GAA – DUBLIN JUNIOR ‘A’ HURLING CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL: ARDSCOIL RIS 5-6 COLAISTE EANNA 2-13
GOALS WIN IT FOR RIS
Griffith Avenue school reclaim hurling title
ARDSCOIL Ris produced a goal-laden display in Abbotstown on Tuesday afternoon to reclaim the Dublin Schools Junior ‘A’ Hurling Championship title at the expense of Colàiste Eoin.
Following their comprehensive defeat to the Gaelscoil in the same venue just under 12 months ago, Ardscoil were hell-bent on regaining the top-tier U16 crown.
They trailed 3-3 to 2-9 during the midway stage of this clash at the National Games Development Centre, before turning the tide with the help of powerhouse performances from skipper Diarmuid Clerkin and Daniel Peel.
After coming through a three-team group that also featured St Fintan’s HS, Sutton and St Aidan’s CBS, an impressive Ris overcame the challenge of Colaiste Eanna in the penultimate round with all of 17 points to spare (5-19 to 3-8).
Eoin, meanwhile, had claimed an extra-time win over Fintan’s in their semi-final at Silver Park last Tuesday week and were battle hardened for the showpiece.
Inside the opening 30 seconds, Eoin rattled the back of the net to leave Ardscoil reeling. To their credit, their northside opponents settled through a Daniel Peel free and Andrew Keegan’s emphatic three-pointer allowed them to move into the ascendancy.
Eoin continued to offer a considerable attacking threat, however. Mícheál Mac Mathúna and Luc Mac an Bhaird ended the opening period with a goal apiece, while Rian Ó Maoileoin converted a series of frees for the rampant southsiders.
Ardscoil then received a lifeline in the form of a successful Peel penalty and Charlie McHugh also raised a green flag to bring their deficit down to three points in time for the interval. This late scoring blitz provided a much-needed lease of life to the challengers, who include Waterford hurler Philip Mahony amongst their coaching team.
They carried their momentum into the third-quarter, when McHugh restored parity by adding his second goal of the tie. Another Peel major on the 40-minute mark suddenly propelled them back into the driving seat and they further enhanced their lead with a point from Paddy Gilroy – son of former Dublin dual manager Pat.
An Ó Maoileoin-inspired Eoin soon settled with three scores on the trot, but Keegan and Peel kept Ardscoil on the road to victory with the finishing line in sight. As expected, Eoin pushed hard for scores in the closing minutes of the play.
Yet, thanks to heroic defending by Shane Spring and Callum Walsh – in addition to the assured presence of netminder Euan Maguire – Ardscoil held out to secure their seventh Junior ‘A’ final success in nine seasons on a scoreline of 5-6 to 2-13.