Super F.C.J. show
Sensational F.C.J. Bunclody dominated the middle portion of their clash with Coláiste Iosagáin in MW Hire Park, Dunmore, on Tuesday to claim the South Leinster Post Primary Schools Junior 'B' football championship title.
F.C.J. (Bunclody) 1-16 Coláiste Iosagáin 0-8
Trailing by 0-5 to 0-3 after 22 minutes, the county Wexford school out-scored their opponents by 1-13 to 0-2 in the next 21 minutes to completely take control and solidify their hold on the winners' shield.
Such a barrage of scores can only be possible when every facet of a team is flowing in unison and each individual cog is at the top of its game. That was certainly the case for Bunclody who were purring from back to front.
In defence, the few yards of space Portarlington had manufactured to build an early lead evaporated and the back seven were superb. That dominance began to seep into kick-outs as the half-back line started to sweep behind a dominant midfield duo of Cillian Redmond and Peadar Cowman to help manufacture attack after attack.
The front six were a well-oiled machine. Making intelligent runs and almost always taking the right option, five of the six scored while Edward Dunbar, the only one not to register, was excellent in the build-up, contributing with several assists.
Maybe it was some early nerves that contributed to a slow start by F.C.J. Eddie Black did open the scoring but four points in a row left Coláiste Iosagáin leading by 0-4 to 0-1 after eleven minutes.
Despite another two Black points, Bunclody still trailed by 0-5 to 0-3 as the game moved into the 23rd minute. Then they started to click as six points in as many minutes gave the champions a 0-9 to 0-6 lead.
Three of those points came directly from balls won from kick-outs by Niall Murphy, Seán Bookey and Cillian Redmond as Brian Lambert (two), Daniel Ging, Ciarán Kavanagh and Sebastian Pim did the scoring.
Most teams in such a rich vein of form would have cursed the break coming at such an inopportune moment, but F.C.J. didn't let the cooling off period affect the way they were moving the ball - with quick kick-passes into forwards that were constantly winning the one-on-ones.
Oisín Murphy did convert a 33rd-minute free for Portarlington but Eddie Black had already increased the Bunclody lead by then. For ten minutes after that Murphy point, the Laois school struggled to get out of their own half.
Peadar Cowman started another run of scores for the Bunclody boys that also saw Pim, Ging, Lambert (two) and Black all register to ease their school clear by 0-16 to 0-7.
If there were any doubts about the destination of the trophy at that stage, they were extinguished when Eddie Black's point attempt was batted down by goalkeeper Jack Whelan into the path of Sebastian Pim who found the net with a tidy finish.
Colin Slevin's 45th-minute free for Portarlington ended up being the final score. The last quarter passed fairly uneventfully as Bunclody comfortably hung on to the lead they had built and their opponents went for goals that the defence was never close to conceding.
After this big win, the Bunclody school will fancy their chances in the provincial decider against the winner of the delayed North Leinster championship.
F.C.J. (Bunclody): James Lawler; Robert Murphy, Adam Hogan, Byron Byrne; Niall Murphy, Liam McGill, Seán Bookey; Cillian Redmond, Peadar Cowman (capt., 0-1); Ciarán Kavanagh (0-1), Brian Lambert (0-4), Eddie Black (0-6, 2 frees); Sebastian Pim (1-2), Edward Dunbar, Daniel Ging (0-2). Subs. - Matthew Ging for D. Ging (60), Kevin Kenny for Pim (60+2), also Robert St. Ledger, Kevin Mulhall, John McCormack, Michael Kinsella, J.P. Farrell, Gearóid Doyle, Daniel Farrell, James Byrne, Paddy O'Hagan, Seán Kirwan, Peter Kelly, Adam Gethings, Barry Doyle, Cian Cowman, Cathal Dunbar, Mikey Furlong, Jack Regan, Cathal Lambert, George Kenny, Alan Doyle, Michael McGinty, Johnny Sinnott, Ben Kidd, Garrett O'Connor, Seán McLoughlin, Aaron Dobbs, Seamus Doyle, Daithí Medcalf, Jamie Roban, Niall Hickey, Darragh Kinsella.
Coláiste Iosagáin: Jack Whelan; Graeme Byrne, Seán Evans, Glen Hassett; Eoghan Fitzgerald, Alex Mohan (capt.), Cian Lawlor-Murphy; Curtis Lyons-Carroll, Seán Corcoran; Colin Slevin (0-3, 2 frees), Mark Barry (0-1), Oisín Murphy (0-2); Cian Doyle, Alan Kinsella (0-2), Tom Kelly. Subs. - Adam O'Sullivan for Doyle (29), Aaron Healy for Corcoran (41), Matthew Byron for Kelly (45), Cathal Bennett for Byrne (48), Warren Carroll for Slevin, inj. (51), Conor Storey for Lawlor-Murphy, inj. (60).
Referee: Pat Kehoe (Carlow).