Friday 20 July 2018

Twenty-five years have elapsed since sole crown

Alan Aherne

A victory for St. Peter's College on Friday would bridge a 25-year gap since their sole previous success in the Leinster Senior football 'A' championship, now sponsored by Top Oil.

Back in 1992, they were involved in a marathon campaign en route to provincial glory, guided by mentors Mick Caulfield, Mick Keane and Fr. Jim Butler.

The team had displayed plenty of progress in the pre-championship competitions, capturing the Keevans Cup before adding the South Leinster league with a resounding 3-12 to 0-4 final victory over Knockbeg College from Carlow.

The main event began with another handy win, this time over St. Finian's of Mullingar by 4-14 to 0-4 in Ballylinan, Co. Laois. However, it required three matches, including extra-time in the first replay, before Marist (Athlone) were overcome in round two.

After an 0-11 each draw in Athy, the next two encounters were in Ballylinan where a 4-7 to 2-13 deadlock was followed by a 1-8 to 1-7 victory for Peter's.

A third Westmeath team, Mullingar C.B.S., lost the quarter-final by 2-7 to 1-5, also in Ballylinan, before Tullamore C.B.S. were beaten by 3-8 to 2-8 in the penultimate round at the same venue.

The latter win was achieved at a significant cost though, as Michael Pitt (St. Martin's) and Eugene Furlong (Glynn-Barntown) suffered serious injuries and joined Ciarán Roche (Glynn-Barntown), laid low by illness, on the list of key players unavailable for the Leinster final.

Carlow was the venue for the clash against a Portarlington C.B.S. side powered by Hugh Emerson with his distinctive flowing locks. It was a tight affair, with a fisted goal from Eoin O'Neill the key score as St. Peter's made history with a 1-9 to 1-8 victory.

The triumphant team was: Declan Bolger (Shelmaliers); Darragh Byrne (Glynn-Barntown), Darragh Ryan (St. Anne's), Fergal Kelly (HWH-Bunclody); Paddy Crosbie (Kilmore, capt.), Feidhlim McGillycuddy (Shelmaliers), Rory McCarthy (St. Martin's); Kenneth Lacey (Monageer-Boolavogue), Philip Dowdall (Faythe Harriers H.C., 0-1); John Hassey (Davidstown-Courtnacuddy), Tomás Kavanagh (Duffry Rovers, 0-1), Declan Crummey (St. Mary's, Rosslare); Enda Newport (St. Fintan's, 0-3), Eoin O'Neill (St. Mary's, Rosslare, 1-2), John Foley (Sarsfields, 0-2). Subs. - Pádraig McGillycuddy (Shelmaliers) for Ryan, inj., also Bryan O'Leary (Arklow Geraldines), William Codd (St. Fintan's), Mark Nunan (Fethard), Shane O'Loughlin (Aughrim), Colm Callery (St. Mary's, Rosslare).

The subsequent All-Ireland semi-final against St. Brendan's of Killarney in Clonmel was a classic high-scoring encounter. The Kerry side, powered by the brilliance of centre-back Seamus Moynihan who was in his first year as an inter-county Senior, won by 3-10 to 3-8 and went on to defeat St. Jarlath's of Tuam by 0-9 to 0-5 to capture the Hogan Cup.

St. Peter's also lost the finals of 1951 (to St. Mel's of Longford by 1-8 to 0-3), 1953 (to St. Finian's of Mullingar by 6-12 to 1-4), 1986 (to St. David's of Artane by 0-7 to 0-4), 1994 (to St. Mel's by 3-11 to 1-5), 1995 (to Good Counsel by 1-11 to 1-6 after a 1-8 each draw), and 1996 (again to Good Counsel by 2-10 to 1-6).

Wexford People

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