Commiserations and truly hard luck to our boys team in their Sciath na Scol final against Newcestown played at Clonakilty Sports Complex.
Throw-in was at the unusually early time of 9.50am! Almost immediately the game raced into life in a helter-skelter type fashion. The ball zipped from end to end with both sides missing early chances. However, mid way through the first half, Scoil Mhuire were hit by a couple of sucker punches of goals as Newcestown strode into an early lead. In typical battling fashion however and a testament to the characters on our team, Scoil Mhuire NS didn’t lie down. We tacked on a number of points and despite peppering the Newcestown goal with multiple shots, the goal we craved in the first half eluded us. Throughout the game, Paddy Murphy in goal was a beacon of steadiness and he confidently dealt with everything that came his way. Our defence was expertly marshalled by David Coughlan. Time and time again he foiled Newcestown attack after attack, reading the play in a fashion more akin to that of an All-Star intercounty defender than a Sciath na Scol player. A colossus throughout! He was however ably assisted in the full back line by stylish young defender Shane Crowley who played with much more bravery than his fourth class status would suggest. Vice-captain Ryan Whelton is the tough tackling pacy defender of our team. He was a bundle of energy throughout and when moved onto one of the danger men of the Newcestown forward line, Ryan immediately nullified his dominance. As he has been throughout the campaign, Ted Goggin was a model of consistency on the wing and was responsible for setting up many of our attacks down the right side. On the other wing Eoin O’Brien in his usual determined style put his heart and soul into every tackle and challenge and can be very proud of his contribution throughout. At midfield, we probably had two of the most stylish players on view. Captain fantastic James McKnight lead by example from start to finish. With his cultured left leg allied to fitness levels similar to that of a marathon runner, James left absolutely nothing out on the field. The other half of our midfield duo, Tom Ryan Purcell was simply a colussus and was the heartbeat of our team. In his own unique effortless style, he ran himself to a standstill as he tackled, blocked, carried and scored. His goal in the second half was unstoppable from the moment it left his boot. Frank Goggin, another in the line of the talented Goggin family, was probably the tightest marked player on the pitch. Identified from the beginning by the opposition as one of our key players, Frank endured a lot of attention throughout. He remained a thorn in their side however, wining numerous frees and converting many of them himself. His cousin Timmy O’Driscoll on the wing beside him linked well with his other forwards and foraged bravely for every scrap of possession. On the other wing Fintan O’Brien, a fourth class pupil showed tremendous confidence and displayed a high workrate. He showcased all the skills of the game regularly using both feet to pass and shoot. One to watch for the future for sure. In the full forward line, dual player Theo Morgan displayed some deft touches, winning possession regularly and linking up with his other forwards. Another dual player in the full forward line, Paudie O’Regan was a constant threat to the Newcestown defence and had a great shot saved off the goal line. Scoil Mhuire also had another shot rebound off the post in the second half as lady luck seemed to desert us at that critical stage as we laid siege to their goal. Ultimately it wasn’t to be and despite the valiant efforts of out field substitute Jack O’Brien Hayes, who played in goal in earlier rounds we were unable to reduce the deficit. Other vital players who played important roles in previous games against Castletownbere and Enniskeane and thus helping us reach the final were Luke Ward, Sasha Sahovs, Charlie Lannin, Conor Lawson, Evan Dukelow, Louis Anderson Dolan, Paul Legrix, Stephen Hurley, Joe O’Driscoll, Ryan O’Driscoll and Dermot Ward. Many of these players are eligible for next year again so we look forward to seeing them get more game time! Well done one and all!