Scoil Mhuire secure National Cup Final berth


FAI Schools Dr. Tony O’Neill National Senior Cup Semi Final (Under 19, Large Schools)


Thursday, March 21, 2021


Scoil Mhuire, Buncrana 4-2 St. Gerald’s College, Castlebar



Despite St. Gerald’s dominance in possession, the Donegal school clinches victory with clinical finishing at Ray McSharry Park, Sligo this afternoon (March 21) reports Conor BRESLIN (Donegal Live)


There was no stopping Scoil Mhuire, Buncrana from sealing their place in the Dr Tony O’Neill National Senior Cup final despite an onslaught from St. Gerald’s College of Castlebar with the Donegal side running out 4-2 victors. 


There was no stopping Scoil Mhuire, Buncrana from sealing their place in the Dr Tony O’Neill Cup final despite an onslaught from St Gerald’s College of Castlebar this afternoon in Ray McSharry Park in Sligo, with the Donegal side running out 4-2 victors. 


Gerald’s controlled possession in the early minutes of the match as the Donegal side allowed the Mayo school to hold the ball in their own half, but Carr’s team were structurally solid in the backline, applying pressure to St Gerald’s, forcing them to make mistakes or fire half chances at goal. 


Despite their few goal attempts, Scoil Mhuire would take an early lead when, on the eighth minute, Mayo defender Ryan Gibbons blasted a ball in the air for a clearance, but the resulting effort was not controlled by Gavin Ferry on the edge of his own box, which allowed captain Conor Graham to burst easily through the Mayo defence and finish into the back of the net.  


The match ebbed and flowed with St. Gerald’s firing a few half chances, but never really threatening Stephen McNulty in the net. 



Jude Lavin headed over the crossbar from a corner on 10 minutes, while seven minutes later Joe Ferry shot right of the goalmouth from a volley shot following some tremendous skill and work-rate from Cian Walsh who starred throughout. 


The Castlebar’s school best chance in the opening half came on 26 minutes when a diagonal shot wasn’t caught by McNulty in the nets which forced him to palm the ball to St. Gerald’s defender Shane Cunningham who headered towards an open net only for Connor McDaid to clear it off the line.  


Walsh would produce more extraordinary work with the ball but was unable to level the match as the teams marched to the dressing room at the break with Buncrana leading 1-0. 


Five goals would be seen in the final 45 minutes, and while St. Gerald’s scare their opponents defence for long periods from such dangerous attacks, they could find that final shot they needed to stay with Scoil Mhuire. 


Carr’s side nearly nailed home their second goal on 53 minutes when Darragh Coyle crept past the St. Gerald’s defence from a long ball over the top which left him one-on-one. And while his shot was blasted on target to the right, goalkeeper Óisín Costello stretched out to produce an amazing one-handed save to keep his side’s hopes alive. 


However, St. Gerald’s failed to claim any motivation from this as the follow up corner landed to the feet Daniel McMenamin on the edge of the box who fired home to make it 2-0. 


St. Gerald’s responded four minutes later when Oisin McIntyre was called for handball inside the box which allowed Gavin Ferry to nail home to make it 2-1. However, the one-goal gap didn’t last long when on the 70th minute McMenamin drove a long ball over the top of the St. Gerald’s defence, which again left Coyle one-on-one to fire into the net to make it 3-1 in favour of the Donegal side. 


With the game entering the final 10 minutes, St. Gerald’s would pull one back when Walsh’s darting run into the box was stopped when the striker was fouled with the Mayo school winning a second penalty, with again Gavin Ferry scoring from the spot with a dink straight down the middle of the goal to leave it 3-2. 


But again, St. Gerald’s were caught sleeping in defence with long balls over the top with Graham creating a carbon copy of the previous two Buncrana goals as slotted home his second on the edge of the box to leave it 4-2 in the dying minutes of the match which wasn’t enough time for St. Gerald’s to strike a comeback. 



Scoil Mhuire, Buncrana: Stephen McNulty; Mason McDaid, Oisin McIntyre, Seán Mclaughlin, Connor McDaid; Daniel McMenamin, Lee Rutherford (Adam McColgan 70), Conor Graham, Brendan Roe; Darragh Coyle, Jay Bradley. 


St. Gerald’s College, Castlebar: Óisín Costello; Brian McDonnell, Ryan Gibbons, Shane Cunningham, Donal Behan; Niall Vahey, Gavin Ferry, Joe Ferry, Alan Hegarty; Jude Lavin, Cian Walsh.