There was disappointment for Dublin schools in the Leinster Junior Championship this week, as Clonkeen College and Ardscoil Ris lost out in their respective semi-final encounters. First in action were the Blackrock-based Clonkeen, who took on Ratoath College in a thrilling Schools 'C' encounter at the Glen Easton Pitch in Leixlip on Monday.
Clonkeen got off to a perfect start with a goal inside the opening minute from corner-forward Adam Mooney. However, Ratoath did recover to register points through Robert Waters, Glen O'Reilly and centre-back Brian Power, followed by a goal from a penalty by wing-forward Eoghan Doody.
Clonkeen were really up against it, but an outstanding Conor O'Sullivan, as well as points from Sean Treacy (2) and David Corish gave them a 2-5 to 1-5 half-time lead. Ratoath had much the better start to the second half though, as an early Joey Wallace goal reinforced their superiority, but two goals in as many minutes from Sean Toner and Jack Behan looked like driving Clonkeen to victory.
Ratoath had other ideas, however, as a superb strike from centre-forward Conor Rooney on 45 minutes, as well as injury-time points from O'Reilly and Waters handed them a 3-13 to 4-8 triumph.
Elsewhere, Griffith Avenue school Ardscoil Rís put in a brave effort, but ultimately came off second best against Marist College of Athlone in Maynooth on Tuesday. They had been well in contention in the first-half, as fine scores from Cormac Costello and Gavin Burke meant they were on level terms (0-5 each) at the mid-way stage.
A quick 1-2 blitz from Marist mid-way through the second period set back the Ardscoil challenge though and, in spite of a late penalty from the outstanding Costello, a similar effort from Marist meant that the Westmeath school marched forward to the 'A' final on a scoreline of 2-11 to 1-7.
Coláiste éanna sent out a message to all and sundry in Sancta Maria College on Tuesday afternoon, as they emphatically saw off the challenge of St Colmcille's of Knocklyon on a scoreline of 9-13 to 1-3 in the Dublin Schools' Juvenile 'A' Quarter-Final.
éanna were the superior outfit from the word go. With strong performers all round the pitch, éanna will be a hard team to overcome in the final hurdle of this season's competition.
However, they were not the only side to impress in the latter stages of the competition this week, as St Fintan's High School, Sutton came out on top of an 11-goal semi-final shootout against St Benildus College in Clanna Gael, Ringsend yesterday.
Fintan's have made excellent strides in both Gaelic football and hurling in recent years, and they got off to a fabulous start to go three goals in front inside the opening quarter.
Benildus did recover slightly to trail by seven points at the break, and the Kilmacud side improved even further on the re-start to bring the margin down to four.
This left the game wide open heading into the final moments, but Fintan's managed to hold on for a 6-8 to 5-7 triumph to book their place in the final.
Meanwhile, Terenure College marched onto the semi-final of the Juvenile 'C' Championship, when they comprehensively secured victory against Lucan CBS on their own turf with 14 points to spare (4-12 to 2-4).