St. Peter's pipped as stunning fightback comes up short
A stunning St Peter's fightback was rebuffed by a dogged St Mary's (Edenderry) side in the South Leinster Post Primary Schools Junior 'A' football championship final in Eire Óg, Carlow.
St. Mary's (E'Derry) 1-9 St. Peter's 2-5
The Summerhill boys got off to a poor start and trailed 0-4 to nil after 22 minutes, but slowly kicked into gear and dominated the middle segment of the game.
Indeed, two moments of drama in the final ten minutes seemed to swing the momentum their way for good.
When Brian Deeney pointed in the 49th minute, St Peter's closed to within two at 1-7 to 1-5 down. However, their hopes looked to be fading when Brian Milmoe was fouled close to goal and Cian Farrell had the opportunity to kill off the Wexford school from the penalty spot.
Things changed when Matthew Duffy dived low to his right to save Milmoe's effort, and St Peter's broke up field and retained possession for a few phases. Eventually Jack Devereux off-loaded to Ross Banville who had the space to shoot, and his effort dropped short but into the grateful hands of Dylan Lyne. The Glynn-Barntown club player took on Aaron O'Neill and netted.
Suddenly, with six minutes left, St Peter's had their first lead (2-5 to 1-7). That was as good as it got for the Wexford lads though as Ger Cunningham and Cian Farrell pointed late frees and a flurry of last-gasp activity around the St Mary's goal couldn't produce a levelling point.
Earlier, Edenderry flew out of the blocks. They looked full value for their tag of favourites as a physically imposing 15 dictated the tempo in the opening quarter. Conor McCarthy scored the first three points for his side and when Farrell added a free the gap was four.
In the early exchanges a speculative effort from Jack Devereux had come mighty close to crossing the St Mary's line after coming down off the crossbar, but St Peter's did eventually get their opening minor from Dylan Lyne, after excellent inter-change with Michael Carroll, in the 23rd minute.
The score only served to re-ignite the Edenderry fire and they broke forward a minute later with Adao Dafe finding Gary Farrell who swung a cross-field ball to Aaron Mills. He cut in from the left wing and dispatched a stunning finish to the roof of Duffy's rigging.
Traded frees between Devereux and Farrell seemed set to leave St Mary's comfortable heading in at the break, but when Ross Banville darted in behind their defence and slotted past O'Neill deep into added-time it was the perfect fillip for his side (1-5 to 1-2).
Liam O'Connor nailed a free for St Peter's within three minutes of the resumption but points from Milmoe and Farrell meant St Mary's held a 1-7 to 1-3 advantage after 40 minutes.
The Wexford school responded superbly and played some excellent football, with O'Connor and Deeny kicking them within two.
The momentum continued to grow in St Peter's favour as they took the lead into the last five minutes, but it wasn't to be as Edenderry played their best football of the half when it mattered most to snatch victory and a Leinster final place after a titanic struggle.
St Peter's: Matthew Duffy; Michael Codd, Cian Meyler, Mark Power; Conall Clancy, Ben Maddock, Mick Curran; Adam Cantwell, Brian Deeny (0-1); Michael Carroll, Dylan Lyne (1-1), Darragh Nolan; Ross Banville (1-0), Liam O'Connor (0-2 frees), Jack Devereux (0-1 free). Subs. (not used) - Jack Butler, Eoin O'Neill, Philip Dempsey, Conall O Crúalaoích, Adam McLoughlin, Matthew Banville, Ben Stafford, Shane Doyle, Liam Berry, Luke Codd, David Pettitt, Conor Clarke, John Winters, Sam Audsley, Cormac Cooney, Adam Hearne, Andrew Harrington, Cillian Gahan, Garbhain McCormack, Aaron Breen.
St Mary's: Aaron O'Neill; Adao Dafe, Ciarán Holton, Cathal Farrell; Richie Coffey, Brian Milmoe (0-1), Seán Bannon; Gary Farrell, Mark Grehan; Cian Farrell (0-4, 3 frees), Ger Cunningham (0-1 free), Aaron Mills (1-0); Ollie Gill, James Carey, Conor McCarthy (0-3). Subs. - Seán Coffey for Gill (31), Conor Maher for Mills (49).
Referee: Pat Kehoe (Carlow).