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Roscrea & Kilmacthomas Book Cusack Cup Final Places

posted 9 Mar 2015, 14:06 by Post Primary   [ updated 9 Mar 2015, 14:11 ]

Last weekend saw the curtain unveiled on the Masita GAA All-Ireland Post Primary series and any of the crowds that attended the four opening games were left on their feet, applauding and looking for more. Never mind the novel pairings; the drama and sheer excitement was enough to keep attendances enthralled in all instances.

Saturday was a hectic day. It saw the eagerly awaited Masita GAA All-Ireland Post Primary Schools Cusack Cup (SH 'C') semi-finals take place.

The game of the day was at Ballinasloe where Ballyhaunis Community School took on Cistercian College Roscrea (CCR) with the Tipperary side coming out on top by just three points after a wholly spirited display from the Mayo CS.  If Mayo hurling wants to continue its progression the officials at the helm should certainly harness this fine bunch of youngsters coming through this Post Primary School.

To anyone well versed in schools hurling, that there was but a few points separating the sides is no shock as Ballyhaunis, who scored 2-6 compared to their opponents tally of 0-15. This was no massive surprise because the currency of hurling in the east Mayo strongholds of Ballyhaunis and Tooreen is so strong these days.

And their worth really came to the surface with this school team. Sure, getting to this stage of the competition was uncharted waters for them but they did all involved proud with a lovely brand of hurling and no little flair either. 

In fairness, the task ahead of them was quite difficult, playing against an experienced Roscrea team just seven days after winning their first Connacht Post Primary Schools Hurling title.

Whilst tradition was against them yet again they certainly didn't let that get hold the team back as they took on the Leinster (CCR take part in the eastern provincial fare) side right from the start. With four successful outings from the Connacht Senior series behind them, in which they accounted for four Galway teams, including St Enda’s, New Inn, Ballygar and Woodford, they had nothing but confidence in themselves. And rightly so.

However, the side, trained by Ray Woolley, Nick Freyne, Jonathan Griffin, and David Freyne came up just short in this the latest stage of their development.

They continued their record of goalscoring but in the end the fluency and stability of the Roscrea side was enough to see them through.

Like their opponents, CCR came through a tough path to the semi-final - and now final - and their director of sport Brendan McKeogh reckons that stood to them.

"We went into the All-Ireland semi final after a hard fought North Leinster final win over Killina, a tough Leinster semi final outing against Carnew and then a comfortable victory over Scoil Catriona in the Leinster Final. 

"The team has a strong spine with Ben Hyland (Tipperary), Martin Phelan (Laois), Jack Canning (Portumna - and nephew of Joe) and Alan Tynan (Tipperary) to the fore. All of these lads are hoping to play for their respective counties over the summer months. 

"It's been a bust time for the school - Alan Tynan is also a Leinster U-18 Rugby rep and Tipperary Footballer." 

While the school is currently excelling with the oval ball too their galaxy of star studded former intercounty players will now have an All-Ireland final to look forward to.  In last week's preview we mentioned that their past pupils included John and Paddy O Brien and Stephen Lucey but Hugh Moloney, Austin Murphy, Conor and John Phelan (Kilkenny) Redmond Barry (Wexford), Tom Delaney (Laois) and Peter O Brien (Cork) all attended the school and could be back to see them in final action.

In that game they will play St Declans Kilmacthomas who overcame St Louis Grammar School Ballymena on a scorline of 1-17 to 1-12 after extra time in Ashborune. It should be a very tight decider. 

Saint Declan’s CC largely pick from clubs in the middle of Waterford and their path to the All-Ireland final had been pretty clear and untaxing prior to Saturday.

In the group stages of the provincial Championship, they were drawn in Group E along with just one other side, their next door neighbours – Carrick-on-Suir CBS.

Twenty one teams were entered into the championship, split into five groups of three and three groups of two, with two teams advancing from each group to the second round of games and ultimately St Declan's have emerged to this stage of the competition through fine displays from players like Eoin Bray and Jamie Murphy.

There were two other finals spots up for grabs at the weekend and that was in the the Masita GAA All-Ireland Post Primary Schools Rice Cup (SF 'D').

Ballingarry Presentation Secondary, who managed a whopping 3-13 , were still pushed all the way by NRC Magherafelt who scored 2-12 in Trim. Again extra-time was required to separate the two sides.

Many had fancied Magherafelt who have top class people like Kevin McSorley and Gary Mallon in and around the set-up but while they showed plenty of heart they fell just short after a titanic battle to a brilliant Ballingarry side. 

Meanwhile in the Connacht GAA Centre on Sunday, Ballymahon VS comfortably saw off the challenge of Sancta Maria College, Louisburgh with a comprehensive nine point victory.

What more could one ask for on the opening weekend of the All-Ireland series. It sets up us nicely for the remainder of the competitions with further enthralling encounters to come over the next month.




07-03-2015 (Sat)

Masita GAA All-Ireland Post Primary Schools Cusack Cup (SH 'C')




Ballyhaunis Community School




Roscrea Cistercian College


Referee:  Damian Fox



St Declans Kilmacthomas




St Louis Grammar School Ballymena



Referee:  Kevin Brady

Masita GAA All-Ireland Post Primary Schools Rice Cup (SF 'D')




Ballingarry Presentation Secondary




Magherafelt NRC



Referee:  Noel Mc Kenna

08-03-2015 (Sun)

Connacht GAA Centre


Ballymahon Vocational School




Sancta Maria Louisburgh



Referee:  Marty Parker