Knockbeg College 5-14 Colaiste Eoin (Dublin) 2-14
Top Oil Leinster School’s Junior ‘A’ Football Championship Semi Final
There really is no stopping these young footballers from Knockbeg who simply never know when they are beaten.
Following a topsy-turvy affair in Blessington this afternoon, Knockbeg College U-16s have a Leinster final to look forward to after they came back from behind on more than one occasions to see off Dublin champions Colaiste Eoin.
The side, manager by Laois senior football captain Stephen Attride and Conor Ronan, had a number of fine performances today but St Joseph’s ace Oisin Hooney was the ace in the pack.
He scored two great goals in the first half and another in extra time to see Knockbeg emerge victorious.
In glorious conditions, Knockbeg started well with a Fionn Bergin free but the men from the capital hit back emphatically – scoring 1-3 without reply.
Oisin Byrne and Colin Dunne edged Knockbeg back into the game before Hooney levelled things up with a great goal following a trademark solo run.
But Colaiste Eoin weren’t phased at seeing their lead evaporate and they scored the next 1-4 in the game to go seven points ahead.
Knockbeg responded with points from Bryan McMahon, Oisin Doyle, Hooney and Ian Shanahan narrow the deficit to 2-7 to 1-7 at half time.
Colaiste Eoin extended their lead on the resumption of play but Knockbeg were level moments later when Bryan McMahon grabbed his first goal and that was followed by an Ian Shanahan point.
Hooney and Fionn Bergin put Knockbeg ahead for the first time since the opening minute with 50 minutes on the clock but Colaiste Eoin scored the next two points to go ahead as the game ticked into the final few seconds.
But Knockbeg refused to be beaten and Colin Dunne popped up to grab the equalising point to make it 2-11 apiece at the end of normal time.
Knockbeg’s superior fitness told in extra time as despite the unseasonably warm conditions, they finished with plenty of energy.
Bryan McMahon grabbed a great goal from the throw in at the start of extra time and Knockbeg never looked back.
Colin Dunne extended the lead and while Colaiste Eoin narrowed the gap to one with three straight points, Oisin Hooney’s second goal sent Knockbeg in leading 4-12 to 2-14 at half time in extra time.
Fionn Bergin added two more frees in the second half of extra time either side of Oisin Hooney’s third goal which saw him complete his hat-trick.
Colaiste Eoin didn’t score again and Knockbeg will now look to add the Leinster title to the South Leinster one that they won last month.
SCORERS – KNOCKBEG COLLEGE: Oisin Hooney 3-2, Fionn Bergin 0-4 (two frees), Oisin Byrne 0-1, Colin Dunne 0-3, Bryan McMahon 2-1, Ian Shanahan 0-2, Oisin Doyle 0-1
KNOCKBEG: Sean Dollard (Killeshin); Jamie Kelly (St. Josephs), Orrie Doran (Killeshin), Brendan McDonald (Killeshin); Tomas Byrne (St Joseph’s), Shane Buggy ( Eire Og), Jesse McEvoy (Ballylinan); Ian Shanahan (St Joseph’s), Ciaran Burke (Crettyard), Oisin Hooney (St Joseph’s), Colin Dunne (Arles Kileen), Oisin Doyle (Clonmore); Bryan McMahon (Palatine), Oisin Byrne (Arles Kileen), Fionn Bergin ( Grangenolvin) Subs: TJ Burke (Barrowhouse) for T Byrne (35 mins), Oisin Nolan ( Castledermot ) for J McEvoy (38 mins), Conall Bergin (Grangenolvin) for B McMahon (extra time)