Coffey the king for Colmcille's
Harry's haul helps Knocklyon boys put Salesian to the sword in 'B' showpiece
AN 0-8 haul by half-forward Harry Coffey was crucial at O'Toole Park last Thursday evening.
ST COLMCILLE'S CS 1-15
SALESIAN COLLEGE 1-5
A strong final-quarter showing enabled St Colmcille's Community School to secure a comprehensive victory over Salesian College in the Dublin Schools Senior Hurling 'B' decider.
With Under-21 Hurling 'B' Player of the Year Niall Kenny in their starting line-up, the Celbridge outfit were hoping to produce a big display in the Crumlin venue, but it was their opponents who drew first blood with a point in the opening minute from centre-forward Darragh McGuire.
Salesian did eventually cancel out this early advantage with a score of their own from half-forward Sean O'Regan, but Colmcille's responded quickly with a point on the run by full-forward Darragh Bolger, before the South Dubliners extended their cushion to three points courtesy of efforts from Coffey (free) and Conor Deane.
The north Kildare school had been living off scraps during the early moments of the action, but as the half wore on they were starting to develop a rhythm of play, and a point apiece by nominal midfield pairing Michael O'Donovan and Eoghan Doddy (corner-forward Michael Gallagher had switched to centre-field in a pre-match change) kept their deficit at a minimum.
Doddy was a teammate of Kenny's on the Kildare Under-21 side that lost out to Kerry in this year's 'B' Championship final, and he subsequently registered a second point from a 50-metre placed ball 24 minutes in.
However, just when Salesian were starting to settle into the contest, Colmcille's were able to find an extra gear, as four points in succession from the dependable Coffey (all but one coming from dead-ball situations) helped them towards a 0-9 to 0-4 interval lead.
Kenny came to life at the start of the second period with an excellent point from close range, but Colmcille's quickly reasserted their superiority with well-taken scores from corner-forward Darragh Gogan and the bustling McGuire.
Yet, Salesians did force their way back into the reckoning seven minutes into the half when O'Regan was on hand to tap home a rebound from close in after a thunderous shot from a tight angle by Kenny came crashing off the crossbar.
This helped to galvanise the challenge of Salesians, but in spite of a growing influence around the middle third, they proved rather wasteful with the opportunities that fell their way after O'Regan's major.
Another successfully converted free by Coffey after 47 minutes helped to ease the nerves of Colmcille's, before the deciding score of the encounter arrived just a couple of minutes later.
On this occasion, Bolger finished emphatically past Salesians custodian Robert Clarke from a tight right-hand angle, which opened significant daylight between the two teams. Salesians did their best to gain some sort of consolation from the game in the closing stages, but concluding scores by Coffey (two) and Gogan helped St Colmcille's CS to ease their way over the finishing line.
Scorers – St Colmcille's CS: H Coffey 0-8 (6f, 1 '65'); D Bolger 1-1; C Deane, D McGuire, D Gogan 0-2 each. Salesian College: S O'Regan 1-1; E Doddy 0-2 (2f); M O'Donovan, N Kenny 0-1 each.
ST COLMCILLE'S CS: C O'Donoghue; C Byrne, C O'Brien, R O'Connell; R Leddy, F Murray, M O'Flaherty; R Cullen, R Cannon; C Deane, D McGuire, H Coffey; R McCormack, D Bolger, D Gogan. Subs: K McCarron for McCormack (h-t), P McCormack for Bolger (60).
SALESIAN COLLEGE: R Clarke; S O'Sullivan, O McKenna, T McAuliffe; L Hanley, E Connaty, G Beirne; E Doddy, M Gallagher; S O'Regan, L Walsh, C Byrne; S O'Toole, N Kenny, M O'Donovan. Subs: K Gorman for O'Toole (h-t), T Archibold for Gallagher (48), C O'Regan for Hanley (50).
Referee: F McGreevy (St Oliver Plunkett's/Eoghan Ruadh).