Dream season continues for St Ronan’s

March 28, 2018

St Ronan’s Lurgan 2-10 Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne 1-10
From Kevin Kelly in Abbottstown, Dublin
The St Ronan’s success story shows no signs of letting up after they secured a brilliant Hogan Cup semi-final win over a fancied Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne side at Abbottstown yesterday afternoon.
Having won a maiden Danske Bank MacRory Cup title on St Patrick’s Day they have now turned their attentions to a first All-Ireland title at this level and based on this display who’s to say they can’t achieve that.
The management team of Mickey Donnelly, David Wilson and Colin fagan had their side very well prepared for this test against Eamon Fitzmaurice’s charges with their start proving vital.
Despite playing against the wind they had established a five point lead by the 10th minute with Rioghan Meehan smashing in an outstanding goal. The Kerry lads were shocked but they turned things around to lead by the minimum at the break.
After stretching that advantage to two they looked to be in a good place but St Ronan’s then hit 1-3 without reply with outstanding midfielder Tiernan Kelly taking his personal haul to 0-5 and substitute Josh Megoran bagging a 52nd minute goal.
That put them four clear and while it proved to be their last score of the game they did enough to keep their opponents at bay with a hardworking and disciplined display throughout their side.
Kelly opened the scoring with an outstanding effort from out on the left wing before centre half-forward Adam Loughran split the posts. Ruaidhri Ó Beaglaoich got the Kerry lads up and running from a 13m free but it was St Ronan’s who were the better side.
Loughran exchanged passes with Eoin McConville to point again before Meehan fired into the top left hand corner of the net in the 9th minute. Cathal Feirtéar and Deividas Uosis closed the gap before Ruairi McConville made it 1-4 to 0-3 at the end of the opening quarter.
Ó Beaglaoich pointed again before St Ronan’s had a let off when a shot from centre half-forward Cillian Ó Failbhe came back off the crossbar. Ó Beaglaoich and Kelly exchanged points before the Munster champions drew level in the 27th minute when Dylan Ó Geibheannaigh fired to the net after collecting a quick free from Ó Beaglaoich.
Ó Beaglaoich then put them in front for the first time and he had the final say of the half as well but sandwiched in between Kelly scored again to leave it 1-7 to 1-6 at the interval.
Ruairi McConville levelled matters early in the second half but Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne responded through Ó Beaglaoich and Ó Geibheannaigh to move two clear.
Eoin McConville knocked over a free before Kelly punched the equaliser going into the final quarter. St Ronan’s had their tails up and Kelly’s fifth point of the game in the 49th minute gave them a lead that they were never to lose.
Three minutes later and St Ronan’s got in for a decisive second goal when Meehan and McConville combined for substitute Megoran to find the net. The Kerry side then lost influential midfielder Franz Sauerland to injury to leave them up against it as they fought to keep their Hogan title dreams alive.
They exerted pressure on the Lurgan defence but the winners stood tall with full back Aidan Mulholland making one crucial interception in particular. Uosis closed the gap to a single score but that point came two minutes into injury time and when the final whistle sounded moments later, this superb St Ronan’s side had claimed another notable scalp in this historic season.
St Ronan’s Lurgan: L Mulholland, E McCluskey, A Mulholland, J Haddock, A McCreanor, J Lamont, J Haughey, J Lenehan, T Kelly (0-5, 1f), O Smyth, A Loughran (0-2), R Meehan (1-0), R McConville (0-2), L Monteiro, E McConville (0-1, 1F).
Subs: J Megoran (1-0) for Monteiro, C Magee for R McConville, M McAfee for Smyth
Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne: E Ó Brosnachain, C Ó Flannura, T Ó Dubháin, Colin Ó Muircheartaigh, Colm Ó Muircheartaigh, G Ó Leidhinn, P Ó Cathalláin, F Sauerland, J Aghas, N Ó Geibheannaigh, C Ó Failbhe, D Uosis (0-2), D Ó Geibheannaigh (1-1), C Feirtear (0-1), R Ó Beaglaoich (0-6, 5f):
Subs: C Ó Catháin for Sauerland, S Ó Moóráin for N Ó Geibheannaigh
Referee: B Conway, Kildare