Coláiste Ailigh into All-Ireland final in thrillerMarch 07, 2018
Masita Br Edmund Ignatius Rice Cup All-Ireland football semi-final
Coláiste Ailigh Letterkenny 5-8 Coláiste na Trócaire, Rathkeale 4-8
The footballers of Coláiste Ailigh Letterkenny can certainly put their management and supporters through the ringer towards the end of a championship game.
In the Danske Bank O’Doherty Cup final they hit 2-1 in the last four minutes to snatch victory from the jaws of imminent defeat and it was much more dramatic in Abbottstown yesterday afternoon as they clawed their way back from a 3-5 to 0-5 deficit with just seven minutes left to force extra-time in the Masita Br Edmund Ignatius Rice Cup All-Ireland semi-final with Coláiste na Trocaire Rathkeele.
The Limerick school led narrowly at the break, a goal from impressive centre-forward Eoin Kelly putting them in at 1-3 to 0-4.
Letterkenny had a strong spell during the third quarter, but could only raise a single point through Rónán Mac Gaoithin. Then the game seemed to drift away from the Ulster champions when they conceded two further goals to full-forward Ronan Kelly.
However everything changed when Seán Mac an Ultaigh fired in a 53rd minute goal. It lifted his side and Eoin Mac Gaoithin added two more goals to bring the teams to extra time.
The momentum was now firmly with the Donegal side and they grabbed 2-2 during the first half of extra time with Seán Ó Braoin stroking home a penalty after five minutes. Eoin MacGaoithin brought his personal tally to 3-3 with a goal just before the turnover.
Rathkeale upped their game after the break to put Coláiste Ailigh on the defensive, but half-backs Oisín Mac Gairbheith and Dónal Ó Uiginn stood up to the challenge well supported by Conor Mac Meanmain, Diarmuid Ó Cathail and Seán Mac An Ultaigh.
Although they conceded a goal to Eoin Kelly, Rónán Mac Gaoithin tagged on a point and Coláiste Ailigh held out to reach a first ever national final on March 24th.
Coláiste Ailigh : Eoin Mac Gaoithin 3-3, 0-1 free, Seán Ó Braoin 1-1, 1-0 pen., Seán Mac An Ultaigh 1-0, Rónán Mac Gaoithin 0-3, Diarmuid Ó Cathail 0-1.
Coláiste na Trócaire : Eoin Kelly 2-5, 0-3 frees, Ronan Kelly 2-1, Ciaran Sheehan 0-2.