Travers’ strike defends crown
MAYNOOTH POST-PRIMARY 1-5
ST BENILDUS COLLEGE 0-7
DAIRE WALSH – 20 DECEMBER 2013 02:30 PM
A 49TH-MINUTE goal by midfielder Brian Travers proved crucial at a bitterly cold O’Toole Park yesterday afternoon as Maynooth Post-Primary secured back-to-back Dublin Schools Senior ‘A’ football titles.
Benildus had opened the scoring with four minutes gone on the clock courtesy of a close-range free from half-forward Tom Fox, but Maynooth responded swiftly with a similar effort from towering full-forward Shane Monaghan.
Monaghan was given a roaming role throughout the tie, and this enabled marauding wing-back Derry Bradley to break forward for a fine point seven minutes in. This was the first time that the Moyglare Road boys had taken the lead in the game, and they moved further into the ascendancy with points from Monaghan (free) and Owen Byrne just before the end of the first quarter.
Benildus were struggling to halt the momentum of their counterparts up to this point, but they finally added to their tally when Kevin Creasey fired over on 19 minutes, before restoring parity to the proceedings with well-taken scores by Seán Bedford and the increasingly threatening Fox.
Having made such a strong start, Maynooth were now coming under extended pressure, but thanks to a superb injury-time point by the industrious Donnacha Healy, they held a 0-5 to 0-4 cushion at the interval.
There were encouraging signs for both teams in the opening period, but with the wind picking up significantly the pattern of the game was going to be affected.
Maynooth had to battle against the elements upon the resumption, but with Benildus opting to drop a number of their forwards into deep positions, they were able to hold on to their lead until the 46th minute.
Nominal centre-back Mark Doyle, who was now playing in a more advanced position, raised the white flag with a deflected effort, but Maynooth responded with the decisive score just three minutes later.
Monaghan stepped up to negotiate a placed ball opportunity from 25 metres, and despite falling short of the target from his kick into the gale, Travers reacted brilliantly to strike past Dillon Rafferty from close-range.
In a low-scoring encounter, it looked like this would be more than enough to help Maynooth secure the silverware, but a spirited Benildus managed to reduce the deficit to the minimum four minutes from time following points by half-forwards Fox and Andy McGowan.
But this was as close as Benildus came to forging a dramatic victory, and determined defensive work sealed a glorious triumph for Maynooth Post-Primary.
SCORERS – Maynooth PP: B Travers 1-0; S Monaghan 0-2 (2f); D Bradley, O Byrne, D Healy 0-1 each. St Benildus College: T Fox 0-3 (0-1f); S Bedford (f), M Doyle, A McGowan, K Creasey 0-1 each.
MAYNOOTH PP: K Kelly; I Doyle, D Maguire, T Forde; D O’Sullivan, P Mescal, D Bradley; B Travers, O Byrne; D Cullen, D Healy, S O’Se; P Murray, S Monaghan, F Stack. Subs: W McDonnell for Cullen (46), A Dunne for Stack (62).
ST BENILDUS: D Rafferty; E Ryan, M Mitchell, G Fallon; O Quinn, M Doyle, C Pearson; C Lyndon, R Costelloe; B McGeary, A McGowan, T Fox; S Bedford, K Creasey, C O’Connor. Subs: M Crowley for McGeary (ht), E Allen for Creasey (ht).
REF: D Feeney (Parnell’s).