoppage time).
MARIST COLLEGE ATHLONE: Eamon Martin; James Finlass, Pearse Frost, Ciaran Quinn; Shane Allen, Ian O’Rourke (0-1), Paul McGrath; Kieran Colclough (0-2, frees), Shane Cunnane (0-2); Stephen O’Connor, Ruaidhri Fallon, Eoghan Derwin (0-2); Colin Murphy, Ben O’Carroll (0-1), Ciaran Sugrue (0-2).
Subs:- Oisin O’Reilly for B O’Carroll (38 mins); Ruairi Smith for E Derwin (53 mins); Donagh Prendergast for B O’Connor (three minutes into stoppage time).
Referee: Eamon O’Connor (Offaly).