St. Brendan’s overcome late surge from St. Joseph’s, Spanish Point
Bank of Ireland FAI Schools John Murphy Senior ‘B’ National Cup Semi Final
Sunday, January 28, 2018
St. Brendan’s College, Belmullet 3-2 St. Joseph’s SS, Spanish Point
Michael Conroy (4, 40), Luke O’Reilly (57) Dermot Coughlan (54), Caoilfhionn O’Dea (82)
BELMULLET scholars St. Brendan’s College kept their nerve to see off a late surge from St. Joseph’s Secondary School, Spanish Point in Athlone IT on Thursday last (January 25) to seal a place in this year’s Bank of Ireland FAI Schools John Murphy National Cup Final.
McLoughlin’s charges got the perfect start to their campaign when awarded their first corner of the afternoon with four minutes registered. Michael Lavelle sent in a beautiful weighted ball to the box for Michael Conroy to slot home at the far post.
Reidy was called upon to save brilliantly from Lavelle with quarter of an hour gone.
With 36 minutes on the clock, Conroy was in action again with a fantastic run down the left flank but Reidy and Walsh averted the danger man.
However, four minutes later the Belmullet student, Conroy got his second of the afternoon to ensure a two goal cushion at the interval.
Dermot Coughlan was introduced at half time for St. Joseph’s and made his mark shortly after with a wonderful goal to bring the game back to 2-1.
The Clare men’s momentum was short lived as three minutes later, Michael Lavelle combined brilliantly with Luke O’Reilly, for the youngster to dribble past Reidy to make it 3-1.
Kevin Tubridy was a key player for the Spanish Point outfit and came close to scoring twice only for the heroics of goalkeeper Niall Duffy who remained alert.
Indeed it was Tubridy who teed up Caoilfhionn O’Dea to net from an indirect free-kick at the edge of the box on 82 minutes that saw a tense finale to proceedings, 3-2.
Again Spanish Point were awarded a similar set piece moments later but O’Dea couldn’t keep his effort down and it sailed over Duffy’s crossbar.
It was all Spanish Point in the final minutes of injury time but the Belmullet crew kept a cool head to see of their advances and make it a day to remember for the Mayo men.
St. Brendan’s College will now await the winners of the other semi-final pairing which sees Ulster debutants PCC Falcarragh face off against newcomers Grennan College, Thomastown.
ST. BRENDAN’S COLLEGE, BELMULLET | Niall Duffy, David Padden, Michael Keane, Owen McHale, Evan Ivers, Paddy Costello, Aran Reilly, Luke O’Reilly (Captain), Michael Conway, Michael Lavelle, Michael Conroy
SUBS | Leo Howard for Costello (56), Dylan Walker for O’Reilly (70), Shane Togher for Conway (85), Padraig Monaghan, Eoin McDonnell
TEACHER | Noel McLoughlin COACHES | Eanna Kilbane, Pat Cowman
ST. JOSEPH’S SS, SPANISH POINT | Euan Reidy, Fergal Donnelly (Captain), Daniel Walsh, Sean McNamara, Davy Martin, Michael Murray, Stephen Heath, Oisin Looney, Kevin Tubridy, Caoilfhionn O’Dea, Diarmuid King
SUBS | Dermot Coughlan for McNamara (HT), Paudie Murphy for Heath (67), Cian Flanagan, Niall Griffin, John Curfin
TEACHER | John O’Neill
REFEREE: Paul Malone (Midlands)