Dublin Schools Junior A Hurling Championship: O Ceallaigh hat-trick hero for Eoin in goal blitz
Full-forward leads gaelscoil’s outstanding second-half display against St Benildus
FIONN Ó CEALLAIGH was in scintillating form on Tuesday afternoon, when Coláiste Eoin produced a remarkable second-half turnaround against St Benildus College in the Dublin Schools Junior Hurling ‘A’ Championship.
Following an earlier defeat at the hands of Coláiste Éanna, Benildus needed a victory to keep their hopes of reaching the knock-out stages alive, and they opened up a ten-point cushion (0-12 to 0-2) with just six minutes remaining in the opening period on their home pitch.
However, the introduction of Padraig Puirséil provided Eoin with a new lease of life, and with the inside duo of Ó Ceallaigh and Antoine Ó Cuinn amassing a combined tally of 5-5, they kick-started their own campaign in clinical style.
All-Ireland winning Kilkenny hurler Walter Walsh is a key member of the Benildus coaching set-up, and even though a brace of early Cian Shelly scores were cancelled out by Eoin efforts from Tomás Ó hEachtigheirn and Diarmaid Ó Floinn, the Kilmacud side played with supreme confidence in the first-half.
Their gaelscoil counterparts were wasteful in front of the posts during the early exchanges, and Benildus took advantage with five points in the space of six minutes – including a 0-3 salvo by centre-forward Cathal Kissane.
Cathal Kissane, left, Benildus College, in action against Stiofan O Mathina, Colaiste Eoin. Dublin Schools Junior A Hurling, Benildus College v Colaiste Eoin. Benildus College, Kilmacud, Dublin
Kissane and Shelly were in excellent form for Benildus, and with industrious wing-forward Ciarán Foley also making a contribution to the scoreboard, they were threatening to pull away from their southside rivals.
The introduction of Puirséil dramatically changed the shape of the Eoin side, however, and after Ó Ceallaigh’s 0-2 haul finally brought the lengthy Benildus scoring sequence to an end, Ó hEachtigheirn registered the first goal of the game.
As a result, Eoin had forced their way back into contention, and although they conceded points to the outstanding duo of Kissane and Shelly, Donncha Ó Muireadaigh and Conor Cinnseallach ensured that the away team’s deficit had been reduced to five points (0-14 to 1-6) at the mid-way stage.
There was certainly a sense that the pendulum was starting to swing in the direction of the visitors, and despite increasing their cushion with an eighth point from Shelly two minutes after the restart, the Benildus challenge was rocked by the concession of four goals in the space of five minutes.
Superb individual majors from Ó Ceallaigh and the pacey Puirséil levelled matters on 36 minutes, and following a fine point from play by Cinnseallach, Ó Cúinn and Ó Ceallaigh also found the net in emphatic style.
Having dominated the proceedings initially, Benildus suddenly found themselves seven points adrift, and Shelly’s successful 42nd minute free provided them with a much-needed boost. The Eoin attack was performing at its optimum level, and when two long-range frees from influential midfielder Seán Ó Cinnseallaigh were supplemented by an Ó Ceallaigh point nine minutes from time, a second consecutive reversal appeared to be inevitable for Benildus.
A 54th-minute goal by Foley offered them a potential lifeline, but late goals from Ó Ceallaigh (completing his hat-trick), Ó Cuinn and Ó Cinseallaigh (penalty), Coláiste Eoin emerged as comprehensive victors.
SCORERS - Coláiste Eoin: F Ó Ceallaigh 3-3, A Ó Cuinn 2-2, S Ó Cinseallaigh 1-2, (1-0 pen, 0-1f), T Ó hEachtigheirn 1-1, P Puirséil 1-0, C Cinnseallach 0-2, D Ó Muireadaigh, D Ó Floinn, S Ó Fiachna 0-1 each.
St Benildus College: C Shelly 0-9 (7f), C Kissane 0-5, C Foley 1-1, N Kennedy 0-2, R Smith 0-1.
COLÁISTE EOIN: E Mac Giobúin; T Stakelum, S Ó Ceallaigh, P Ó Cofaigh-Byrne; J Ó Tuama, C Mac Dháibhéid, S Ó Mathúna; S Ó Cinseallaigh, D Ó Digain; D Ó Muireadaigh, D Ó Floinn, T Ó hEachtigheirn; A Ó Cúinn, F Ó Ceallaigh, C Cinnseallach.
Subs: P Puirséil for Ó Cofaigh-Byrne (23), S Ó Fiachna for Ó Muireadaigh (h-t), R McMenamin for Ó Mathúna (46), D Mac Giolla Bhríde for Ó Floinn (48), R Ó Seanáin for Ó Tuama (54).
ST BENILDUS COLLEGE: T Dunbar; G Soroghan, C Veale, R Smith; C Garvan, E Cahill, J Sweeney; O Bent, J Kelly; N Kennedy, C Kissane, C Foley; C Tobin, F McLoughlin, C Shelly.
Subs: S Roe for Kennedy (41), J Quinlan for Tobin (41).
Referee: E Roche (Faughs).
Wides - Coláiste Eoin: 16 (8+8). St Benildus College: 5 (2+3).
Conditions: Warm and sunny conditions on the all-weather surface in St Benildus College.
Player of the Match: Fionn Ó Ceallaigh (Coláiste Eoin).