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Senior Gaelic Final in Croke Park

St. Patrick’s Final Finals Effort Just Falls Short.

 

The St. Patrick’s Senior GAA team’s journey came to a disappointing end today in the majestic surrounds of Croke Park. A valiant effort was given from the boys in yellow and blue that, in the end, was not enough to secure a victory. Up against a well drilled St. Attractas outfit and playing on a smaller pitch, it was always going to be difficult for the St. Pats boys, but they did their school proud nonetheless.

First Half

A nervous start from both teams led to a number of early wides. With both teams struggling to adjust to the narrow field, we saw many handling errors and footballs kicked out over the sideline. Pats got the scoring underway with Paul Daly pointing in the first minute after great work from Ollie Lyons. St. Attractas opened their account soon after with a monster free from the midfielder No. 8. Another remarkable score, from a sideline kick, edged Attractas into the lead for the first time. Some great defending from Ultán Harney and Jamie McCarville set up Daly on an attacking run. After Daly was fouled, Jack Burke knocked over the resulting free. Both teams rattled each other’s crossbar, with Liam Fay coming close for the Drumcondra side and more excellent defending from Harney protecting the Pat’s net. A ’45 from Attractas edged them in front once again, leaving the score at 0-2 to 0-3 after 11 minutes of action.

A break won by Davin Downes set Marcus O’Sullivan on a surging run down the right touchline. After drawing two defenders to him, he managed to get his pass away to Seán Stone. Stone beat one more defender, before finishing from an acute angle to level matters. Pats edged in front again with a well worked goal from Liam Fay. Some fine interplay between Kelly and Burke teed up Fay, who finished emphatically into the top corner – much to the delight of the Pats supporters. However, some great defending from Daniel Grennan was not enough to stop Attractas striking for a goal of their own soon after.

With Kieron Kelly dominating the midfield, Pats were never short of possession. A great score from the captain, meant that Pats took the lead once more. Worryingly, Attractas had the ball in the Pats net soon after, but thankfully it was ruled out due to a throw ball. The game was level again on the 19th minute with impressive no. 8 scoring for the Dundrum side. Great work from Kelly provided Daly with a goal opportunity, but his effort was agonisingly wide. To make matters worse, two quickfire points from Attracta’s dangerous corner (no.13) forward saw the Dundrum side take a two point advantage going in at the break – St. Patricks 1-4 St. Attractas 1-6

Second Half

Unfortunately for Pats, the second half did not begin as they would have liked. Two points in quick succession meant that St. Attractas had built up a commanding four point lead. Whereas at the other end, St. Patricks couldn’t capitalise on good work from their forwards - Stone, Fay and Ryan Fitzgerald all coming close. Daniel Day and Adrian Neville stifled a few of the St. Atrratcta’s’ attacks, helping to keep their side within four points. A freekick from Jack Burke opened the St. Patricks account for the second half. This preceded three scores in a row from St. Attractas. Pats had plenty of possession during this period but found the Dundrum defence increasingly harder to break down. But, with Kelly and McCarville leading the way, the Pats boys rallied for three scores of their own, all courtesy of Jack Burke.

With the game very much in the balance, another sideline kick from the deadly accurate no. 8, set St. Atrractas off on another scoring run. A point from play followed that score and then in the 14th minute, they struck for the killer blow! A super save from Declan Murphy cruelly landed at the feet of an opposing player, who finished into the empty net. With the Pats confidence and moral at a low, some fresh legs in the form of Adam Bolger, Jamie Sweeney, John McGrath, Jack Robertson, Finn Noble and Ruairí Falls were brought on in an attempt so give the boys a boost – the ‘five-way swing’ as Mr Duffy called it. Cue a mini St. Pats revival.

Down by 8 points and with 9 minutes left, a point by substitute Adam Bolger gave the Pats boys a glimmer of hope. That glimmer became a glow soon after, as Paul Daly by some means, managed to squeeze the ball into the Attracta’s net, through a wall of blue jerseys. The Dundrum side attempted to quell the recovery with a point of their own, but the momentum was now well and truly flowing with the Pats side. The aforementioned glow turned into a bright light, when Finn Noble’s shot smashed through the crowed goal and into the top corner – sparking wild celebrations amongst the Pats support. Two points down with three minutes to play, the Pats boys again won the ensuing kickout. Great work from Burke and Kelly teed up Noble again. Side stepping two defenders he unleashed an almighty shot that rattled the Croke Park crossbar and sailed over.

Needing to win another kickout, a mad scramble ensued in the middle of the pitch, but regrettably this saw Attractas emerge with the ball. Their attack broke down and ended up with a sideline ball near the endline. Up stepped the St Attracta’s no.8 who coolly dispatched the kick from an almost impossible angle. The impressive kick put an end to the St. Patricks fightback and saw the final whistle blown from the subsequent kickout. Heartbreak for the Drumconrda boys, whose gallant effort just fell short on the scoreline of 3-10 to 2-15.

A fantastic showcase for Gaeilc football – Goals, free-taking, blocks, saves and high catches along with drama and excitement. St. Pats can be extremely proud of how they performed on the day. Each player contributed to an excellent team performance. Unfortunately, they came up against a brilliant team who had plenty of match winners in their side too. Pats showed great spirit, character and determination during the match, and were a credit to their hardworking coaches Mr. Duffy and Mr. Moore.

Always remember - ‘We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success’

Team

Declan Murphy, Daniel Grennan, Daniel Day,Ultán Harney,Davin Downes, Jamie McCarville, Adrian Neville, Liam Fay (1-0), Kieron Kelly (0-1), Paul Daly (1-2), Jack Burke (0-5, 5F), Marcus O’Suillivan, Ollie Lyons, Seán Stone (0-1), Ryan Fitzgerald(1-0), Adam Bolger (0-1), John McGrath, Jamie Sweeney, Jack Robertson, Ruairí Falls, Finn Noble (1-1)