COLAISTE EANNA 3-8, ARDSCOIL RIS 1-10 - A brace of goals from Keith Robinson was decisive in Tom Russell Park yesterday afternoon as Coláiste Eanna retained their Dublin Schools Senior Hurling 'A' crown in a highly competitive clash in testing conditions at St Brigid's GAA Club.
Both sides took their time to settle into the proceedings, and it wasn't until the ninth minute that the first score of the contest arrived, when éanna corner-forward Eamon Forman found the range with a well-taken point from close-in.
Ardscoil eventually marked their account with efforts from Patrick Spellacy (free) and centre-fielder Shane Barrett, but a point each from Robinson and Colm Basquel restored the Ballyroan school's slender lead.
The north Dublin school weren't going to be dismissed lightly though, and they hit back with scores from Conor Mullins and Spellacy.
The big moment of the half belonged to Eanna, however, when Robinson fired to the net on 25 minutes after Basquel burst towards the Ardscoil goal. Eanna O'Toole added to this with a point from play, but a late Ardscoil score from inspirational skipper Patrick Donnelly brought the éanna cushion down to two (1-4 to 0-5) at the mid-way stage.
Ardscoil enjoyed a fine start to the second period when Mullins ran through the heart of the éanna defence before kicking to the net, but the southsiders exploded back into life once more as Darragh O'Shea's first point of the contest was added to on 42 minutes by a clinical Robinson goal from a right-hand angle.
The Eanna nerves had settled as a result of this strike, and despite keeping in touch with points from Spellacy and Mullins, Barry Cushen was beaten for a third time with just eight minutes remaining, centre-forward Tim O'Connor applying the finishing touches on this occasion.
The Griffith Avenue outfit kept fighting until the bitter end, and a free from Seán Murphy did keep them in touch, but two monstrous frees from influential skipper O'Shea late on was enough to secure Coláiste Eanna's back-to-back success.
Scorers - Coláiste Eanna: K Robinson 2-2 (0-2f); T O'Connor 1-0; D O'Shea 0-3 (2f); C Basquel, E O'Toole, E Forman 0-1 each. Ardscoil Rís: C Mullins 1-2; P Spellacy 0-3 (2f); S Murphy (f), P Donnelly, S Barrett, S O'Sullivan, S Hannigan 0-1 each.
COLAISTE EANNA: A Boyd Lyons; J McDonnell, J Mernagh, J Hamm; I Mellett, T Hanafin, E Giles; D O'Shea, F Maguire; C Basquel, T O'Connor, K Robinson; E O'Toole, J Madden, E Forman. Subs: S Brennan for O'Toole (36), A McGrath for Robinson (49-53, blood sub), J Holland for Giles (53).
ARDSCOIL RIS: B Cushen; K McDonnell, P Donnelly, M Moore; S Cassedy, L Carey, C Burke; S Barrett, C McGuire; L Nickerson, P Spellacy, S O'Sullivan; C Mullins, S O'Cuainachain, S Murphy. Subs: S O'Meara for McGuire (46), S Hannigan for Spellacy (50).
Referee: F McGreevy (St Oliver Plunkett's/Eoghan Ruadh).