Masita GAA All-Ireland Post Primary Schools Update
Review of Fixtures on 30.03.13
THE bar is lifted higher and higher with every passing week in this year's Masita GAA All-Ireland Post Primary Championships.
Last week 15 year-old Darragh Lyons grabbed the headlines with a hat-trick for the Dungarvan Colleges hurling team in the senior ‘A’ semi-final win over St Kieran’s, but this time around it’s 14 year-old Conor Glass who gets all the plaudits. Glass produced serious heroics for St Pat’s, Maghera, in their All-Ireland Colleges ‘A’ football semi-final win.
The young Maghera men beat St Gerald’s, Castlebar, 3-8 - 1-7 to make the final, after enduring some bouts of turbulence along the way. Indeed, the Ulster side had to come back from a rocky saw their six point lead reduced to two and it took a sensational goal from Glass to settle them down again.
In the end, though, Maghera won decisively enough without really having to lift the throttle into fifth gear. Anyone at the game will have seen that Glass is a great prospect. He added a second goal and put in a generally delightful display to return to Croke Park for the second time in his career – having played there some years before in the Primary Game.
Maghera come into the All-Ireland final with a mixed record – they have won four Hogan Cups to date but also lost four finals so they’ll be hoping to improve their percentages in the latest decider.
St Gerald's, meanwhile, will look back on their display with some regret – in the end they needed a late Eamon Regan consolation goal to take the bleak look off the final scoreline.
Maghera joint-managers Sean Marty Lockhart and Martin Mc-Connell would possibly have preferred a tougher test but they’ll be glad to have safely reached the final all the same.
“Conor took the game to them and that set the tone,” said McConnell of his star player, Glass. “He’s still only 14 but he’s built like a man and he epitomises what the whole team is about because he plays with a real desire. He’s a shy lad but he’s only one of 33 of our panel who really wants to win an All Ireland title.
“His goals were big turning points; just moments that you need to win an All-Ireland semi-final.”
St Gerald's actually got out of the traps quickly to establish a 0-5 to 0-2 lead with corner forward James Durcan converting three frees and full back Mark McHugh also on target.
But the MacRory Cup champions came storming into the game with Peter Cassidy, Danny Tallon and Neil McNicholl all scoring, before two goals in as many minutes from Glass and Gerald Bradley turned the game.
“We were glad to get the goals and glad to get the victory,” Glass says. “It’s great to be going to Croke Park – I played there when I was nine. It was at half time of the All-Ireland final between Cork v Kerry so it’s great to be returning.”
Meanwhile, in the other semi-final, St Pats Navan are on the hunt for a fourth Hogan Cup title after they beat Corca Duibhne 2-7 - 0-11 in a tough encounter at Nenagh.
Managed by Meath legend Colm O'Rourke, they held off a strong second half fight back by Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne. Their strong lead came from early goals by Barry Dardis and Robert McDonnell but that margin was slashed to just two points at the end.
Kerry senior football boss Eamonn Fitzmaurice flew back from the Kingdom's training camp in Portugal to take charge of the Pobascoil Chorca Dhuibhne team but saw his side fall just short.
While there was plenty to of nail-biting action in that game, there was little drama to be found in the Masita Post-Primary Senior ‘B’ football semi-finals, however.
Our Lady’s, Templemore, backboned by some up and coming Tipperary starlets had an expected 1-11 –0-7 win over Naas CBS.
The Templemore side – many of whom reached this year’s Harty Cup hurling final – will now play St Attracta’s from Tubbercurry in the final after they beat St Michael’s, Lurgan, 3-10- 1-7.
The only silverware of the weekend was claimed by those busy youngsters at Dungarvan CBS who have been flat out with both hurling and football in recent times. Last Saturday they claimed the Masita All – Ireland senior football ‘C’ final with a fine 2-8 – 0-10 win over Scoil Mhuire, Strokestown .
The legendary Peter Canavan is hoping his Holy Trinity team can now join the Dungarvan lads on the winner’s podium. Canavan is one step closer after his Cookstown outfit experienced victory in the Masita VS ‘A’ football semi-final.
They racked up 2-12 to Davitt College, Castlebar’s 1-6 and meet Gallen CBS, Ferbane in the final - not that Canavan was getting too carried away.
“The lads have a very exciting few weeks ahead of them; they’re getting ready to play an All Ireland final at Croke Park and where better to play? But we have a serious bit of work to do,” he said. “We underperformed. The team can play a lot better and we have a lot to work on. But we’re in the privileged position where we can improve.”
They did have a slow start before emerging comfortable winners in the end. The Mayo side started well but points from Francis Burns, Ryan Loughran and James McGahan coupled with a goal from the latter helped the reigning champions into a 1-5 to 0-3 interval advantage and they never looked back.
STAT OF THE WEEK
St Pats, Navan, have 10 Leinster titles - all since 1991 - but had never won in the same season that Maghera won the MacRory Cup.
NUMBER OF THE WEEK - 4
THE amount of All Stars that the respective St Pat’s managers have won between them. Navan boss Colm O’Rourke won three - in 1983, 1988 and 1991, while Maghera manager Sean Marty Lockhart won one - in 1998.
Comhairle Iarbhunscoileanna now has it’s own youtube channel– PPGAATV will cover highlights of a number of Masita GAA All Ireland Post Primary Schools Championship fixtures in the coming week.
Highlights of the following fixtures are available on PPGAATV: www.youtube.com/PPGAATV
Davitt College Castlebar v Holy Trinity College Cookstown
St.Gerald’s Castlebar v St.Pat’s Maghera
RESULTS (Played on 30.03.13)