D'arcy pulls it out of hat as Gaelcholaiste na Mara claim fairytale win
Leinster boys' U-17 Cup Final: Gaelcholaiste na Mara 3 Templeogue College 2
ARKLOW'S Gaelcholaiste na Mara produced one of the great schools soccer stories by claiming Leinster glory at the first attempt with a 3-2 win over Templeogue College.
Having only opened the school doors in 2007, na Mara travel to Waterford's Ozier Park to face Munster top dogs Coláiste Choilm, Ballincollig as the most unlikeliest of provincial champions.
The Wicklow school had never entered a Leinster cup competition in soccer until September, but their Under-17 boys had enough to see off last year's Under-15 All-Ireland finalists at Stella Maris FC last Friday.
Jack D'Arcy stole the limelight on the biggest day in the school's sporting history by grabbing a superb hat-trick.
The striker's victory-clinching third goal was not only worthy of the achievement, but the unique occasion as he skipped by three Templeogue defenders before finishing.
It looked like being a different outcome early on as Templeogue began like a side determined to carry on where their treble-winning Under-15s left off last year.
A handful of stars from that team, that were only denied a remarkable quadruple clean sweep by national final heartbreak, backboned this Under-17 side. They entered the game as favourites for victory and took the lead 25 minutes in when Ryan Meeney finished from close range.
Within minutes it was 1-1 as Darragh Fitzgerald's long-range shot was given the necessary helping hand by D'Arcy to beat Daniel Di Tofano in the Templeogue goal.
D'Arcy completed the turnaround minutes into the second-half when he pounced on a loose ball in the box to finish to the net.
Jonathan Ntoni showed similar predatory instincts in the box to equalise after Tiernan Murray in goal had done well orginally on the hour mark, but Player fo the Match D'Arcy decided the contest in typical style with a jinking run and finish five minutes from time.
Gaelcholaiste na Mara: Tiernan Murrray; Jack McCall, Tom Maher, Michael Anthony Doyle, Tommy Rowin, Darragh Fitzgerald, Liam Coleman (Stephen Neville 71), Cathal Kelleher, Jack D'Arcy, Caelam Devereaux, Liam Scales.
Temploegue College: Danielle Di Tofano; Nathan Nolan, Andrew McGovern, Matthew McManeman, Darragh Corcoran (Conor Murphy 70), Aaron Weddick, Simon King, Sam Morrison, Jonathan Ntoni, Ryan Meeney, Aaron Delaney.