ST. PETER’S COLLEGE 4-13 DUBLIN SOUTH 1-8
St Peter's sauntered away with the Top Oil Leinster Post Primary Senior 'A' Hurling league title with a comprehensive victory over Dublin South Schools in Bray Emmets on Thursday afternoon.
The Summerhill boys were locked in a tough battle in the opening half and led by just a single point at the break but they motored on after the resumption to take the title with more than a little to spare.
League crowns may not come with the same sheen as championships but that didn't matter for St Peter's. At the end of the day there are just two hurling titles for Leinster 'A' schools to win and St Peter's now own one.
They clearly wanted to put down a marker with everything still to play for in the championship and did it by smothering out their Dublin opposition. While impressive anyway, a couple of things probably prevented this from being a complete rout.
The Wexford school got very little change from referee Alan Lagrue in the opening half, 'interesting' decisions cost them at least three points and another team may have gotten frustrated as things snowballed against them.
St Peter's also seemed to take a little while to get to grips with the Astro on which they were playing. The surface is quick, much quicker than winter mud and it takes a little adjusting, and proved a bit of a leveller in those early exchanges.
Still, the Wexford town school knew what they wanted to do. In squalid conditions, they didn't succumb to the territorial game, instead they looked to work ball into the forwards and the inside trio were rarely behind their men in a race to clever feeds into space.
Shooting accuracy was also an issue in the first quarter as the Dublin group eased into a 0-3 to nil lead with the aid of a couple of Ciaran Foley dead-balls and a Jack Kelly effort. There was zero sense of panic from St Peter's and Conor Mahony got them on the board in the 12th minute.
After hot shot Zac Firman closed the deficit to one, St Peter's had a great chance to go ahead. Tomás Murphy initially looked set to pull to the net, he failed to make solid connection and when David Codd took possession he was hooked just as he was about to dispatch past Joe Murray.
Despite getting themselves on top on the balance of play, St Peter's were still 0-5 to 0-4 down after points from Dylan O'Neill and Firman. However, when the latter batted succulently to the net from Mahony's ball across the face of goal they took a lead they would never surrender.
Firman almost added a carbon copy major late in the half, this time his effort was saved but Codd converted the resulting '65 and they eventually went in at the break with a 1-5 to 0-7 advantage.
The second half was far more one-sided. It helped than Firman pulled home his second major within two minutes after clubmate Diarmuid O'Leary's effort was initially blocked. Codd, Firman and Shane Walsh kept the scoreboard ticking over as St Peter's led 2-10 to 0-8 at the end of the third quarter.
With eight minutes left the Wexford school wrapped up the game when Codd got the goal his performance deserved. Four minutes later it was the turn of substitute Rory Devereux to get in on the act, batting home from overhead to make it 4-12 to 0-8.
Jack Kelly did pull home a late consolation goal for South Dublin but it didn't dampen the St Peter's celebrations in teeming rain, with captain Conor Mahony collecting the wooden league trophy on behalf of his victorious team.
ST PETER'S COLLEGE: Cian Byrne (St Mary's, Rosslare); Robbie Hillis (Glynn-Barntown), Jack O'Leary (St Fintan's), Conor Kehoe (Faythe Harriers); Justin Moran (St Anne's), Conor Kelly (St Martin's), Shane Walsh (St Martin's, 0-1); Conor Mahony (Glynn-Barntown, 0-1), Dylan O'Neill (Shelmaliers, 0-1); Conor Devereux (St Martin's), Billy Dunne (Oulart-The Ballagh), Diarmuid O'Leary (St Martin's); Tomás Murphy (Blackwater, 0-1), Zac Firman (St Martin's, 2-3), David Codd (St Martin's, 1-6, 4 frees, 1 '65). Subs. - David Cantwell (St Martin's) for Dunne (31), Luke Kavanagh (St Martin's) for C. Devereux (31), Liam Cassin (Faythe Harriers) for O'Neill (45), Rory Devereux (St Martin's, 1-0) for Hillis (47), Conor Stafford (St Martin's) for Firman (53).
DUBLIN SOUTH: Joe Murray; Joe Kenny, Conor Burke, Daniel Ryan; Dylan Byrne, Adam Waddick, Ferghal Kilbane (0-1 free); Ciaran Hogan (0-1), Davy Crowe; Sam Stewart, Jack Kelly (1-1), Charlie Kerr; Conor English, Ciaran Foley (0-5, 2 frees, 2 '65s), Adam Drewett. Subs. - Hugh O'Sullivan for Foley (31), Conor Nolan for English (31), Bryan Keogh for Stewart (40), Liam Mostyn for Drewett (41), Dara Byrne for Kenny (43).
REFEREE: Alan Lagrue (Kildare)