Masita GAA All-Ireland Post Primary Schools Update
Review of Fixtures on 06.04.13
IT was a weekend of fables and farewells in the Masita GAA All-Ireland Colleges calendar as Dungarvan Colleges won the All-Ireland senior hurling ‘A’ final for the first time and both St Fergal’s, Rathdowney and Gallen CS won VS titles for the very last time.
Dungarvan’s 1-12 - 1-7 win over Kilkenny CBS was somewhat expected, although many people felt the game itself might be closer.
Still, it was a hard-fought encounter at Semple Stadium; one in which Kilkenny CBS had a second successive final defeat inflicted on them. They had to play the last 28 minutes minus a man after full-back Evan Cody was dismissed for a tackle Patrick Curran. From the resultant penalty, Curran saw his effort saved by Kilkenny CBS defender Paddy Deegan. Curran, nonetheless, ended the game as man of the match with 0-9 to his name in a clinical display.
“Just delighted,” Curran said. “We knew we had to win. The team was good enough but it was all about workrate. I’m just delighted we got the cup.”
Curran hit 0-6 early on against the breeze to edge his side 1-8 to 1-3 ahead at the break. They were comfortable throughout the second half but had to sweat it out with so many missed chances. They fired 14 wides in total.
“I can’t explain the wides,” says Darragh Duggan, their manager. “We had so much possession - and we didn’t expect that – and it maybe caught us on the hop because we drove so many wides. But we had practiced a lot on our shooting and it was just one of those days.
“But this is a big boost for the county – we badly wanted to put an All Ireland title with the two Hartys to emulate what De La Salle did.
“This is a dream come true, unbelievable in many ways. For lads in Dungarvan to be here with two Harty Cup medals wouldn’t have been heard of 10 years ago and from the faces in the crowd you could see what it means to them. People from smaller clubs who produced these players for us, clubs that would not be used to an All Ireland success. Well, now they are associated with it.
“Hurling has spread out towards west Waterford in a big way and the game has grown massively. These kids have a strong mentality – a few times this year we were under the cosh but we always pulled through and last year we won two games with 14 men – they are strong people with a great mix heart skill determination.”
Duggan’s opposite number, Kilkenny senior Matthew Ruth, was gutted to see his side lose a senior final for the second year in a row. This time last season they were beaten in the final by Nenagh CBS and 10 of that team suffered heartbreak again at the weekend.
“The thing we’re most disappointed with is the performance,” he said. “We were still in with a shout near the end but we could never bridge that three to four point gap.
“I don’t know if it was nerves or that because a lot of lads would have played big games before with their clubs and schools.
“I was surprised to see Evan get a red card and disappointed with the decision but we have to live with it really. For these lads there are much bigger days ahead and they’ll have to bank this loss for experience. It’s great to have some silverware this year but when you’re in a big final you want it badly.”
While it was a day of firsts for Dungarvan Colleges, it was a day of lasts for St Fergal's Rathdowney at the same venue, Semple Stadium. They unleashed a heroic, late comeback to beat hot favourites St Brigid’s 2-10 to 0-13 in the Masita PP VS final – the last time a VS decider was played as it links up with post-primary fare from next season.
The Laois lads came from 10 points down against the three-in-a-row chasing Loughrea side. At the break the favourites were eight points up and seeming only the road to victory when they pressed on with the opening two points after the restart.
But from then, aided by the breeze, Rathdowney outscored their opponents by 2-8 to 0-3.
As expected, Gavin Dunne was superb at centre back and while Aidan Corby tied the game with a brilliantly-taken goal near the end full-forward Daire Quinlan tipped home the winning goal with just second left to scenes of delirium from the Laois side.
Selector Sean Conroy’s message after the game was simple but fitting – “keep the faith.”
There was another massive upset in the Masita GAA All-Ireland VS junior football final between St Mark’s Warrenpoint and Gallen C.S, Ferbane at Cusack Park, Mullingar.
Against the odds, Gallen CS Ferbane beat St Marks 3-11 - 2-4 in a display that was the epitome of workrate and commitment.
One of their stars, Colin Kenny, said they never once lacked belief.
“It’s magic to be able to win an All Ireland. I’ve been part of teams that have thrown away finals in the past. But we led 0-9- 0-1 here at break and having talked all week about workrate we followed through on that promise. Everywhere they went we had two or three lads, forwards especially, tracking them.
“St Mark’s had some convincing wins but we had our homework done,” Kenny added. “The management watched a DVD of them so we just closed them down, worked hard and let the ball in quickly.”
Ciaran Doyle, the Ferbane manager, admitted he had tracked his opponents carefully.
“We looked at the huge wins they’ve had all year and we hit them hard and early. It was helter-skelter for the first few minutes but our game-plan was to leave Dean Hogan and Mikey Butler inside and get the ball in to them quickly. St Mark’s liked to play the short passing game so we just ran at their defence and they had no answer.”
Ferbane are the last team to win the VS football title as this competition also links up with the post primary cups next season.
Meanwhile, the weekend’s programme was completed with the Masita GAA All-Ireland post primary Schools senior football ‘B’ Final between St Attracta’s, Tubbercurry, and Our Lady’s, Templemore, which was also fixed for Mullingar.
It ended in heartbreak for Our Lady’s, Templemore, who went down to St Attracta’s, Tubbercurry, on a 4-11 1-7 scoreline.
Many observers expected that the Tipp side would fight hard after a devastating semi-final win over Naas CBS but even top talents like midfielders John McGrath and Colin O’Riordan couldn’t help their team stop a rampant St Attracta’s side, which has been scoring goals for fun all year long.
The Tubbercurry side has a proud pedigree in this competition but they hadn’t won this All-Ireland crown since 2006 and were ravenous for glory. After bursting through Connacht they were full of brim after also beating St Michael's, Lurgan, in the All-Ireland semi-final.
STAT OF THE WEEK
Dungarvan Colleges won the Croke Cup (Masita All-Ireland Colleges Senior ‘A’ Hurling Final) for the very first in the last year of the Colleges competitions. From 2013/2014 all Ireland competitions will be the All-Ireland Post Primary Championships. It has yet to be decided which trophies will be presented for the All-Ireland Post Primary Competitions from next year onwards.
NUMBER OF THE WEEK - 10
THE margin St.Fergal’s Rathdowney trailed by in the second half before overcoming St.Brigid’s Loughrea in the Masita VS Schools Final.
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 now available on PPGAATV: www.youtube.com/PPGAATV
St.Attracta’s Tubbercurry v Our Lady’s Templemore
Gallen C.S. Ferbane v St.Mark’s Warrenpoint
RESULTS (Played on 06.04.13)