Counsel claim another scalp
Depleted Juniors advance
The bright sun that hung over Stradbally certainly shone on Good Counsel as they demolished this Moate C.S. challenge with an excellent display of attacking football in this Leinster Post-Primary Schools Junior 'A' championship semi-final on Friday.
Good Counsel 3-13 - Moate C.S. 1-9
Good Counsel may have been forced to play without two of their top-quality players, Thomas O'Connor and Eoin Porter, who were both on Irish international soccer duty in Holland, but the team rose to the challenge and turned in a performance that the opposition simply could not deal with.
Through the opening ten minutes, Good Counsel and Jamie Myler in particular laid the foundation for this victory as they swept into a 1-3 to 0-1 lead despite playing into the breeze. After Myler and Seán Pettitt had exchanged opening points, the St. James' attacker followed with a further left-footed point, before crashing home a ninth-minute penalty after Rory Higgins was fouled as he moved in on goal.
Myler in particular shone in the opening sunshine, as he tapped over a free for good measure, with all of his side's early scoring coming from the trusty left boot of the dangerous forward.
When Seán Nolan found the net at the end of the opening quarter, increasing his side's lead to 2-3 to 0-1, it looked as if it was going to be a cruise for the New Ross college. However, in the second quarter Moate began to haul themselves back into the game with full-forward Robert Forde crashing home a superb 24th-minute goal after combining with Seán Farrell, a score that left just four points separating the sides (2-5 to 1-4) at the interval.
After the break Moate opened with a flourish as Jake Fanning stormed through for a point straight from the throw-in, while Robert Forde followed immediately with a pointed free to leave just two separating the sides.
Good Counsel had built some promising attacks before two points from the excellent Luke Sinnott, who was the ideal targetman all through, helped to steady the side as they gradually took back the initiative. Having once again found their feet in midfield where Darragh Lyons was the dominant figure, along with an excellent half-back line of Gavin Sheehan, Sam Wall and Richard Gill, they once again began to drive forward with excellently-executed attacking football.
With centre-forward Seán Nolan lofting over two points, one a fine 40-metre free, along with a splendid Darragh Lyons effort from midfield, they stretched into a 2-9 to 1-6 lead. Despite the best efforts of Moate they were unable to break down the eventual winners' defence, so it was no surprise that the game's next goal came the way of the Good Counsel boys.
Jamie Myler gained possession some 40 metres from goal and lofted in a high ball close to the crossbar that 'keeper Jordan Newton could only block out into the path of the inrushing Seán Nolan, and he calmly stabbed a low ball to the net. That score just about summed up the dominance of the Good Counsel side who, once given a sniff of victory, went on to control the game for most of the 60 minutes.
Good Counsel: Darragh O'Connor; James O'Shea, Mark O'Neill, Jack Walsh; Gavin Sheehan, Sam Wall, Richard Gill; Andy Walsh, Darragh Lyons (0-1); Rory Higgins (0-2), Seán Nolan (2-2, 0-1 free), Richard Hennessy; Jamie Myler (1-4, 1-0 pen.), Luke Sinnott (0-4), Jimmy Sutton.
Moate C.S.: Jordan Newton; David Mullins, Rory Asple, Charlie Parker; Seán Clinton, Kieran Hartnett, Paul Gorman; Daniel Heavin (0-1), Jake Fanning (0-2); Harry Cornally, David Fleming (0-3, 1 free), Lorcan Daly; Seán Pettitt (0-1), Robert Forde (1-2, 0-1 free), Seán Farrell. Subs. - Ronan McLoughlin for Farrell, Páraic Geoghegan for Fanning, black card (57).
Referee: Brendan Hickey (Kildare).