Good Counsel emerge after three thrilling encounters
Good Counsel produced their own perfect ending to their Top Oil Leinster Post Primary Senior A Football championship second round trilogy in perfect conditions at Carlow COE, Fenagh on Saturday afternoon last.
Good Counsel 2-13 Scoil Dara 2-12 (AET)
They were given plenty of scares along the way.
The New Ross boys were never led in normal time. In fact, it wasn't until three minutes into added-time, at the end of the first period of extra-time, that substitute Emmett Coakley delivered the critical blow.
His side trailed 2-9 to 1-11 when Coakley produced the magical finish. Moments after Shane Walsh kicked Kilcock into the lead for the seventh time in the contest, there was a prolonged break in overtime after Darragh Lyons and Adam Murphy collided head-on.
Tellingly, the talismanic Lyons was just back on the field when his side broke into the Scoil Dara half. It looked like the chance had gone until Luke Sinnott won possession back, fed Coakley breaking through the heart of the Kilcock defence and the Graiguenamanagh man placed the perfect finish high past Fionn Talbot.
The goal might not have been the winning of the game, but for a side who had never led, and were level for just fourteen of the previous 73 minutes, it was a major fillip. They would not fall behind again.
Scoil Dara, who proved their steel in the previous games, battled back to level at 2-11 each after 72 minutes. However, scores from Richard Hennessy and Jamie Myler gave Good Counsel a two-point advantage with time ticking away.
Dean Hosey halved the deficit with a booming free but Good Counsel survived a full two minutes of pressure football to book their last eight place after three hard-fought, memorable ties.
Earlier, Kilcock had the better of the opening half, building a 1-4 to 0-4 interval advantage. The impressive Ethan Devine hit the net for the Kildare school but points from Sinnott (2), Myler and Donal Porter kept Good Counsel in touch.
A blitz after the resumption saw the Ross school draw level. Myler and Lyons notched from play while Porter, who would become a real weapon from dead-balls as the half wore on, kicked a free from the left of goal with his right peg.
When Adam Murphy fired Kilcock a goal ahead at the end of the third quarter, it seemed a long way back for the County Wexford school.
They were blessed to survive a ping-pong in their goalmouth in the 49th minute with Murphy, Cormac Divilly and Devine all having chances of putting the tie to bed.
It was game-on five minutes from time when St James' star Myler executed the perfect one-two with Sinnott. Breaking in on goal, the Good Counsel attacker produced the finish to match, high past Fionn Talbot (2-7 to 1-9).
Still trailing by one, Porter levelled with a free, then the Wexford Youths player held his nerve in stoppage time and responded to a Luke Kelly point to send the game into two 10-minute extra-time periods.
From there Good Counsel eventually got themselves ahead courtesy of Coakley's goal and were able to hold on to their lead in the end. Next up for the New Ross school is an intriguing quarter-final tie against Colaiste Mhuire, Mullingar with a last four clash with Moate awaiting the victor.
Good Counsel: Fionn Slattery; Eamonn O'Sullivan, Darragh O'Connor, Cathal O'Connor; Richard Hennessy (0-1), Eoin Porter (0-6 frees), Diarmuid Kehoe; Darragh Lyons (capt, 0-1), Thomas Ryan; Sean Nolan, Jamie Myler (1-3, 0-2 frees), Eric Cummins; Luke Sinnott (0-2), Oisin Knox, Sam Wall. Subs. - Jamie Wallace for Kehoe (13), Emmett Coakley (1-0) for Cummins (31), Danny Murphy for C. O'Connor (51), D. Kehoe for Murphy (57), Jim Ryan for Lyons, temp (69-70+1).
Scoil Dara: Fionn Talbot; Jack Bruton, Daniel Devine, Lee Loughnane; Conor Harnan (capt.), Cormac Divilly, Matt Brennan; Ciaran Smyth, Shane Walsh (0-3 frees); Luke Kelly (0-2), Conor Frayne (0-1), Ethan Devine (1-3, 0-2 frees); Adam Murphy (1-1), Sean Martin, Dean Hosey. Subs. - Oran Smullen for Hosey (47), D. Hosey (0-2, 1 free) for Murphy, inj (69), Tim McCarthy for Loughnane (78).
Referee: Seamus Mulhare (Laois)